The BlogHer network, a well known and highly respected community for women who blog, was recently promoted on Twitter, by Erin Vest, also known as Queenofspain on Twitter. Vest has been promoting the BlogHers Act global giving initiative, which are five projects that BlogHer has started as part of their commitment to make a difference. Here’s what they’ve had to say about it:
Here’s what we’re up to: As part of our BlogHers Act commitment to make a difference on the issue of maternal health, BlogHer has joined forces with Global Giving to help save women’s lives and we need your help.
By harnessing the power of women online, our contributions will improve maternal health and save women’s lives. Your donation to one or more of these projects can save women’s lives by supplying health care, birthing kits, education, trained birthing attendants, meals, and much, much more.
Blog. Act. Donate. BlogHers Act.
The BlogHers Act was launched on April 7th and will end on May 11th, Mother’s Day. Since the launch, they’ve raised $1,748!
Where does Twitter fit into this? Not everyone is a frequent visitor of the BlogHer homepage. In fact, If Vest hadn’t spread the word on Twitter, I may have never known about it.
The night I noticed her "tweets" on Twitter, Vest was spreading the word about a few people that were willing to donate to the BlogHer initiative, $25 per new follower and up to $1000 max, within a specified time frame.
Talk about the power of Twitter! In this case, Twitter has become an effective substitute for "word of mouth". What might’ve been emailed, IM’d, or phoned about has now been easily and efficiently spread to hundreds of thousands of users on Twitter. Just think of how many lives may now have been saved because of this one message sent via Twitter. Though Twitter did not start out as a way for promotion or advocacy, you can’t deny that it’s an extremely effective tool for both.
Using Twitter To Call For Help
On the other hand, ContraCostaTimes has recently published an article about a student of U.C. Berkeley that is now out of jail in Egypt thanks to Twitter. According to the article, 29 year old James Karl Buck, a graduate journalism major, twittered "ARRESTED" via his cellphone when Egyptian police picked him up from a protest.
Once Buck’s message was sent:
The message went out to the cell phones and computers of a wide circle of friends in the United States and to the mostly leftist, anti-government bloggers in Egypt who are the subject of his graduate journalism project.
The next day, he walked out a free man with an Egyptian attorney hired by UC Berkeley at his side and the U.S. Embassy on the phone.
Buck was jailed because:
He went with Egyptian blogger-journalists to Mahalla where factory workers were supposed to strike about lack of wages and skyrocketing food prices. But the police had cracked down and there was no strike, he said. He left with everyone else, but returned two days later after police made many arrests.
He was taking photos at a protest, when the police grabbed him. Before he was released they also grabbed his camera memory chip. But they forgot about Twitter.
While this wouldn’t normally be a problem in America, there is no freedom of press in Egypt.
Twitter’s power and influence is growing at a rapid pace. The extent of reach that Twitter now harnesses is not one that I ever imagined it would have when I initially joined the service. Yet, I’m more grateful than ever that I made the decision to join.
Chris Brogan has also shared his thoughts on the story, and ended it with the exact same question that I asked myself:
If a messaging platform can free a man from prison, what else can it do for YOU?
Twitter is truly becoming both a network and social tool beyond our wildest imaginations!