Perhaps the most difficult, yet the most rewarding part of building my business has been the direct contact that I've had with so many of my customers. I've had people contact me from nearly all of the 150 countries with stations listed in the app.
I'm not going to try get all philosophical about it, but those contacts had given me the chance to get to know via email at least three people directly affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti. In fact, I became aware of the earthquake when a user reported to me that several Haitian radio stations were not working, leading me to a station's website where pictures of the disaster were already posted, and the reason the streams were down became obvious.
As I read more about it, I wanted to do something to help so when I read that a group of indie software developers were going to give a day's worth of sales for relief for Haiti, I wanted to be a part of that. I'm still not sure whether I should have just done it on my own without any fanfare or whether joining forces with this effort will have a greater impact, but I guess I'll know better in 2 days.
So if you haven't bought ooTunes Radio for your iPhone or iPod Touch and you're considering it, today (January 20th, 2009) is as good a day as any to do so. If you've enjoyed the app and think a friend might enjoy it as well, let them know! Otherwise, checkout the list of all the other participating independent developers.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and their families and those volunteers who are helping in the relief efforts. My hope is that as people recover and rebuild they will be stronger and more united as a result. I believe there is a potential effect from every natural disaster that is to test both those impacted as well as the rest of the world to give us opportunities to serve and mourn and act to help those in need.