January 22, 2004


I've been donating blood on and off for at least 23 years and several gallons worth. It's something I feel unequivocally good about doing, and it has the nice property that, since there's no direct benefit to you and you don't really know who will benefit from your donation, there's no sense of a transaction happening. It's a reasonably pure act of kindness toward your fellow humans. Er, except for the cookies, that is.

The last time I gave blood, I moblogged the pictures linked above with my Nokia. The nurses thought that was a little weird, but I explained a bit about blogging to them and then they thought it was cool. I was thinking it would be fun to try getting other bloggers to give blood themselves, then blog about their experiences.

Now I notice that my local blood bank publishes their current inventory on the web, so you can decide when is the most useful time to donate your particular flavor. Well that's pretty neat...so how hard would it be to make a little widget that took this kind of data (ideally in an RSS feed), combine it with some location ID thing like GeoURL, and paint it onto a map to show the national/global need for blood donations?

Okay, so two challenges here:

1) If you're a blogger, go donate blood* and then blog about it. If you're not a blogger, go donate blood and then start your new blog, you'll have a great first post all set to go ;-)

2) A lazy web project to make a geographically indexed web app showing demand for blood at local blood banks. See this for inspiration. Maybe add a calendar/reminder widget so that people like me will remember when they are eligible to give another pint.

Yours in B-positivity...

* Check the requirements before you go, eh? -- 110+ lbs, don't be sick, no exposure to nasty diseases, no weird meds, etc.

Posted by Gene at January 22, 2004 12:33 AM | TrackBack

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