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    Can the Internet have a heart?

    by Paul Lamb
    October 11, 2008

    I attended a conference on “Online Giving Marketplaces” at Stanford University this past week, which was a great gathering of online donation, volunteer, and social matchmaking sites like Kiva.org and GlobalGiving. The kind of organizations that are doing in the social service sector what sites like Prosper.com are doing in the commercial peer to peer space. One site among many worth checking out is ModestNeeds, which gives grants of up to $5,000 to average folks – for things like paying off overdue bills and rent, etc. In these challenging economic times it’s a welcome and important service.

    One of the sessions was titled “Online Giving Markets: Niche or Revolution”. Even though the session didn’t frame the online giving trend as revolutionary (at this point less than 1% of giving is done online), personally I think they are on to something BIG. And organizations like Social Actions get that and are pushing the envelope. Here’s an attempt to explain where things could and perhaps should be headed, from a ComputerWorld piece…

    note: This post was also published on SmartMobs.com

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    Tagged: computerworld globalgiving kiva modestneeds online giving marketplaces prosper socialactions stanford
    • Paul, I like your topics. I read your longer article. It’s helpful to see all the links and ideas in one posts. I like that the Social Actions website lists the communities that it aggregates actions from. However, it is disappointing, as usual, that Social Actions uses a Creative Commons “share alike” license – a license that conflicts with the Public Domain – in that it keeps Public Domain venues (like our Minciu Sodas venues) from using their material. The willingness to share content – without requiring the tracking of license, or attribution – is I think the litmus test for a sharing, caring person. It is sad that sites like Kiva do not allow their content to be shared or their participants to be contacted. I don’t see how we can organize a culture of sharing or caring with such walls. Thank you, Andrius

    • Good point Andrius, and I couldn’t agree more that we have some serious walls to break down for all of this to work!

    • Paul, Thank you for your encouragement. Keep going strong!

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