“Social network updates a friend to charities.” By Benny Evangelista. San Francisco Chronicle. October 26, 2009. Recent months provide many examples of how social networks like Twitter and Facebook have quickly become a powerful yet inexpensive tool to raise money and awareness for charities, even at a time when the economy has reduced overall donations to nonprofit groups.
“Panhandlers move from street to Internet; Online sites offer a fertile venue for some in need.” By David Abel. Boston Globe. October 26, 2009. Digital panhandling is part of a new phenomenon among the homeless. Some homeless people now have blogs where they seek donations. There are web forums where the homeless exchange ideas, sites where people can donate money, and bulletin boards where penniless artists and foreclosure victims ask for cash. There’s even a Wikipedia entry for “Internet begging,’’ which is one of more than 3 million websites listed by a Google search of the term. According to Wikipedia, digital panhandling started in 2002, when Karyn Bosnak, a laid off TV producer who was mired in $25,000 in debt as a result of a shopping addiction, created SaveKaryn.com and raised money to pay her bills.