It’s hot. Really hot. It’s been in the 80’s and 90’s for the past three days. The one thing that makes hot better? Diving in the pool, head first and getting that first rush of cool…even if the pool is heated it’s still cooler than the outside world. What really sucks though, is when there’s no pool and the best you get is a kids’ wading pool full of warm, grassy shallow water to stick your toes into. It’s hot, and an inch or two of warm, dirty water is not refreshing. It sucks.
That’s how I view Andrew Baron’s recent social experiment to auction his Twitter account on EBay, presumably as some sort of online social experiment to put a value to his followers. Or something. It’s the equivalent of wading in warm, unsatisfying muddy water.
This, of course, has launched a veritable storm of commentary about how much community is worth, whether a value can be assigned, whether an experiment like this means anything, yada yada yada.The auction bid is up to $1,550. And counting.
Guess what? I don’t give a rat’s ass whether his Twitter followers are a community or not. I don’t give a damn about whether he sells the account and with it, his name space on Twitter. Don’t care, don’t believe it proves anything one way or the other except this: It proves the shallowness of at least a few folks who actually care to waste $1500+ dollars on something that means exactly nothing.
Let’s think about what $1,550 could do. Especially on a day where there are food riots around the world, people here in our own country are going hungry, food banks are literally begging for donations, and the World Food Bank may well be bankrupt. Some examples:
- Could fund microloans to help people in underprivileged countries to start businesses, farms , etc to become self-sufficient. Average microloan is $25.00 That’s 62 businesses that could be funded.
- In Nepal, it buys a year’s worth of health care for 775 women and children
- In Afghanistan, it provides reproductive healthcare and education to 1,240 women.
- In Darfur, it trains 124 Traditional Birthing Attendants to care for pregnant women and newborn children.
- In South Africa, it provides HIV/AIDS counseling to 124 women.
- In Burkina Faso, it feeds 5,167 students one good meal every day.
- In Africa, it would fund the construction of 10 fresh water wells
- It can feed, clothe and school an orphan child for over a year.
Here’s my challenge to Andrew Baron: If you actually manage to carry this auction through to the end and there is an actual payment made, please donate it. Any of the charities above would welcome a donation like that, and at least your social ‘experiment’ could work to the social GOOD as opposed to being a simple exercise in self-flagellation.
To those of you who bid and lost, consider donating that amount you were willing to throw away on someone else’s Twitter account to a cause of your choice that needs you to help.
Truly, what matters about the word “social” are people.
UPDATE: Digg this post and get the word out.
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