One of the things about being involved in social media is that news travels fast. Bad news, good news, social media doesn’t discriminate. If you’re paying attention and know where to look, you’ll frequently find out about anything going on in the world long before journalists can submit their stories to your favorite media outlet.
As the first tweets appeared on Twitter and the enormity of what was unfolding last Friday started to sink in, hearts and minds around the world worried about and prayed for the people of Japan. The hashtag “#prayforjapan” was trending for a long time and there’s still a constant stream of tweets. These stunning photos from CNN show some of the devastation. And of course it’s still unfolding as the search and rescue efforts are still underway. Not to mention the efforts to avert crises with the nuclear reactors.
Shortly after the earthquake struck, however, tweets turned towards ways that people can help. Links like this point to many nonprofit organizations who are already mobilized and helping in Japan.
The first effort outside of the nonprofit realm that I came across was from James White over at Signal Noise Studio who quickly designed this poster …
… and was selling limited editions and donating the profits to disaster relief in Japan. The first run of limited editions quickly sold out. Rumor has it there may be a second run, however. Check for the latest news on his site.
The next effort I came upon was an amazing auction pulled together by a group of authors led by Keris Stainton. The sheer number of items to be auctioned – 150 – is incredible. Read more about this tremendous effort in this article from the Guardian and go over here to their website to participate. Bidding is open until March 20. You can also follow the news on Twitter by searching “#authorsforjapan.”
Update: I’ve also come across this auction – “Indie Authors Relief Fund.” Bidding is open until March 20.
And the last effort I want to highlight is a charity anthology “New Sun Rising: Stories for Japan” coordinated by Frankie Sachs. He’s pulling together a terrific group of editors already. If you’re a writer, check the submissions page on Duotrope and start writing! Everybody should check out their beautiful blog for continued updates on the project and other news. Oh, and check out their Facebook page as well. UPDATE: Check out this very moving plea from Greg McQueen to participate in this effort.