When reports of the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti yesterday afternoon poured in, concerned individuals worldwide immediately began relying on real-time search and social networks to obtain information and learn what they can do to help. Just hours after the deadly quake struck, searching “Haiti relief” on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and Ask produced an array of search results. Haiti-related search terms were also already included in query suggestions on Google and Bing.
“Haiti” quickly became the top-trending term on Twitter, while Facebook groups were formed just as quickly to promote charitable donations for Haiti relief. Both Facebook and Twitter users began encouraging one another to text “Yele” to 501501, which results in a $5 donation to the Yele Haiti Foundation, the nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Haitian-born musical artist Wyclef Jean. Jean started Yele to inspire change in Haiti through education, sports, the arts and environment initiatives.
Other organizations helping in the earthquake-relief efforts include: