Updated: Quitting Twitter for Charity Doesn’t Make Cent$

Updated Dec. 7, 2010 (See end of entry)

Want to raise $1 million? Just ask.

Alicia Keys has convinced other celebrities, including Lady Gaga; Justin Timberlake; Kim Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest, to quit Twitter and Facebook in order to raise $1 million for a worthy charity, Keep  a Child Alive — vowing not to return until they reach that goal.

To me, quitting two of the most effective platforms for raising funds, in order to raise funds, is wrong-headed. This chart shows why:

keys, gaga, timberlake, kardashian, seacrest twitter and facebook

Twitter and Facebook followers @ 11/30/2010

The numbers say it all… These celebs combined have almost 64 million followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook. Rather than abandon your social media base, if they simply asked them to contribute to a good cause all it would take is an average contribution of 1.6 cents to get their $1 million. Hell, Alicia Keys could do it on her own if only her followers gave just 12 cents each.

So, you decide: sincere effort to raise money, or publicity stunt trading on social media’s popularity? If you can’t get your fans to contribute, on average, 1.6 cents — for a worthy cause — then your celebrity is not as great as you think it is.

Or is that what they fear finding out?

Update 12/7/2010: Fears confirmed: The celebs are back on twitter and Facebook one week after playing dead, and despite the paltry requirement of 1.6 cents per follower to get there it took a contribution from pharmaceutical tycoon Stewart Rahr of $500,000 — half of the goal — to reach the $1MM bounty.

How embarrassing

About Ron Casalotti
I am part of that lucky generation that started out when watching TV meant choosing from three networks, three independents and PBS. Now, I work in new media for businesses and organizations - but these thoughts are my own.

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