Talk Together. Talk Loud. Talk About Poverty.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around, maybe it doesn't make a sound. But on October 15, 2008, over 20,000 trees are falling, and they plan to make a whole lot of people notice.

It's Blog Action Day 2008. And this is what it's all about ...

Can it make a difference? I think so.

In an interview the other day, I shared my worries about the effect technology has on the poor. Does it further the divide between the haves and have-nots? Does technology make those who don't have the opportunity to use it even weaker in a world that is increasingly dependent on it? Or do we celebrate the raised awareness? Do we celebrate that people can and do raise more money than ever because of that raised awareness? Do we celebrate that more people are taking an active role against poverty largely because of the connections and resources that technology has given them?

Talking won't solve everything. But it will get people involved. Here's a quick story:

In 2004, my friend (let's call him Jason) takes an evening trip to study in Boston, walking with noise-canceling headphones in the Fenway area. Jason has no clue that the Boston Red Sox are hosting the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. And to be fair, Jason doesn't really care. He has never liked baseball. Never cared about the Red Sox. Doesn't notice the New York Yankees. That is, Jason doesn't notice until he hears a sudden swell of noise. The noise rises over the Boston streets and cuts through the climax of "Karma Police" by Radiohead. Puzzled, he takes off his headphones and becomes engulfed by the sound of a David Ortiz home run, or a Dave Roberts stolen base off Mariano Rivera. 30,000 fans yelling. 30,000 fans screaming. The sound of 30,000 people happier than they've been in weeks.

"I love baseball." That's what Jason told me the next day. He was preaching to the choir, but that sure didn't help with my confusion. "I'm still not sure about the game, but anything that gets that many people that excited and that passionate, I have to love."

So pass on the word and yell a whole lot. Get people excited. Maybe, just maybe, the right ones will listen.

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