Give to Charity and Get Paid for it, According to New Web Paradigm

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Corporate and nonprofit partnership pays bloggers for posts, and makes a matching donation to victims of Chinese earthquake.

On the Internet, traffic is money. This Web 2.0 mantra brings about all sorts of odd phenomena.

With sites like Yuwie, social networkers can get paid to gossip and gawk at videos. Bloggers can use sites like PayPerPost to receive money for their postings.

Now, a new experiment combines traffic building tools, altruism, and good old capitalistic self-interest to help victims of the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan China, which killed at least 50,000 people and left a million homeless. The project is sponsored by Friends Beyond Borders, producers of the video "China Cries" (, which documents the disaster, introducing viewers to the man who survived three days under the rubble, and the female police officer who breastfed 9 orphaned infants.

The idea is that companies want publicity and are willing to buy it. Aid agencies need donations. Members of the public want to help, but their ardor can be sustained longer if there is a way to compensate them for their efforts. This is especially true in cases of disaster relief, because interest in humanitarian aid declines once the media cycle moves on to something else (just as aid for the Myanmar Cyclone victims went down once the Chinese earthquake occurred)

In one current experiment, Friends Beyond Borders will pay every person who contributes a post to their blog an honorarium, and make a matching donation to Chinese earthquake relief.

How much? The amount constantly changes, depending upon web traffic, number of posts, and other factors. Right now (June 11), the amount is 7 dollars. One Paypal payment for this amount goes to each blog poster, and a like amount is donated to the charity.    Those involved hope the amount will go up once traffic increases (thereby making an increase feasible for corporate partners).

Posters may also receive mention in a press release, which can mention their name or a supporting organization they represent.

Bloggers can post to the blog itself, or email their comments to friendsbeyondborders @ The site also contains links to traditional aid organizations so that those who prefer can give the old-fashioned way.

If the experiment goes as planned, organizers hope to expand it to Myanmar, Darfur, Somalia, Bangla Desh, and other countries. To learn more write friendsbeyondborders @


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John Toomey

Sarah Mendel
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