Friday, July 07, 2006

Open Question

"Bono" asks on Yahoo! Questions:

"What can we do to make poverty history?"

I've never used Yahoo! Questions, but have thought about using it to build awareness or provide content to patients and caregivers... haven't really figured it out (or had Bono help by asking a question for us).

Unbelievably, there are more than 15,000 answers to Bono's question in less than 24 hours! That's amazing! I'm not naive though- Yahoo! has promoted this well by putting Bono's "profile" on the questions home page (and promoted it in Yahoo! mail - which is how I first noticed it).

This is a fascinating use of Yahoo! Questions I think... clearly they are not actually expecting the answer - but maybe, just maybe they are building additional awareness for the issue and allowing people to voice their opinions?

Let's see how it's working out... here are some selected answers:
  • Its impossible.
  • Maybe rich white uncle toms ought to look at the poverty crisis in THEIR OWN COUNTRY first before trying to solve unsolveable problems in other countries!
  • Maybe rich white singers in far off lands should sell their mansions, limos, and clothes, get off their narcissistic trip and give it all to the poor.
  • Dude. Hate to be a bubble burster but if you cannot do anything to erradicate poverty in your own country what the devil makes you think that you are going to do it anywhere else on this planet?
Hmm... maybe this is backfiring a bit? Let's try these slightly more constructive ones:
  • Share
  • Let's put 400% tax on luxurious items, such as sun glasses that costs over $50, leather jackets over $300, first class plane tickets, hotel's president's suites, etc, and put the tax money to fight poverty.
  • Follow in Bill Gates and Warren Buffetts footsteps, little by little.
  • create an international currency of cookies. Everyone loves cookies. Anyone can make cookies.
My favorite posts though are the ones written like a letter back to Bono (folks, Bono didn't actually pose or post the question!)

Geez - tough one - with a tough answer. What does poverty matter if dying is a reality through genocide and constant civil unrest?
Fun stuff. Meanwhile, Yahoo! has all these users posting content (free access to tons of user content) and rewards posters with points, levels and stats...

How does this affect a NPO? I searched for "leukemia" and found some fascinating things among the 506 responses:
  • How do you deal with your child possibly being diagnosed with leukemia? 20 answers
  • Can you have leukemia without having the typical bleeding and bruising that usually accompanies it? 5 answers
  • how do you know weather you've got leukemia? 20 answers
  • i found out that my friend has Leukemia.? 22 answers
Additionally, Lymphoma had 284 questions, Myeloma 59 and Team In Training had 4... I'm not saying that we should intervene or even put in our $.02, but clearly patients and caregivers are asking the questions - and others are providing answers...
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