Posts Tagged ‘web2.0’
Would it be possible to run an atheist soup kitchen? (This isn’t an entirely idle question…)
A soup kitchen needs some fixed assets (space, pots, plates), and a reliable supply of three resources:
- Perishable goods, aka groceries.
- Modest finances to cover operating costs.
Let’s assume we have an intitial investment to cover fixed costs (from municipalities, foundations, etc.). The main challenge is sustaining a flow of resources over time. So –
- Use http://www.freecycle.org/ to allow businesses and individuals to contribute borderline dated consumables. There’s more going down the drains than you need, and you’d be helping the environment at the same time. Might need to liaise with the http://www.freecycle.org/ guys to tweak their terms of service, but I don’t see a problem there.
- Use http://www.timebank.org.uk/ to recruit and time-manage volunteers.
- Use facebook causes, http://www.justgiving.com/ and similar to raise money. You can also use these and other social-net’ing tools to recruit and promote.
Now, for some administrative health:
- Use a wiki (such as wikia or google sites) to share organisational knowledge among kitchens.
- Maintain a public facing blog, with at least 2 posts a day: one informational, one opinion.
- Use google app engine to construct and manage your operations database.
- Use ZohoCRM to manage supply chains.
- List locations of your soup kitchens on http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter
And some PR:
- Get the right people to blog about you.
- Get some good viral videos out there on youtube.
- Publish a constant flow of heart-warming stories of champion volonteers and some heart-breaking stories of your clients.
Make a habit of innovation. Make your core service 5% more eficient each year, and use the residue to develop new services.
By the way, here in the civilised world we have an atheist soup kitchen, its called a welfare state. Not as streamlined, not as sexy, but it does keep people from freezing in the streets.
Written by yishaym
December 1, 2008 at 3:37 pm
FaceBook’s strategy may be genius, or it may be bonkers. I’m betting on bonkers – and praying for it too. Yes, privacy is dead, it has been for a while now. But this is taking it to an extreme. There an old line from an old radio sketch that comes to mind: yes, everyone pisses in the pool, but they don’t do it from the top of the jumping board.
Google has been serving me ads tailored for my behaviour for ages. Whether it’s adsense or the little clips on my gmail. Amazon tells me that people who bought this book also liked that one. The big difference is that whatever is personal, stays personal. No one tells my friends what I bought unless I do.
Mr. Zuckerberg thinks we’re ready to cross that bridge: hand over whatever is left of our dignity to the noble cause of making corporates richer. It kinda makes sense with the MS deal. Funny, how the same people who will go to great lengths to protect “their” intellectual property (read: DRM) are so eager to violate ours.
The irony is that FaceBook will fail, but not because the masses will awake. It will fail for the same reason that Friendster, Yahoo360 and so many of its predecessors failed: our short span of attention, and our low tolerance of bad products. And let’s say it once and for all: FaceBook is a crap product. Don’t give me the 800M users can’t all be wrong. They’re not. They came, had some fun, and will soon move on to something new. Why? Because FB gives you very little in terms of actual social value. Ok, you threw a fish at me, I joined your save the penguins cause. Now what? What does FB give me, in terms of managing my life, that email doesn’t? In fact, in most cases – it’s just a pain compared to email. Even the big API hoo-ha turned out to be an embarrassment. The only FB applications that carry any weight are those that point you to external services, like Zoho. Believe me, I’ve tried them.
Now google, that’s a different story. I can communicate with my friends with gmail, share document and edit them collaboratively, coordinate social activities with my calender and mailing lists. And you know what? I don’t mind their targeted ads, because their targeting actually works: most of the content that gets pushed my way is actually of interest (compare FB: I’m still getting dating ads. Please someone tell them I’m in a relationship, been happily in one for decades. Oh – that’s on my profile).
Mr. Zuckerberg is a genius social engineer, but as a software engineer he sucks. He was smart to start with college kids and expand upwards. He rode the wave of carnival for a year, now the party’s over. Which is why he’s resorting to hysterical business strategies.
(originally posted as a comment on
I found this little gizmo on a friend’s FaceBook post. I tried it, and it looks useful (well, for some things).
So I thought I’d share it with you.