(Image Source: CNN Money)

 

BY ALLYSON BROWN

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN


The South by Southwest tech conference is generating buzz — by turning homeless people into Wi-Fi hotspots. CNN says


“It's part marketing stunt, part genuine charitable initiative ...”


Fox News explains that a homeless person walks around the festival wearing a T-shirt advertising the wi-fi access. Conference-goers are encouraged to pay two dollars for 15 minutes of service, but any donation is acceptable. The proceeds from that donation go entirely to the homeless person. But -- some don’t support the idea.


“[The homeless people] actually carry the physical hot spot in their pocket. The service has sparked debates all over the internet. Some say the men are being used as objects and others say they're getting paid, what's the big deal?”



And a Washington Post columnist says society’s need for Internet has put our moral compass in question.


“So many homeless, and such a need in today’s society for fast Internet access--put them together and what have you got … a dangerously new low in degrading the human being down to the level of a listening post.

But the ad agency that launched the project is firing back, arguing some information shared to date is inaccurate. The agency reiterates there is no commercial benefit ...the homeless keep what they earn …. and the test program only lasts as long as the festival.

“Another bit of information being reported inaccurately relates to the finances of the homeless individuals participating. To clarify: These volunteers were guaranteed make at least $50/day, for a maximum of 6 hours work.”


But how do the hotspots -- meaning the homeless people -- feel? One is a man named Clarence who was rendered homeless by Hurricane Katrina. He says the experience was an honest day’s work.

““Everyone thinks I’m getting the rough end of the stick, but I don’t feel that … I love talking to people and it’s a job. An honest day of work and pay.”

Ad Agency at SXSW Turns Homeless into Hotspots

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Mar 13, 2012

Ad Agency at SXSW Turns Homeless into Hotspots

(Image Source: CNN Money)

 

BY ALLYSON BROWN

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN


The South by Southwest tech conference is generating buzz — by turning homeless people into Wi-Fi hotspots. CNN says


“It's part marketing stunt, part genuine charitable initiative ...”


Fox News explains that a homeless person walks around the festival wearing a T-shirt advertising the wi-fi access. Conference-goers are encouraged to pay two dollars for 15 minutes of service, but any donation is acceptable. The proceeds from that donation go entirely to the homeless person. But -- some don’t support the idea.


“[The homeless people] actually carry the physical hot spot in their pocket. The service has sparked debates all over the internet. Some say the men are being used as objects and others say they're getting paid, what's the big deal?”



And a Washington Post columnist says society’s need for Internet has put our moral compass in question.


“So many homeless, and such a need in today’s society for fast Internet access--put them together and what have you got … a dangerously new low in degrading the human being down to the level of a listening post.

But the ad agency that launched the project is firing back, arguing some information shared to date is inaccurate. The agency reiterates there is no commercial benefit ...the homeless keep what they earn …. and the test program only lasts as long as the festival.

“Another bit of information being reported inaccurately relates to the finances of the homeless individuals participating. To clarify: These volunteers were guaranteed make at least $50/day, for a maximum of 6 hours work.”


But how do the hotspots -- meaning the homeless people -- feel? One is a man named Clarence who was rendered homeless by Hurricane Katrina. He says the experience was an honest day’s work.

““Everyone thinks I’m getting the rough end of the stick, but I don’t feel that … I love talking to people and it’s a job. An honest day of work and pay.”

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