Friday, July 11, 2008

Social Networking for a Social Cause

I am just back from a visit to my alma mater, REC - now NIT - Trichy. I went to address students who were planning to apply to my company. Close to 16 years since I went back, and it was very cool to see some old faces and also to see the huge amount of improvements that have taken place.

But that's not what this blog is about. Some time ago, there was a request on the alumni bulletin board trying to raise funds for a school for the children of the college support staff. I spotted this and used linkedin and facebook to propagate it. Almost everyone I contacted came forward with a pledge we rapidly raised enough money to fund a classroom. So social networking works really well for a good cause - mainly because there is someone vouching for the cause and pulling it together, and it's nice to do things as a group you know. (In the past religious organizations were the main coordinators of this sort of thing. Which makes one wonder - has facebook replaced the town square/churches/temples where people used to hang out not so long ago?!)

The catch of course is how to reach the money to trichy, particularly from those outside India. Wouldn't it be cool if there was a global portal which took care of electronic money transfers for good causes? with a button on facebook and linkedIn of course!


raegan paul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raegan paul said...

check this out..

not a button on linkedin but dedicated networking for somebody gotta link this non-profit with 'profit' networking :)

daksh said...

Hi Jessica,

Glad to have discovered your blog :)

Interesting thoughts! I personally believe that key philosophy of social-networking is to use 'internet' as a platform and enable faster collaboration between individuals.

I do not think that social-networks will replace churches,temples and other places of interaction as they are another medium of interaction and in the real world.

The idea of linkedin/facebook badge for donation on such sites is nice one. Perhaps, even an online transaction button like 'paypal' should serve purpose :)

Jessie Paul said...

welcome! the recent past I have met more people offline whom I have connected with through facebook and linkedin than i have been to church :)

re paypal, good idea!

daksh said...

Hi Jessie !

Facebook is a wonderful platform..!

I've a couple of thoughts about it though:

a.) Its sheen has faded away since last year when it first opened the platform for developers..

b.) Focussing towards India the reach of orkut has been wider and deeper despite the fact that Facebook's functionality is stronger.

Also how do you cut-down the alerts that keep on coming in from your friends in Facebook?

Jessie Paul said...

Facebook, orkut, myspace all have their fans, just as yahoo and hotmail once did. Early days yet to see who will emerge as the final winner.

manuscrypts said...

hey, you should check this out -, thats in case you haven't already.. its in context :)

Jessie Paul said... is amazing and I wish I had seen it earlier!