Brit Is World’s Fastest Texter. Or. Get Ready to Feel Old and Slow.

I’m not sure whether or not this PR stunt was planned, but it seems a young woman in the UK is soon to be dubbed the world’s fastest texter and the people at Samsung have been quick to muster around their SWYPE keypad.

An impromptu challenge while shopping with her boyfriend near Manchester, UK had 27-year old Melissa Thompson text:

“the razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human”

Try it. You’ll soon feel like a neanderthal trying to text using a tomato. Ms. Thompson did it in just 25.94 seconds.

Europe trails only Asia in SMS usage and the US isn’t far behind. We’re talking billions of messages sent each month which is why Brits may knock out the rest of the competition. And the growth of mobile in the hands of parents and grandparents will only underline the need for easier, (read: arthritic-free) texting solutions. SWYPE may be onto something.

Will SWYPE kill QWERTY? Will consumers soon groan at having to pick up their fingers while typing the way we  criticize multi-touch keypads? Pressing a keypad three times to yield a single letter? I mean, REALLY.

Full story here.

“Thank God For Facebook.” Social Media Unites, Raises Millions For Haiti Relief

Earthquake Haiti on Facebook

It’s been a grueling couple of days since the 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti.

At this moment millions are quite literally missing and families all over the world are grappling at any form of communication to possibly get word in or out.

Perhaps if there’s anything remarkable to report on, it’s how social media, be it Twitter or Facebook or Text messages have become a primary source for information and fund-raising that’s down right record-breaking.

As cell phones and landlines quickly became obsolete, throngs in and out of the country turned to social media. Within hours, fund-raising portals were set up at the American Red Cross, the Clinton Foundation and countless others, including celebrity organizations like Wyclef Jean’s YELE.

Reports are early, but according to Mashable, the American Red Cross has already raised $5,000,000 via text messages. Then tonight on Twitter, “@Anncurry: As of 7 pm total donations for Haiti relief through the SMS campaign (texting 90999) is $5.9 Million.” Amazing.

Facebook and Twitter have become gathering areas for loved ones, journalists, iReporters and everyone in between as they try to pluck reliable real-time feedback or simply show their support.

For those of us who’ve been fighting to convince others of the power of social media, but perhaps focusing too much on $$$$ or brand equity, take a step back and look at the past 72 hours. Without social media, the fate of my best friend and her family would still remain unknown. Monies would not have been so easily freed with the click of an iPhone. Now, multiply that by millions.