Water.org recently launch The Giving Network, a social media platform that will allow anyone to get regular updates on projects in developing countries. Currently, you can only follow two projects. However, the organization plans to make the platform an open-source project after beta testing.
What makes this so exciting?
Normally, it is extremely difficult to know what is happening on the ground in international development projects. Sure, a charity will tell you about all the problems that need solving, show you pictures of children in Africa, and ask you for money. But rarely does a supporter of the organization know how the current aid projects are progressing. At best, you could look at some abstract figures in an annual report.
This platform looks like a completely different approach. By utilizing new developments in social media, Water.org is allowing anyone with an internet connection to get daily updates on progress.
In its current state, the platform leaves much to be desired (there is little tangible information). However, it is something to watch and see how it progresses.
As they develop the platform, Water.org is hoping that it will be able to expand the project to follow many more projects. And even better, they want other organizations to use it as well:
Ultimately, however, it wants the portal to be available for use by all charities. As a result, the project is open source. It uses a Django platform that incorporates support for Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps, and can also display content from the photo-sharing site Flickr, the video site Vimeo, and the blogging platform WordPress. [Philanthropy.com]
Right now, they are asking for feedback on the platform. So take a look. Give them some feedback! If you already have Facebook or Twitter (and who doesn’t?) there no need to create a new username or password.