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(Press release about this is here.)

Imagine a world where no one compares love to a red, red rose; a world where no one joins hands on December 31 and toasts Auld Lang Syne; a world where no one gathers on January 25 to celebrate a haggis: imagine a world without Robert Burns. Born in Scotland, the work of Burns has touched nearly everyone in the world in the 250 years since his birth.

It was Burns who prompted Abraham Lincoln (who is such an inspiration to Barack Obama) to say “I cannot frame a toast to Burns. I can say nothing worthy of his generous heart and transcendent genius. Thinking of what he has said, I cannot say anything worth saying.”

If there had been no Burns, what would John Steinbeck have called “of mice and men”?, What poet would be taught to Russian children?

Burns was one of the finest communicators of the 18th century and now the 21st century communicators have a chance to show their appreciation via Twitter.

This year of the Homecoming in Scotland sees the National Trust for Scotland begin work on a £21million museum – the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – but £4million is still needed to fully realise the project.

This site isn’t asking for £4million from you, it is merely looking for a couple of units of currency – a buck for burns, put on a pound, a ruble for Rabbie – or whatever you feel comfortable donating. And who knows, if enough is raised via online, perhaps part of the museum will be named after Twitter…

The aim here is to show the generosity of the web2.0 community – people who understand the benefit of good communication. To that end, the fundraising is being carried out via Twitter, Tipjoy and PayPal.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, then follow the simple steps below.

If you do have a Twitter account, all you have to do is enter your details and click ‘give & tweet’. After that it will take you to your PayPal account. If you don’t have or don’t want to use PayPal, there are other ways to donate and they will be mentioned at the bottom.

WHAT IS TWITTER/SETTING UP A TWITTER ACCOUNT

Twitter is the new online communications tool taking the world by storm, as seen by articles all over the mainstream press. Setting up a Twitter account is easy. Just follow these steps:
  • Go to www.twitter.com
  • Enter a name and password
  • Then enter some names of people you would like to follow. For example:

SETTING UP A PAYPAL ACCOUNT
Go to the startup page and don’t forget a bank, credit or debit card – it should take just a few minutes.

ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF DONATION
You can discuss donations by telephoning the Development Department on 0844 493 2113 during regular office hours or by email to development@nts.org.uk.

FAQ

What do I get for donating?
Every time someone tweets a donation, a line of Burns poetry will be posted at http://www.twitter.com/ayrshirebard with a thanks to the specific donor. There’s just over 100,000 lines of Burns poetry – wouldn’t it be great if we could get through them all? You will also get a mention on the blogroll at Burnstwitter.

Why is it in dollars?
That couldn’t be helped unfortunately, it’s a system of the fundraising mechanic.

Who is holding the money?
The money is held by Tipjoy and then will be passed on to the National Trust for Scotland.

Why are you doing this and why is the fundraising through this site and a free WordPress page?
The plan was to set up on a free WordPress page for basic details, with the rest of the details being driven through Twitter and other online. However, free WordPress pages cannot host the Tipjoy widgets hosted here, so it had to be hosted here. Why not use the National Trust for Scotland site? This came together at the last minute and this was the best option.

But why are you doing this? 
I work for DADA who are involved with the National Trust for Scotland over the new museum. 

It seems a bit suspicious
If you have any doubts, please don’t donate. Instead contact the Trust next week and arrange for an individual donation.

Do I have to donate just $2
No, you can give as much as you want. $2 just seemed like a fair sum. If you want do donate $250 for the 250th anniversary, then feel free 🙂

When is this running until?
Until Monday night, midnight GMT.

Why Twitter?
I’m a keen Tweeter (@craigmcgill) and I’m behind Burns on Twitter too (@ayrshirebard), so it seemed like a good fit.

I’d like some more details
There’s a full press release here.

I have a query that isn’t answered here
Then please email: burnstwitter@nts.org.uk.
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