Doing Good Through’?¬¶Twitter?


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Last September, Eva Longoria introduced the first-ever, Twitter-based celebrity auction using TwitChange. TwitChange is one of the latest developments in the ‘social good’? realm, serving as a celebrity charity auction where fans bid on an opportunity to be followed, mentioned or re-tweeted by their favorite celebrities with all of the earnings donated toward a cause.

The month-long auction, which benefited building homes in Haiti, turned into an instant success. Flurries of fans requested their most beloved celebrities to enter. The result: 35 million hits; more than $540,000 toward the cause; and support from more than 175 celebrities including Justin Bieber, Shaquille O’Neal and Adrian Grenier.

The media also loved the creativity of TwitChange’s digital auction.

“Twitter enthusiasts: Ever dream of having a celebrity follow and re-tweet your tweets? Here’s your chance to have that dream come true. Even better? It’s all in the name of good.” – @USA Today

‘In the Twitter universe, where a user is judged by how many followers he has, a celebrity follow or mention can be a catapult” – @Wall Street Journal

With such a positive response, it’s hard to imagine that TwitChange has adversaries, but it does. Some argue that the campaign is ‘more about celebrity than actual charity’? and isn’t likely lead to an impactful social activism movement.

While I agree that TwitChange’s celebrity component may outshine its ‘social good’? component, calling out TwitChange as an overall bad concept nixes the idea that any form of charity is a good form of charity. To me, social giving through TwitChange may not be ‘highly-involved social activism,’? but supporting a worthy cause with a platform that raises money and awareness is noteworthy and admirable.

For those interested in participating or checking out TwitChange, the next auction will take place January 29, during which NFL star Troy Polamalu ‘ a star safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers ‘ will kick off an auction to benefit Operation Once in a Lifetime.

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