I just posted over on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog on People-Powered Content: It’s Driving the Web and Could Drive Your Community! Head over to the SSIR blog to read the full post and comment!
From every corner of the Web, we can see how Web sites, campaigns, news and even fundraising is shifting from organizations and corporations at the wheel to individuals taking the driver’s seat. Is it good? It most certainly is!
We are seeing it more and more often. Organizations like The Nature Conservancy have created ways for supporters to contribute photos of nature via the Flickr group and the 2008 Photography contest. Engaging long-time supporters who enjoy taking pictures and letting nature photo enthusiasts become supporters through appealing to what they are already interested in.
News organizations have wrapped their arms around the citizen-created content wave as well. Uses of comments on news stories online are abundant. Citizen journalism like community-based news sites and iReport are inspiring more and more citizen journalist participation every day. Even citizen-inspried content like Spot.Us invites individuals to jump in.
The citizen-created content isn’t just for news and photos, though. Ushahidi, a platform that enables citizens to use SMS text messages to report incidents of violence in crisis zones to be mapped online, has just released another deployment of it’s engine—this time for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Twitter Vote Report, allowed voters to send messages via Twitter (either through SMS text messages or a web browser) with information about wait times or even fraud at polling places, to be mapped online. Both platforms let citizens share important information with others in their specific geographic location, as well as with the world, creating a more connected and transparent process.
Even President-Elect Obama is channeling the citizen-driven voice. On his website, Change.gov, citizens of both the US and the world are invited to share ideas, recommendations and priorities about policies and issues. Inviting anyone to participate.
It’s clear that the citizen-powered web is here. But, what about nonprofit organizations working hard to make a difference in the community and world at large—how do they ignite citizens and supporters?
For ways your organization can identify what your community wants to do for you, read on at SSIR!