03. 31. 2011
Can we use social media to save lives?
At the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco yesterday Jennifer Lynn Aaker, a professor at Stanford's business school told a story about how one of her students used social media to try and save the lives of two of his friends.
Sameer Bhatia and Vinay Chakravarthy found out they had leukemia but neither could find a match for the bone marrow transplant they desperately needed. So, student Robert Chatwani helped them by turning to the Internet to find a donor in other parts of the world. Together they created a group of followers and advocates on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to help spread the word about a range of bone marrow drives they were holding to try and find the right match for both men.
They also created a range of banner ads and videos that were spread virally and soon big organizations were stepping up to help, with the likes of Adobe, Cisco and IDEO offering different kinds of support. Within 11 weeks there had been 470 bone marrow drives and more than 24,611 people were registered. Both men did find a donor but unfortunately passed away soon after the transplant.
Although this is a very sad story, it further proves that social media can be used to try and tackle really serious issues. We just hope that Chatwani's efforts and the donors that were found have since helped others and his story will be empowering to many more people in the future.