This past January, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog posted a blog entitled Saving the world through social media? How development is going digital. The blog explains how many development agencies and organizations are now using social media to disseminate information and raise awareness and funds. Social media provides development driven groups to accomplish many of its goals affordably and on a broader scale for the masses. The blog highlights the benefits of social media: “a potentially cheap and efficient way to link citizens with their governments, the chance to monitor real-time progress on projects, and the ability to connect people from remote parts of the world to share experiences and teach best practice.” This is accomplished through apps, Twitter, hashtags, Facebook and other sites.
Specifically the blog outlines Digital Green, a campaign that uses social media to share agricultural practices, supported by the Indian government and foreign donors. The site shares tips and videos from thousands of farmers that other farmers can access. It also supports Farmerbook, a social network for farmers to promote themselves. Farmers can ask questions and connect with others in the field (literally and figureatively).
According to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, Digital Leader and Crisis and expert in digital leadership, media and future trends relating to the digitial world, Facebook is the 3rd largest country in the world with 1 billion people. Additionally, social media has become the #1 activity on the Web. Therefore, it only makes sense why development organizations have turned to using social media for its campaigns and in providing information to the public.