Just a few short weeks ago, hurricane Katrina
stunned the Gulf coast with its power and ferocity. As President
George Bush aptly stated, ''millions of lives were changed in a day
by a cruel and wasteful storm''.
The resulting recovery and
charitable giving efforts were equally unprecedented. As
compassionate persons from around the globe stepped up to help, the
web site at www.redcross.org began to funnel donations directly to
those in need.
At the peak of activity, the redcross.org
donation site was receiving 1.7 million page views and 512,000
unique visitors in a single day. The overflow of traffic could
potentially have overwhelmed the site, if not for a different type
of charitable giving - the hardware, software and human resources to
keep the site live and accepting the critical donations. This task
was generously undertaken by Yahoo! Small Business.
According to Jimmy Duvall, Director of E-Commerce Products,
Yahoo! Small Business ''The site was hosted on the Yahoo! Merchant
Solutions platform, the same systems that are offered to over 35,000
Yahoo! Small Business customers. All transactions were handled via
the Merchant Solutions platform with funds going directly into the
merchant account provide by the Red Cross.''
A recent tally
put the contributions of the donation site hosted by Yahoo! at over
$55.5 million in donations from over 390,000 separate donors.
The Redcross.org donation site itself was served via the
load balanced Yahoo! Merchant Solution platform. Yahoo! uses
theFreeBSD operating system for the site operating system. Three
separate storefronts were used to distribute the backend credit card
processing. Minimal resources were required to build and manage the
site. One person handled virtually all aspects of thesite with
operational monitoring provided by the Yahoo! Small Business
Operations and Engineering teams.
According to Meg
Garlinghouse, Director, Community Affairs with Yahoo!, ''Yahoo! has
had a long standing relationship with the Red Cross. During 9/11 the
Red Cross contacted us because they were having difficulty
sustaining the traffic to their site generally and specifically to
the donation engine. That was the first time that we used our Yahoo!
Store functionality to process donations for them as well as three
''We have worked closely together
with the Red Cross since our inception 10 years ago. During
non-disaster times, we support them with general advertising on our
site. This advertising is increased during any disaster - small or
large. The Internet has played a critical role in times of disaster
- not only for fundraising but also for providing critical
information and also connecting loved ones'', Garlinghouse added.
Web hosting analyst, Derek Vaughan, with TechPad Agency
commented, ''It is critical that the web hosting industry respond
with full force to support those in the areas affected by Katrina.
Yahoo! is setting the standard for our industry to follow in this
The Hosting News applauds Yahoo! Small Business
for their outstanding contribution to the Katrina relief efforts. To
find out more about how you can help the victims of Katrina, please
visit: http://www.redcross.org/. For further information
on Yahoo's view of corporate social responsibility and nonprofit
partnerships, please visit: http://brand.yahoo.com/forgood.