Over the last couple of weeks we’ve heard again and again that the Internet is the scouge of our cultural industries, wrecking our economies and upsetting the neighbours.
Of course, none of this is true, but I thought it might be worthwhile if I highlighted what I feel is a growing trend in people’s behaviour resulting from the immersive worldwide communities that can be formed.
Reddit is as website. A social news website. Remember Digg.com with the the double gg? That thing you heard someone talk about before twitter. It’s like that but better, and bigger, much bigger. Digg has about 45m pageviews/day and is shrinking. Reddit has about 100m pageviews/day and is growing. There are serious numbers of humans, in real life, interacting via this site!
Yesterday, a reddit user, “TheLake” posted asking for help to raise £2,000 dollars to help a Kenyan orphanage build a fence. Omari, one of the orphanages staff had defended the compound four nights in a week from burglars:
After two previous invasions during the week, Omari was relatively certain another would occur. He woke up to the sound of footsteps outside his door, he figured it was his mother taking a few of the boys outside to go to the bathroom. He quickly realized that the footsteps were heavy, and that of more than one person; he then saw a flashlight shine beneath the crack of his door. Being the third time this happened that week, he had already stashed a hammer beside his bed. He grabbed it, and threw it at the first person who entered his room. He hit the person square in the head, and chased the rest out.
The following night, the three thugs returned, presumably to avenge their friend. Omari put up a fight but was outnumbered. The last thing he remembers was being struck in the face by the machete. He has been in and out of the hospital since, yet remains positive and confident that the suspects will one day see justice.
Redditors responded in their thousands to the appeal:
I’m a 20 year-old university student, but here have $2.
I’m kinda poor, the best I can do is $5 right now. Best of luck to them!
I AM PRINCE AL-JAHEEB, AND I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER YOU $10,000,000 USD IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CAUSE. IF YOU WOULD KINDLY SEND ME YOUR BANKING INFORMATION, I CAN ACT QUICKLY AND DEPOSIT THE MONEY. PLEASE INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT AS WELL.
THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS.
EDIT: THANK YOU FOR YOUR QUICK RESPONSE OMARI, UNFORTUNATELY MY KING HAS STOLEN ALL MY FUNDS SO I AM ONLY ABLE TO GIVE YOU $20. BEST OF LUCK .
Seems legit, sent $100. Now if you turn out to be stealing money I’ll spend another $100 on a machete of my own.
and many many more…
You can read the Original Poster, TheLake’s increasingly emotional posts here. Remember, he was looking for $2000.
His eighth update was:
Edit 8: Over $9,000 and I’m in a state of shock. I…… Just…………………Thank you.
His 10th update:
Edit 10: $44,000!!!!!!!!! REDDIT!!!!! I can hardly breathe
In less than 24 hours, Reddit raised $65,000 in total. To help an orphange. In a country most of the users will never visit.
As one blogger said, clearly whoever said
“it can’t be done overnight”
clearly hadn’t met Reddit.