Jumo: Using the Social Web to Instigate Social Change
21 September 2010 at 5:37 pm
US Social Media wonderkid Chris Hughes has shed some light on his new startup Jumo – which he describes as a network to connect people working to change the world.
Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and online campaign coordinator for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, announced he was working on Jumo in March this year, describing it as philanthropy, volunteerism and social networking all rolled into one.
At the Mashable and 92Y Social Good Summit, a meeting billed as 'today's most inspirational and promising leaders discussing effective ways in which new media can help address the world’s challenges', Hughes unveiled more details of the project, due for beta launch late this year.
Hughes says at Jumo they are building the infrastructure to make it easy for people to find, follow and support those that are working towards creating change and finding solutions to problems around the globe.
Hughes says it is hard for everyday people to take action to support social change – finding the right organisation to support is difficult, staying in touch with an organisation even more so, and hardest of all is finding a way to meaningfully support its work.
Hughes says relationship maps are proliferating across the web in 2010, as a way of reflecting and fostering connections between people and the themes and ideas they care about. Facebook maps connections between people, Yelp maps relationships between people and commercial entities, and Amazon between people and the consumer goods they are likely to be interested in.
Hughes says that there is no network to connect people who are working to change the world, and in 2010 this is outrageous. He says this is what Jumo is building.
Hughes describes the Jumo approach as find, follow and support, and breaks it down as follows:
Find – People share a latent desire to help others, but many people don't know how they want to effect change. If a person is interested in supporting education in India, how do they do this? Most people won't Google 'Education in India', but even if they do the results are not very useful.
Jumo finds an organisation that is aligned with the interests of a user, connecting them with it directly. As Jumo grows, Hughes says the recommendation ability of Jumo will become better.
Follow – Hughes says that even when someone finds an organisation they like, it is hard to keep connected to the organisation – even the best organisation drops out of mind. Jumo is designed to fill this vaccum, providing a stream of updates to the user, customised to their area of interest. Users are not expected to visit Jumo everyday – instead it connects to users across email, facebook and mobile devices.
Support – Hughes says that in the Jumo approach, supporting an organisation with time, feedback and resources comes last – after a relationship has been formed between the user and organisation. Hughes Jumo takes its cue here from the offline world – the expectation is an organisation gets to know a donor and helps them understand the program before discussing how to best support the work.
Hughes says he wants to pivot away from an era where the donate button is bright and flashing at the top of websites to an era where people are connected to an issue and organisation they care about and can keep up with, just as they keep up with their friends on facebook.
Hughes says people working to create change need a network that can connect them to the individuals who are likely to be interested in them – and everyday people need a system that makes it easy to find, follow and support those working on the ground to create change.
US Not for Profit organisations with a 501c classification will be able to sign up and create pages for their organisation once the site is launched later this year. Organisations outside the US will be able to create pages, however details on how this will occur are not yet available.
View Hughes' full speech here: