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News from the Case Foundation and what people are talking about in the world of giving, tech and everything in between.
Jumo launches Last week marked the much anticipated launch of Jumo, a social network for causes from Facebook co-founder and Obama campaign star Chris Hughes. The beta launch, which was first reported several months ago, received quite a bit of press. This article from Fast Company gives a nice overview of the site and what Hughes hopes to accomplish:
The goal is to inspire good works through social discovery, trust, familiarity, and intimacy. “We are really more like a social news site,” he [Hughes] says, with an emphasis on social. “We believe that sustained giving happens only after you get to know an organization.”
The folks at TechCrunch had a favorable first impression of the Jumo concept, with blogger Alexia Tsotsis noting: "At first spin, the necessity for a niche social marketing platform for charities makes sense — I am usually too busy to think about how much I am actually concerned with stuff like global children’s health and usually don’t contribute to charity unless it hits me smack dab in the face..." The New York Times' coverage of the launch raised questions about social network burnout, and whether consumers are willing to add another site to their lineup, to which "Mr. Hughes said Jumo was not intended to compete with Facebook... Instead, he predicts that Facebook will become a ubiquitous backbone for the social Web, and that people will also use niche sites focused on specific interests and communities."
However, all of this press was not solely a good thing. As this Forbes post notes, the site was overwhelmed with traffic on launch day (and the days following), and many users had trouble signing up and navigating the site without encountering errors. In addition, much of the coverage of Jumo - from the philanthropy community in particular - was more critical. In a post on the Chronicle of Philanthropy on "Why the New Social Network Jumo Will Fail," guest blogger Mark Wilson states, "Jumo’s potential as some mainstream philanthropic Chosen One has a lot less reach than the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and The Huffington Post might make it seem." (To be fair, the Chronicle also published a counterpoint post on why Jumo will succeed). Nonprofit tech blogger Amy Sample Ward shared insight into her Jumo experience, expressing some frustration with the technical glitches as well as criticism of the current donation set up (which defaults to a 15% cut for Jumo).
Philanthropy and tech for good expert Lucy Bernholz blogged for the UK's Guardian on "Why Jumo, Facebook and the rest won't change everything," noting that "the embedding of knowledge sharing into online social networks such as on Facebook or the recently launched Jumo may be technologically 'iterative', but in terms of how we give, they may actually be a step backward."
Some embrace, some reject social media for World AIDS Day Last Wednesday was World AIDS Day, which has in the past few years become a big day for leveraging online social networks to raise awareness and dollars to combat the disease. Last year, several sites including YouTube, Google, Facebook and Twitter ran campaigns to turn the Web "red." This year, as our colleague Molly Porter reported, singer Alicia Keys took a different approach to social networks on World AIDS Day - with her "Buy Life" campaign. Several celebrities including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Kim Kardashian committed to stay off social networks until $1 million is raised for Keys' Keep a Child Alive organization. As this New York Times article reports, Keys, who has long been known for leveraging new technologies to raise funds for charity, is experimenting with barcode donations with a Buy Life t-shirt that triggers a donation when the barcode on the shirt is scanned. Unfortunately, the "digital death" experiment has fallen short of expectations, as this Examiner.com article shares, with roughly $300K raised for the campaign to date.
Other organizations, however, continued to embrace social media on the day. As this Techland post reports, a campaign from (RED) leveraged Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr, YouTube and other social sites to create a map that tracks AIDS awareness activity worldwide. Also, the United Nations AIDS Program aimed to make the hashtag #PreventionRevolution a trending topic on Twitter (more in this Mashable piece).
Philanthropy community puts pressure on Apple to enable iPhone donations Last week, a buzz in the philanthropy community began following this piece on tech blog Gizmodo, which asked, "Why does Apple make donation apps so hard?"and chronicled challenges that PayPal (via its partnership with MissionFish) and others have had on creating applications for the iPhone that enable users to make charitable contributions. Shortly after, social media for social good thought leader Beth Kanter declared her intention to switch from iPhone to Android and shared her frustration over at the Huffington Post, asking folks to sign an online petition directed to Steve Jobs and requesting that Apple support a donations functionality. The Chronicle of Philanthropy also covered this story, noting that Apple did not respond to requests for comment.
Gowalla launches integration with Foursquare, Facebook Places On Thursday morning, geosocial network Gowalla made waves when it released version 3 of its iPhone app, which features integration with other location services, including Foursquare, Facebook Places, Twitter and Tumblr. Mashable featured a great overview of the newly launched app, noting that Gowalla's "decision to add Foursquare positions Gowalla as the richest universal check-in app on the market." CNN.com also covered the announcement, with this quote from tech thought leader and blogger Anil Dash:
It's not too different from what Microsoft did when they were behind in the browser market or the spreadsheet market... If it succeeds, then Gowalla commoditizes the act of checking in, and can build a platform on top of that.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an in-depth Q&A with Josh Williams, CEO and founder of Gowalla, in which he shares insights into the decision to integrate with rivals (among other topics, including their recently announced partnership with Disney), and USA Today's Technology Live blog calls the new app "worth checking out." The Next Web's Location blog takes a different approach to covering the new version, highlighting its private messaging feature, which allows users to leave private notes for friends at various locations, noting that the feature may be an incentive for people to keep checking in once the thrill of earning badges, stamps and pins wears off for geo check-in users.
And speaking of Gowalla launches, the company also launched its first "Gifts on the Go." Every day from December 1-25, a different gift will be given to a number of users who check-in on Gowalla. So far, gifts have included iPod shuffles, Gowalla scarves and other fun items.
Other links we like: Red Cross holiday giving survey; empowering social media giving this holiday season Recently, the Red Cross published its findings from a national survey it conducted on charitable giving this holiday season. USA Today, among many other media outlets, shared the results of the study, which found that 72% of respondents plan to give the same or more to charity as they did last year. They also contributed this guest post with ways to give back this holiday season, published on the Case Foundation blog yesterday. And speaking of the holidays, Mashable has a nice post on "3 Ways to Empower Social Media Giving this Holiday Season."