For many of us, the internet is an integral part of our lives. Aside from my personal use to book trips, make online purchases and get directions through MapQuest, my focus is generally how it is used as a tool for businesses. I read about best practices in website building, the latest CMS technology, trends, internet marketing, etc. Recently, I have ran across a few examples of incredible websites which were focused on good works and realized that I love that aspect of the web, bringing a community together to help solve a problem.
The first example is 300house.com. “The goal is to design, build, and deploy a simple dwelling which keeps a family safe from the weather, allows them to sleep at night, and gives them a little bit of dignity. If we can give the poor a chance to live safely and build an inclusive ecosystem of services around them which includes, clean water, sanitation, health services, family planning, education, and micro enterprise, maybe we can start reducing the disease of poverty.” What an amazing goal. I joined their Google Group and love hearing about all the ideas and even hearing the naysayers point of view. I am learning about everything from cultural differences to building techniques. I hope a $300 house becomes a reality and the power of a community shines! In my mind, it already shines with the exchange of ideas and passion that people all over the world have to help end homelessness.
Another incredible site is Sparked.com, where people can microvolunteer! Nonprofits sign up and post their “challenges”. When a microvolunteer logs into Sparked, their challenge-matching engine recommends a series of challenges based on the person’s skills and interests profile. The volunteer opportunities are meant to take only a short period of time. It might be editing or copywriting an article, or upgrading their web copy. It might be web research, design—something that might take just a few minutes. Wouldn’t it be great to impact the world from your desk while on a coffee break? You can do that with the internet.
So take a look at your community—that group of like minded folks that care about the things you do—whether that be animals, civil rights, health, poverty, or a host of other things. Can you do something for your community through the internet? Now there are more and more opportunities to make that happen. Take a few minutes today and help the world.