Tonight’s #BlogChat was all about the role bloggers can play in doing good. It was a great idea that Linda Sherman and Bruce Sallan floated to Mack Collier as several of us looked at what we could do to help the people suffering in Japan. The conversation was lively and many people wanted to share ideas. Some of the overall thoughts I came away with were:
- Be sure you honor your blog’s readers & the type of content is suited to your blog post.
- Responding in a time of crisis places importance on the trust placed on you by your readers. Facts and opinion are not to be confused.
- Placing your personal connections — either the faces of people, the knowledge you have of charities, etc — into the blog is something uniquely you can offer readers.
- If you have a charitable organization you identify with, offering links or free ad space to assist in the response.
- True crises are long-term and people need to find ways to revisit appropriately. This comes to mind really well as I’ve seen so many spring breakers take their time to help Haiti, another area suffering greatly.
A number of bloggers have put their posts to work for the recovery efforts in Japan. I offered to compile a list of posts that others may find useful. If I’ve missed something, please feel free to bring it to my attention in the comments section.
- Social Media in Times of Crisis – Japan Earthquake Tsunami — Frequent blogchatter Linda Sherman has deep personal connections to Japan having lived there previously and this storm also threatened her home in Hawaii. She wrote this post as the reality of the devastation became known and has continued to update it providing a great resource. The post begins: “Social Media can help unite us in times of crisis. Within moments, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube connect the world with the voices and images on the ground as well our own global reactions. We give you here one more reason that you should be participating in social media if you aren’t yet, as well as important links to information and ways to help the tragic situation in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami.”
- It’s a Tech World Afterall is the comic strip Bruce Sallan’s son Aaron does and this week the strip reminded people to look at the post by Linda Sherman linked above. Good perspective on whether to watch a game or think about something more important like how to be involved in rebuilding people’s lives.
- Dedicated blog Japan Quake Facts — This website seems to be relatively new but has a number of sections covering the earthquake, the tsunami, Fukushima reactor, radiation issues, FAQs, etc. This was brought to our attention in #blogchat by @Casudi via @CoCreator.
- The True Spirit of SXSW – The Genesis of #SXSWCares — Mack pointed me in the direction of Leigh Durst of @LivePath and the post that she wrote at SXSWi (South by Southwest Interative the nation’s leading conference that brings together social media innovators and users). Leigh says that although work & SXSWi had her busy, “I have found myself distracted and deeply saddened by the news from Japan. Turns out, I’m not the only one. Early on Friday, I stopped into the Blogger lounge and met up with digital pal and Blogworld Expo diva, Deb Ng. We talked about how surreal it was carrying on our lives when people’s lives were being literally wiped away in Japan. I told Deb, “We oughta start a hashtag – like ‘sxswcares’ and drive donations to the Red Cross.” Deb loved the idea, and a movement was born. We began pushing people to text donations to 90999 (Red Cross) and planning our next steps.” The project (SXSW4Japan) has raised more than $100,000.
- After Japan’s Earthquake & #Tsunami, What Really Matters to You? Heidi Cohen wrote a blog post honoring those who died in the tragic events by reminding people about what’s important. Her blog post provides some questions that give you pause for reflection.
- Care for Japan is an effort by a group on Twitter identified by the #tweetdiner tag that @oziomedia drew my attention to. Several of that community are coming together to combine efforts that will raise funds to support the recovery. Margie Clayman is one of the team.
- 5 Innovative Ways to Add Japanese Relief Support to Your Blog — Nicholas Sack (@netslug), a new comer to #blogchat (I think) had some ideas about how to show your support of various relief efforts.
- Natural Disasters Highlight the Importance of Social & Digital Communication — Sean Nicholson (@socmedsean) recently updated his post on the impact of natural disasters on communication
There were a few other blog posts I wanted to mention, including @KansFarmer Darin Grimm’s first reaction which was Praying for those in the Japanese Tsunami. With Japanese family members and friends in mind, I’ve written two personal posts about the disaster in Japan.
- Thinking of Family, Friends and Others So Far Away — As I woke on Friday and saw what had been unfolding, I put together my first thoughts, which were of our family’s Obaachan and others in Osaka, Tokyo, etc.
- Thinking of Japanese Farmers and the Land They Tend, I Want to Help the Recovery on this blog as my mind turned to the names and faces of farmers I know in Japan. While they are safe & sound, the faces and family connectivity is very much the norm for Japanese farmers and is representative of the people who farm in the Sendai area. My heart goes out to them.
You can read the #BlogChat transcript for March 20, 2010 on wthashtag.com. If I’ve missed any of the posts that were brought up, please draw my attention to it — with the speed of #blogchat I can’t imagine I caught them all!
Bruce Sallan says
What a great synthesis of last night’s fantastic #blogchat Janice. And, you beat me to it ’cause I was just too tired to update my blog on blogchat! Well done!
LOL! As the night went along, there were just several things I wanted to share. Seemed like a good idea to pull together in a quick & dirty format.
Linda Sherman says
Thank you for your link to my article Janice! As always it was a pleasure “blogchatting” with you last night.
During blogchat last night it was mentioned that a topic like this needs to be relevant to the blog.
In the case of Boomer Tech Talk, we are encouraging our readers to learn to use social media and tech tools, and that was a relevant link. As you point out my article was deepened by my personal ties to the country. In your case, farming is most certainly a link to the situation in Sendai, and then of course your personal relationships with family and friends in Japan matters.
I was grateful for travel blogger @ToddWassel’s blog post on March 13 because it came from Japan and described his personal experience – he happened to be in Tokyo at the time of the quake (his wife is Japanese).
When I went back to Todd’s blog today to get the link for this comment – I found that he has added a Blogging for Japan Event – where he will make accessible a local charity that normally wouldn’t get international support. Perhaps that might be of interest to Margie Clayman’s blogger project.
Thanks Linda for the great lead to Todd! Love the connections that continue from #BlogChat!
Todd Wassel says
Thanks so much for stopping by my site Janice and to Linda for mentioning my Blog4Japan Event. Besides the link above I have just put up my list of Local Japanese organizations that are on the ground now and who a) I trust and b) have English pages where people can donate money.
If other bloggers are interested in getting involved (I hope you are!)
I’m married to a Japanese, lived there for 5 years, speak Japanese, have friends and family there, and am a United Nations worker specializing in disaster and conflict areas. I am “stuck” in Kosovo at the moment with my main job and see my web even as my main way to contribute until I can get my shoes on the ground.
My brother-in-law is Japanese and my sister lived there a long time. Fantastic people.
Nicholas Sack says
Thanks for the link to my article! I know it’s not anything big, but it gives people a way to add visual support, which is always needed in a time like this.
Looking forward to seeing more awesome content from you!
Thanks! I like the ideas…. am trying to decide how to do something visual on my blog.