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Archive for March, 2010

At exactly the same time Ernesto was trying to convince me that his clicking daily for hunger, literacy, breast cancer whatever … whatever … makes a difference for the positive in the world, a friend posted on my facebook wall “Help the people in Chile now … just by clicking”.

What a wonder! With nothing more than very quick flick of a thumb, children are fed, quake victims are relieved of some related burden, cancer is cured … and owner of said thumb feels so much better. Just imagine what could be accomplished by legions of thumb flickers online for hours every day combing the www for click-philanthropy, and the guilt-assuaging self-satisfaction washing around the globe in the process.

Promising, and probably delivering, a contribution from sponsors with every click, sites like The Hunger Site offer a feel good moment.

So … ease-of-good-deeding-provider or marketing ploy designed to cater to affluent computer owners in need of guilt-assuaging self-satisfaction, or something in between? This is my question.

To expand on that a bit … does click donating make it less likely that people will contribute in other ways, having already “given at the office”?

Pardon my skepticism, but I can’t help but think this is all too simple. Is there some genetic remnant of Puritanism forcing me to feel benefactions should pinch a bit and not come with free gifts? Maybe.

“Get a daily reminder to click … and a FREE bracelet!”

“Nepali Cotton Floral Wrap Skirt Back in Stock!”

Okay …

But here’s the pitch:

The Hunger Site was founded to focus the power of the Internet on a specific humanitarian need: the eradication of world hunger. Since its launch in June 1999, the site has established itself as a leader in online activism, helping to feed the world’s hungry. On average, over 220,000 individuals from around the world visit the site each day to click the yellow “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button. To date, more than 300 million visitors have given more than 671 million cups of staple food.

No doubt that 671 million cups of staple food has filled some stomachs … a good thing … and perhaps it’s only my curmudgeonly side that stirs me to think that “300 million visitors” could have done so much better had they been moved to do more than flick a thumb at a cause.

Or am I missing a point?

Online donating is now possible, so maybe we can really click up a better world. I’m most interested to hear thoughts, so if you have ’em, please share …

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