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All A-Twitter

“This week Ashton Kutcher (aka @aplusk) broke the one million mark in Twitter followers and introduced Oprah (@oprah) to the phenomenon. He’s also using his fame and Twitterlebrity to raise awareness of malaria and ask fans to support Malaria No More in sending insecticide-treated mosquito nets to African countries where they are needed most.” So reports the blog celebrity-baby (of which we are, of course, devoted readers).

Kutcher, the “other half” of Demi Moore, is now the leading celanthropist when it comes to using the new media to promote a cause. (Point of information for those who think philanthrocapitalism is an ugly word: “celanthropist” was coined by Time magazine, whilst the winner is surely celebrity-baby’s Twitterlebrity.) However, if Oprah starts to “tweet” on a regular basis, she will soon overtake him.

Ray Chambers, the billionaire philanthrocapitalist who helped found Malaria No More, was excited about the potential of Twitter and other interactive technologies to help change the world, when he
spoke on April 17th at Georgetown University’s well-attended and strikingly upbeat Global Forum on “Profit, Policy and Philanthropy: The Keys to Global Development” (at which Matthew also spoke).

Malaria No More is fast emerging as one of the most innovative and effective partnerships in the world of philanthrocapitalism, with a coalition spanning News Corp to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and best-selling purpose-driven evangelical minister Rick Warren to, well, Ashton Kutcher. Read Matthew’s account of the entertaining goings-on at its first White house Summit here.

Whatever happens to the economy, we expect doing good to be transformed over the next few years by interactive technologies. Among other things, this will enable all donors – not just the super rich – to have greater confidence that their money is having an impact. It will also enable one of the most frequently ignored groups to have more of a voice – the needy people who philanthropy, large and small, is trying to help. We are big fans of internet-based organisations such as Kiva.org, DonorsChoose.org and globalgiving.com – but we also think they are only the beginning of what will be a revolutionary change. For a good read on the potential, we recommend “Causewired” by Tom Watson.

For anyone bemused by Twitter, check out this naughty Stephen Colbert moment as well as this how-to video on youtube. Matthew will start to “tweet” more frequently under the alias @mattbish. Help him beat Oprah to the two million mark by signing up to “follow” him here.

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