Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Craigslist Foundation launches LikeMinded

The Craigslist Foundation unveiled its LikeMinded network today - you can check it out here. This is the second launch from the Foundation in 2011 - they launched CraigConnects several weeks ago.

LikeMinded, which is supported by the Knight Foundation and Craigslist Foundation, is a way for people to share their own stories of making a difference in their communities and to connect with their local officials.

CraigConnects is Craig Newmark's 20 year commitment to sharing his work with local organizations and giving others a place to do so as well. I'm looking forward to June 2 in San Francisco when I'll be interviewing Craig about these developments as part of the Craigslist Foundation Boot Camp.

Tomorrow at the Global Philanthropy Forum I'm interviewing Chris Hughes of Jumo and Leila Janah of SamaSource about the roles that technology plays in the social sector. Judging from the launches of LikeMinded and CraigConnects it clearly plays a facilitative, news sharing, organizing role.

Jumo is structured so that the technology also plays what I think of as a "train station" role - it's a meeting place, connection hub, information source all in one.

SamaSource is using the internet as the new work space - literally creating a marketplace of jobs on and about digital work. This marketplace is by definition global, disbursed, and a "loose coupling of many small pieces." The internet is both the infrastructure for and the source of the work.

These are all organically digital uses of the internet. They're based on assumptions about information, audience, scope, and access that reflect the way these things work in a global, connected, always on, super fast environment. Their business models respect the value of the pieces being connected, whether those are individual workers to Fortune 500 companies (SamaSource) or activists to each other (LikeMinded). All of these sites share a mix of data and social connections as core design elements - similar to the power of the Peer Water Exchange which I mentioned a few days ago, and which offers one of these "head to long tail" platforms I've written about for years.

I'm looking forward to my conversation tomorrow with Leila and Chris. I plan to double check my insights with them, get their wisdom on what's next for platforms and social policy, and what they imagine we'll see as more and more digitally native social solutions come online. Join us if you can (Twitter Hashtag #gpf2011)


Gabriela Fitz said...

Thanks for posting about this Lucy.

As an information sharing platform ourselves we are really pleased to see sites like LikeMinded come to fruition. People might think that these sites compete with each other or simply cannibalize each other's audiences. But in a highly decentralized information landscape it is becoming clear that this does not have to be the case AS LONG as we continue to share data across all of these platforms.

For example LikeMinded automatically pulls in issue-related research from the IssueLab collection, helping its users to better understand the issues and some of the solutions that are out there. By focusing on getting the right information to the right people in the most localized and relevant contexts - rather than on drawing people to one portal over another - we can begin to see the good work and valuable knowledge of the nonprofit sector put to broader use!


Lucy Bernholz said...

Thanks Gabi. It is important that these sites are sharing information. I'm on the fence as to whether or not "we need another site," but I see this latest crop as iterative and am very curious to see what the public response is to them


LB said...

Whether or not "we need another site", we're going to get another site. And another... And another... Oh what a joyous day it will be when the data shared through a web page on Another-Site-X is easy to repurpose on Another-Site-Y via simple coding conventions. That scenario can't come soon enough, and it will surely bring us -- you guessed it -- another site!

Lucy Bernholz said...

I think you're right. And when the data sharing happens that will be a great day. Just as hopefully, we'll need some of the existing sites to go away, to die, to close down.


sophomorecritic said...

I find it odd that we celebrate Craig Newmark because I think the world would be a better place without craigslist. Craig sees himself as a do gooder because he's providing services for free but he disrupted the economy heavily by doing that and started the notion of freemium which makes it harder for the creative class to succeed. Do you know how many newspaper people are put out of business by Craigslist? That's the negative he's made. What's the positive, exactly? Ads existed before craigslist came along in a way that was perfectly healthy for the market.

I wrote more about it here:

and opened the door to spammers