Sunday, September 04, 2005

An alternate view on counting home page donation links

While I am here noting which companies are doing what about Katrina on their home pages, and having people leave comments about their company's efforts, Scoble is saying he is uncomfortable that this becomes a PR contest, and that he wishes Microsoft was judged by the actions of its employees (during company time) rather than their home page.

I left a comment that made some of the following points.

The vast majority of us can help by giving money. Yes, a (relatively) small percentage of people can help by volunteering...medical personnel, for example are being sought. And there's other great work being done to create web spaces for finding loved ones and other technically-related work. We can all donate blood too. Always good. The closer you get to the affected area the more tangible ways there are to help...up to taking in some American refugees. And colleges across the country are offering to take in students.

But for the majority of us, it's our money we can give.

And someone who works for a charity is welcome to correct me or flesh in my argument, but I'm betting getting donations is like any other sales's a numbers game, and you gotta ask a whole lot of people, or a whole lot of times to get a number of "hits." I want every company posting access to donation sites to constantly remind people, so that a higher percentage of people participate. If these companies are only doing it because it looks good I'm not sure that right now I care. They are helping to increase attention and hopefully increase participation.

[So I guess I should mention that Microsoft did finally get a home page link up, and if you follow it they not only list donation sites, but what other action they and their employees are taking. Disclosure: my S.O. works at Microsoft.]

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