But it’s not Twitter’s fault. Haiti has a population in which many people live on $ 10.00 per week – or less. So having a mobile device is out of the question. And how sad that is considering that the lack of infrastructure makes land line phone calling difficult if not impossible at times. Haiti by all counts is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It’s difficult to fathom how technology infrastructure in much Africa is far ahead of Haiti. Many westerners refer to a large part of Africa as the third world. Where does that leave Haiti?
When the bombings in Mumbai occurred in 2008 the first reports of the incidents were made on Twitter. Agile and fast, tweets offer citizen journalism in its finest and condensed form. The catastrophe in Haiti is still unfolding and there are amazing stories of survivors still being pulled out nearly a week after the earthquake. I cannot help thinking that if people had mobile devices and could tweet their situations help could have been directed to those in need in a much more efficient fashion.
GPS on mobile devices also would offer tracking abilities but a broadcast tweet on Twitter would have enabled MANY people to better understand individual situations and arrange help. We all want to help and aside from donating funds, working on sending food to Haiti there is little more that we can do.
The power of Twitter sadly was not and will not be realized in Haiti. Having a bunch of followers is often seen as preaching to the choir. Yet the opportunity to rally people to help on a one to one basis in a time of need is something Twitter can do better than just about any other platform.
Certainly Haiti has had and will have much bigger issues than connecting its population via mobile devices. Yet how many more lives might have been saved had the injured been able to call out for help to their followers?
Am I off-base here?