Crowdsourced Volunteerism via Smartphones -- The Promise of a New Approach
Most volunteer opportunities require vetting, many hours, and a long-term commitment. It's akin to a second job. For most people, the process is inconvenient, takes too much time, and doesn't easily fit into hectic lives. As a result, 73% of Americans don't volunteer (2007 US Dept Labor), and the biggest excuse is a "lack of time."
Americans do have spare time -- billions of hours! -- but in small windows of idle moments: sitting in an airport, waiting in a doctor's office, riding the bus to work, and more. If we can reach people during these spare moments we harness a huge pool of untapped human energy.
But that's impossible right? Not anymore.
Up until now, it has always been a challenge to tap a volunteer for a few moments. It's a management issue, and a productivity issue. But in 2007, Apple introduced iPhone and revolutionized the mobile industry. It was just the beginning, as mobile is now the focus of innovation for Apple, Google, and more.
With smartphones, we finally have mobile Internet fast enough and devices powerful enough to make someone truly productive from any place with cell reception. It is now possible to harness a few minutes, and have it actually matter. We can actually use the time that someone spends riding the bus for social good.
By 2012, over 700 MILLION PEOPLE WILL OWN SMARTPHONES. That's twice the population of the United States that can log in from anywhere on Earth within cell phone reception, and use their skills and small amounts of spare time to make a difference.
How can we use this technology for social good?
This five-minute pitch hopes to ignite a conversation that explores how we can use micro-time, micro-volunteerism, micro-action, and smartphones to do social good.
About Jacob Colker:
Jacob Colker is the Co-Founder and Project Lead of The Extraordinaries, an organization dedicated to harnessing the power of micro-volunteerism for social good. The system delivers micro-volunteer opportunities directly to the mobile phones of volunteers, that are completed on the phone in a few minutes or less, from anywhere on Earth within cell reception.
Promotional Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgEDDLl9E-Q More about us: http://theextraordinaries.org/about.html Screenshots: http://www.theextraordinaries.org/screenshots.html