Going to the Company Elders for Help. Retired HP employees work as volunteer salespeople. That’s community. How could we leverage that to change the world?
Kevin Dean (full disclosure: he’s my husband) reviews a new social networking site at the Foreign Policy Association Philanthropy blog:
“For everyone who has ever struggled to find the entertainment in sending their friends imaginary cupcakes, there is now Unltdworld.com, a social networking website that aims to bring together socially conscious people and help them benefit their own communities.”
I agree with Kevin that I just don’t get the point of most social networking sites. There’s no there there. I don’t understand what I am supposed to be doing. A site like Unltdworld.com might be able to get beyond that by offering a social object. Something to talk about, at least.
I clicked through the Unltdworld tour, and it seems like your standard-issue social networking deal. I may join, but I am not sure. If I do join, it will be because I am intrigued by the Research Lab feature:
The UnLtdWorld Research Lab is the world’s first dynamic mapping and graphing of social entrepreneurship, and of social and environmental issues. The Research Lab will also operate as an open platform allowing any individual or organisation to access and use the metadata for external projects, and for partners to inform targeted applications that interact with relevant segments of the network, both on UnLtdWorld and beyond.
I’ve been keeping tabs on a lot of interesting efforts to create community, both in real life and online. I think that creating community is key to behavior change, and behavior change, as I have said before, is key to just about everything.
One thing which has interested me is the Kimkins scandal. Kimkins is a very low-calorie diet plan promulgated primarily through a website, Kimkins.com. When looked at objectively, the Kimkins plan is completely nuts. It’s low calorie enough to wreck your metabolism, and makes no nutritional sense. The people doing the diet, though, are committed to the community of which they are part.
It has turned out that the woman who created the diet has no nutritional background, and did not in fact lose all the weight she claimed to have lost. There are pro-Kimkins sites to be found, such as this one, and a plethora of anti–Kimkins websites. On both sides, what everyone is most intense about is the Kimkins community. Was it betrayed? Is it in denial and needs to be saved?
The community in question is a web-forum, but it has created a passion, and an impact on human behavior that is more than many geographical places could. Wouldn’t it be amazing to harness community power like that to create positive change?