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.