Bill Gates goes social and throws in his influence for Haiti (and so should you)

Seems like Bill Gates has a real Twitter account now. Launched two days ago and already over 275,000 followers when I last checked.

Bill follows people to. Forty until now. Welcome to Twitterville, Bill (is the word Twitterville copyrighted, Shel?).

In his first post Bill (can I say Bill, Bill?) tweeted “Hello world” and some other things.

If you expect that Bill’s Twitter account is all about Microsoft, think again. He is talking about Haiti (and so should you because, even if you’re not Bill Gates or whatever; if you can convince one follower to donate – and of course donate yourself – you made a difference).

In my country, there are some initiatives, so I know how to donate. If you don’t know: go to Bill’s new blog; The Gates Notes or any other blog or web site. On his new blog Bill talks about the climate and other issues that matter and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting Haiti too.

You may not like Bill Gates (do you know him personally?) but there are many people out there in the social media space with influence calling upon their followers to support the people in Haiti.

You might think “for them, it’s easy, they’re rich” but don’t let that be an excuse. You can cause a change too. So look up all the initiatives regarding Haiti offline, online and of course by searching Twitter, stop complaining, and, even if you have it a bit hard yourself (hey, folks, do you think journalists and bloggers like me make cash in a recession?), try to put in that extra effort.

In the social media space, we all have a voice and some influence: use it

Now, don’t think I’m jumping on the Haiti buzz here. Yes, many companies do it and yes, it might be good for their brand image but that doesn’t matter. I’m quite sarcastic too about some of these things (I know about marketing and advertising, if you’re in that business and think now and then, you get quite cynical). And yes, much of the money we donate to good causes might go somewhere else. 

But it doesn’t matter. If you think Haiti will be fine with all the buzz, then donate to something else.

I don’t know how it is in your country but in my country in many cities people from Eastern Europe are begging for money. I used to work for a guy, who was quite rich, and he told me to ignore them because it was “not real”. I don’t care, I still give every time. I don’t care what they use it for, I guess some of them will not use it for things I would back, but some of them might. And that’s enough.

What all this has to do with social media? No idea. Or yes: even if you’re the most cynical person (and that’s OK to me, you are what you are), you use Internet, social media, Twitter, whatever. If not: you wouldn’t be reading this.

So, put your sarcasm away for a minute, go to your Twitter account and start retweeting initiatives to support Haiti or any other good cause. 

The social tools to connect, initiate and support are there. You use them for your own purposes. Take 15 minutes today to retweet any call for support for good causes. In fact, do it every day.

In case you didn’t notice yet: in the social media space, there are no borders, countries, races or whatever; there are just people. Some influential, like Bill, others less, like you and me.

But we all have a voice. Am I naïve? Possible. My advice: never kill the idealistic child in yourself.

So leave this blog right now, don’t click on any ads, don’t subscribe to anything, don’t come back for two days and do what has to be done.

Below are the links to the new blog and Twitter account of Bill. And then, get out of here (but not forever please).

And if you really can’t donate: give your friend, kids, wife, husband, dog or favourite tree a hug. Maybe the kids of our kids will not know what trees are. Another reason to donate and make a difference.


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