With over 300,000 “followers” on Twitter, New York-based charity: water reaches by far the largest audience in the water sector, a search in Twitter’s yellow pages, Twellow, reveals.
Twitter is a free micro-blogging service that lets users send and receive short messages via the web or mobile devices. Water charities, especially in the United States, have embraced the “SMS of the Internet” to communicate with their supporters.
Charity: water’s huge following on Twitter is not surprising. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (650,000 followers) promoted charity: water in his September 2008 Twitter newsletter.
By hosting “Twestivals” simultaneously in 202 cities around the world in February 2009, charity: water’s supporters helped raise over US$ 250,000 for water projects. And two months later when actor Hugh Jackman pledged to donate A$100,000 via Twitter, charity: water took home half of the prize thanks to a lobby by its followers.
In the “Water Twitter Top Ten”, UNICEF USA’s Tap Project campaign takes up second place behind charity: water with a “meager” 7,000 followers. The only non-charities in the top ten are the advocacy group Food and Water Watch and a company promoting rainwater harvesting. At no. 10, we find WaterAid UK, the only non-USA-based organisation. See the full top 10 below.
Further down in the Twitter water rankings, US-based charities and NGOs remain the dominant force, especially those whose sole or main function is fundraising. Organisations from the government, private and academic sectors, seem slow or reluctant to jump on the Twitter bandwagon.
Sanitation is poorly represented too: World Famous Toilets has 910 followers on Twitter, while the World Toilet Organization (WTO) has attracted a mere 31.And so far, there are no “tweets on water” being sent from developing countries.
View the Water Twitter Top Ten here and a longer WASH on Twitter list, by organisation-type, here.