Internet and Broadband It's easy to mock the banality and self-regard of the average Twitter user (and fun, too), but the Twitterati can be surprisingly altruistic when the occasion calls for it. And when there's a celebrity or two involved.

Trent Reznor, of the rock band Nine Inch Nails, used his Twitter account (followers: 577,437) to publicise the case of Eric De La Cruz, a Nevada resident who needs a heart transplant and can't get medical insurance because of a pre-existing condition. Reznor (together with another band, Jane's Addiction) also offered VIP tickets to concerts in return for donations to the cause.

Twitter fans, it turned out, are both deep of pocket and big of heart, and a stunning $850,000 was raised. The campaign, in fact, was so successful that the bands ran out of VIP tickets to their shows, and have started offering signed Tony Hawk skateboards instead.

It may be worth pointing out that, as well as having a millionaire rock band as fundraisers, Mr De La Cruz is the brother of a well-known CNN newsreader in the States, so this may not entirely explode the theory that Twitter is basically a bit shallow. But it makes a nice change to see the power of the online mob used for good. Well done, The Internet.

For more banality and self-regard, follow David Price on Twitter (followers: 103)

See also:

The 10 best Twitter add-ons

How to remove Mikeyy and Conficker

Wossy reveals himself on Twitter

Via Switched