Moments after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, people all over the world were trying to figure out just what was going on. With the “normal” means of communication down after the earthquake, much of the information that has been received appeared from the more non-traditional routes of communication: such as social media networks. These networks include youtube.com, twitter.com, blogs, facebook.com, and many more. Social media outlets have played a major role in the awareness aspect of not only the earthquake itself, but also about how to help relief efforts through donations. Many people learned about the earthquake through social media postings.
One of the most impressive companies utilizing such social mediums during this time has appeared to be the American Red Cross. Only a day after the earthquake hit, the American Red Cross implemented a donation service in which text messages were used to collect $10 contributions. In order to promote this service, the organization tweeted about it. In addition they are also streaming video and posting photos to their website daily to keep people updated about not only their ongoing recovery efforts, but also informing people about where exactly their donations are going. By streaming video on their website that shows relief aid being distributed to the Haitian people. They were also recipients from the “Hope for Haiti” television special that aired last night. The more than 100 volunteers that the American Red Cross has sent over to Haiti also have the means to twitter and upload things to the internet bring first hand information to the masses. Information about the effectiveness of these efforts won’t be published for a while. But as we can see, social mediums have forever changed the way information about disasters is not only received, but also the way in which we contribute help to the people affected.