Social Media Giants Unite to End Malaria

While his Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams and the rest of the South by Southwest Interactive crowds were bouncing between dueling Foursquare, Twitter, Mashable and StumbleUpon parties last night, Biz Stone was announcing his membership in the UN's "Social Media Envoy" -- through a tweet of course.

Today, United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, announced the formation of a Social Media Envoy group chartered with inspiring and activating social media audiences throughout the year in support of malaria control. The Social Media Envoys are dedicated to utilizing their social profile to keep online and offline media audiences focused on the movement, milestones and resources required to achieve the Secretary-General's goal of providing all endemic African countries with malaria control interventions by the end of 2010.

The group includes a predictable list of Social Media queens and kings including Mashable's, Pete Cashmore; Arianna Huffington; Alyssa Milano; Ryan Seacrest; and Sarah Brown, wife of UK Prime Minister and maternal health activist. The full list is below. Noticeably absent from the launch group is, Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) the man who revolutionized the use of Twitter for a good cause in his race to 1 million followers against CNN. Larry King is on the list. However, Kutcher has been tweeting under the #socialmediaenvoy tag and I'm sure he will officially join the Social Media Envoys for their April 25th launch. The group has pledged to take at least one Social Media action in support of ending malaria each month for a year.

In case Twitter's dominance was in doubt, every Envoy member is listed with a link to their Twitter profile with the exception of Facebook's Randi Zuckerberg. She naturally links to her infrequently updated (by comaprison to the twitterati) Facebook page.

While the announcement timing coincdied with SXSWi, I've seen no sign of the Social Media Envoy here in Austin. In fact, unlisted member Ashton, is the only one I've seen running around SXSW tweeting it and talking it up. Evan Williams (@ev) didn't mention the program during his keynote fact, he didn't even give his buddy Biz (@biz) a ReTweet! I guess it's up to us, and Ashton.

RT @biz Malaria is a devastating disease--together we can help! #socialmediaenvoy

The Future Starts, erm...Everywhere.

(Cross-posted from Future:Media:Change)

The 2010 Social Media Envoys include: