This coming Wednesday, a number of online celebrity voices will be going dark. Lady Gaga, David LaChapelle, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Serena Williams, Kim Kardashian and Elijah Wood will sign off of their Twitter accounts. They will not "rise from the dead" to tweet again until fans help raise $1 million for charity.
The innovative campaign is the brainchild of Grammy-award winning singer Alicia Keys, who is using the online "deaths" to raise money for her Keep a Child Alive foundation
, which finances medical care and support services for children and families affected by HIV and AIDS in Africa and India.
In late September, the 29-year-old started the website Buy Life, which sells $35 tees printed with a bar code. Using smart phones, people can scan the tees to donate cash and essentially help "buy a life." Celebrities participating in the campaign that starts Dec. 1 will use the same system to raise the cash needed to bring them back online. A texting donation option will also be offered.
“You’re always texting your friends,” Keyes said. “Now, you’re going to text to Buy Life.”
Yet another brilliant use of technology to raise cash for a worthy project. No doubt we'll see more benefits in the future leveraging social networks like Twitter and Facebook for good. I'll keep you updated on the progress of this campaign after it kicks off later this week.