Helping Others with Social Media

Example of the Free Rice game from Flickr user bavatuesdays
Example of the Free Rice game from Flickr user bavatuesdays

In a recent article by Mashable.com, writer Jamie O’Dell discusses ways in which social media has the ability to help others. O’Dell highlights 9 specific websites that contribute to good causes, some of which are free for users to participate in. Some examples of the free sites include:

1.) Free Rice.com – This site allows users to play a game where they answer multiple-choice questions. For each question answered correctly, rice is donated/paid for by advertisers. O’Dell writes, “Since October 2007, this initiative has generated more than 77 billion grains of rice (about 20 million services) for hungry people around the world.” So, while users play a game and maybe learn some new things, they’re also contributing to the fight against hunger.

2.) Cause World.com – Cause World is an app for the iPhone and Android. This app grants users “karma points” when they check-in at various locations, and these points can then be donated to a charity of the user’s choice. Proctor & Gamble, Citibank, and Kraft Foods supply the funding.

3.) The Extraordinaries – This site focuses on letting users “take microactions” that help out the larger, global community. “For example, after the earthquake in Haiti, users were able to match photos of missing persons with photos of those who had actually survived the quake.” Other action options include mapping areas (such as mapping playgrounds around the world for kids), researching, matching images, etc.

4.) Give Work – This app for the iPhone focuses on increasing the wage of African refugees. Users can help a refugee with virtual/microwork tasks, which helps earn points and increases the work quality. According to research from the site, five points equals to a refugee being able to purchase a tomato, banana, or some small greens.

5.) Social Vibe – Social Vibe works to connect people/consumers with brands and with causes. Specifically, “brands create microaction-focused games and activities, and users complete them.” Once an activity is completed, the brands then pay by donating to a cause or charity of the user’s choosing.

Each of these sites or applications utilize social media to connect users with charities/causes. Most, if not all, of them require very little effort, time, or other resources for users to participate. These examples demonstrate how social media has provided a quick and easy way for people to connect to the world on a larger scale to the benefit of countless others.  If you don’t already, then maybe consider visiting one or some of these sites every day and contribute to the cause of your choice.

Sam Schneider

I am a senior at Purdue University majoring in Professional Writing and History with a minor in Communication. I intend to graduate in May 2010.

One thought on “Helping Others with Social Media

  • April 19, 2010 at 8:31 pm
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    I am so glad to see a social networking site created for a good cause! There are so many social networking sites out there that seems so incredibly vain, and this website seems like a breath of fresh air. Websites like The Extraordinaries as well as the others you listed above undoubtedly let people help that couldn’t necessarily be at the scene of the event, such as Haiti. I’m glad to see major corporations helping out as well. It’s nice to see companies who may have been hit by the economic crisis still assisting in bettering the world! Websites like VAOPS let users search volunteer opportunities as well. Great post!

    http://www.vaops.com/

    Reply

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