I just heard that Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has given three million dollars to relief efforts.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, just sent out an email to all Microsoft employees giving a lengthy accounting of what Microsoft employees are doing around the world (and how they can help further). There now is a link on the home page of Microsoft.com and MSN.com to relief efforts.
By the way, I've been watching a few internal mailing lists. The number of employees watching weblogs is going up every day. It's really interesting to see how a world-wide corporation now is gathering information from blogs and reacting in real-time. Keep the notes and letters coming!
I just added Technorati search to my blog. This is a feature under development. It is far from perfect. I am showing the team here some results that it didn't pull back that Google did (search for "yakima wine scoble" for instance and Google finds results, but Technorati doesn't). That said, this is cool and if it continues getting better it'll be a useful feature for blogs to add.
Dave Sifry says that is why this is an experimental feature.
Bloggers without Borders is a blog setup to help out charitable organizations. The Technorati folks are talking about that site.
I'm sitting here in Technorati's offices and we're talking about New Year's resolutions. They just put up a page where you can enter yours.
So, we're all putting in our resolutions.
Here's my resolutions:
I'm getting hit by Comment Spam. Sigh. I don't have time for this. Dave, anything we can do?
I just posted a similar post to Channel 9. Let's figure out how we can help each other at times like these.
Tonight we'll be hosting a geek dinner in San Francisco. You're welcome, even if you're not a geek. We'll be talking about ideas for what else we can do. The dinner is at Chaat Cafe on third street. My cell phone is 425-205-1921.
Today I'll be back on blog vacation. Have a good one and hope to see you tonight.
Last night I was talking with Keith Pleas. Keith is a developer that I've known for more than a decade now. He worked on the help system in Windows 95. He also owned a furniture shop where he imported from around the world, particularly in the Asian Pacific. So, he's well connected in that part of the world.
Last night he told me that we haven't even heard how bad the tsunami was. He told of one island where 20,000 people used to live. He said he heard that only 600 lived.
Today the death toll was increased to 116,000 (thanks to Memeorandum for the link). That's a number that's beyond my comprehension.
One of Keith's friends, Susi, who lives in Bali and travels frequently to Indonesia, has started a blog: the Aceh Aid Bucket Brigade.
You know, I started out the week by being insensitive. A boor. I said that blogs had missed the initial story. They had. The mainstream press had gotten the original story first. But blogs, like Susi's, are now helping build new kinds of relief networks and news networks.
By the way, Susi reports that Continental Airlines is opening its doors wide. Corporate giving is really important at times like these. It's where corporations can show they are important parts of our society. Congrats to eBay, Google, Amazon, Apple for linking to relief efforts.
Microsoft is late to this party. But, this isn't a one-week job. This is going to take years of giving to help fix. Microsoft has released an official statement:
We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. We are committed to assisting the relief effort with cash, volunteer and technology resources and we are actively discussing ways that we can help with numerous international and local aid organizations. Over the past 48 hours our corporate headquarters and local Asia Pacific offices have identified in-country organizations who are providing critical support to the victims of this devastating event. We will continue to work with these local organizations to monitor the situation and determine needs for ongoing support. In addition to our corporate efforts many of our offices around the world have responded by setting up employee-giving programs.
I'd like to give a shout out to my coworkers in India who are giving one-day's salary to this effort. More of us will join that effort.
Our subsidiaries have reported what agencies they are donating funds and help to. Our branch in Indonesia is supporting the Palang Merah Indonesia (Red Cross of Indonesia) http://www.palangmerah.org. Our office in Sri Lanka is supporting Sarvodaya. http://www.sarvodaya.lk. Our subsidiary in Thailand is supporting the Office of Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund. http://www.opm.go.th/opminter. In India we're supporting the MS Swaminathan Foundation, http://www.mssrf.org and the Prime Minister's Relief Fund http://www.pminidia.nic.in, among others.
But, back on topic. Others are writing about how to help as well. Om Malik, senior writer at Business 2.0 magazine, is keeping a Tsunami Help Campaign page.
TechWeb writes about another set of organizations that are helping out.
What else can we do? Let us know.