All day, the world news media has been reporting on the horrendous earthquake that struck Haiti late yesterday afternoon. One of the first organizations to respond was Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yéle Haiti, that sent out a tweet within about an hour of reporting the earthquake yesterday.
At approximately midnight, the Red Cross tweeted:
Lutheran World Relief posted this around 11 a.m. today:
And while the Times Online has written about "Twitter's human touch amid the horror of Haiti" and noted the quick response of humanitarian organizations using social media, there seems to have been a disconnect with the general social media community.
For example, I retweeted the Red Cross message (ab0ve) to every Twitter account I have as well as posting it as a Facebook status message. Only Liz Strauss immediately retweeted it and some of her followers did the same. (They could have taken my Twitter handle off the retweet, for all I care. I was just so very glad that they sent the information on to others.)
And the silence began to bother me. It wasn't that people didn't retweet me (I don't care about that) -- it's that I wasn't seeing ANY retweets of any kind of practical information letting people know where they could give and/or how they can help.
So I got curious. And I started to research about who was posting to Twitter and Facebook about Haiti relief efforts among those to whom I am connected.
Almost NO ONE. And basically NONE of the "mavens" / leaders of social media to whom I am connected -- locally, nationally and internationally.
Tweets and status messages expounding thoughts about social media? Check. Reputation management? Check. How to "connect" with people? Check. A client's interest? Check. The latest cool tech gadget? Check.
One tweet or Facebook status message about where people can give to help the Haitian relief efforts? Not. One. Word.
Many of these people have thousands of connections that they could have reached and encouraged to help. Did they do anything within the past 24 hours -- the most important time frame when a disaster hits? No. Heck, they could have even improved some of the tweets from the organizations to be better formed in order to reach more people. Did they? No.
I won't name some of them here because I don't want to embarrass them. But today I have lost some respect for some social media leaders that I trusted.
Why? Because when they had the opportunity to help others in one small way, they did NOTHING.
And there's no amount of reputation management that can change that.