Friday, January 22, 2010

Random data bits about Haiti giving

Real(ish) time data sources
Paypal has emerged as a new source of data on giving - reporting $1.5 million processed in donations to #Haiti relief efforts. As for data sources, Google Checkout, Convio, Network for Good and the mGive Foundation (behind the text donations) have definitely claimed their place as providers of real-time data about giving. The Foundation Center launched this online map of foundation grants to disaster relief, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy was updating its giving totals about twice a day Weds-Fri of last week.

Where we get our news
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released some very interesting data on social networks, news sources, giving, and Haiti. The report is here. Their survey found that
"...18% report they or someone in their household made a donation to those affected by the earthquake, while another 30% say they plan to donate..... While 39% of those who gave made a donation in person, 23% gave on the internet and 14% gave via text message; by comparison, 12% gave by phone and just 5% made their donation through the mail."
The data above refer to Americans only.

Pew also asked questions about how people were getting their news about the earthquake. 31% said they were following online news sources. Thirteen percent of Americans, and 24% of those under age 30, received information about the quake on email or through social networks.

I wish they'd asked how many people FIRST heard about the quake through email, twitter or social networks. My sense is that these media spread the word faster than ever before and that tens of millions of people knew about the quake within an hour of it happening and without ever turning on the radio or TV.

Who reads what?
Stephanie Strom's NYT article about the blog Good Intentions are Not Enough also highlighted the role data are playing - as she showed how the blogger tracked readers from the White House and the State Department. Later on the same day that the Times piece ran, the blogger, Saundra Schimmelpfennig, announced via Twitter that more readers had come to her blog from another blog, Marginal Revolution, than had come from the Times story. I don't know if that will hold true over time, but it's an interesting tidbit about online readers, blogs, attention, and, yes, data.

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