Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Launches Jumo, A Social Network For Social Causes
While we’ve noted in the past that a lot of valuable professionals are currently migrating towards Facebook (from Google and various other companies), the leading social networking site has lost some valuable team members as well. Back in 2007 one of Facebook’s co-founders Chris Hughes left the company to become Obama’s campaign director of online organizing. Shortly after he launched Jumo, a philanthropic start up which aimed to pair up people who are interested in doing some good with causes they might be interested in.
For a long period of time Jumo was a simple and to the point website that announced Hughe’s intention of bringing “together everyday individuals and organizations to speed the pace of global change”. The site would also serve for connecting people to the issues, organizations and individuals relevant to them. So far so good except Facebook’s co-founder clearly learned something from the world’s largest social networking site, something he’d definitely want to implement in his own project. That’s probably why Hughes at one point revealed that Jumo would eventually turn into a social network and includes profiles for users. There would be pages set up for organizations and issue pages where people could discuss any topic they might be interested in. Well, for starters the homepage of the site was limited to asking the site visitors several questions such as you had a daughter tomorrow, which would you name her?” to “Would you say the world is getting better or worse?” If you answered the questions you could also enter your e-mail address into a field and request more information once it became available, Mashable reports.
Well, I’ll go ahead and say that social networking is quite fun. It lets people keep in touch with their friends and family, share photos and information. But it’s also become an important tool in the world we’re living in. Social networking sites work great for spreading news and informing people. On Facebook you can already find an app called “Causes” where people will suggest certain causes to their friends and ask them to participate by helping with a donation, spreading the word or anything else they can think of. We can also mention the various campaigns that were supported by Facebook like the “I like it on” campaign that spread breast cancer awareness but these are all small achievements compared to what Hughes wants to do with Jumo.
Jumo means “to come together” and Hughes hopes that through the site people will form a deeper relationship and commitment to certain causes over time. He also aims to make people as enthusiastic about saving the environment or fighting aids as they are currently about tagging friends in photos or playing Farmville on Facebook. Since Jumo is now up and running it might be worth explaining how it works, because it’s far from complicated. Once you visit the website you’ll be able to log in right from the start with your Facebook account. You’ll have to take a quick survey which will help you discover what organizations match your interests. Each “Issue” has a page that you can follow which will reportedly allow you to discover more organizations over time.
Right after you’ve chosen your Issues, you can continue to find more specific Issues or sort through Projects which are affiliated with that space and choose the ones you might want to follow. Once you’re done with establishing what you’re interested in you can press “done” and you’ll be transferred to your homepage which, not surprisingly, looks a lot like the one you already have on Facebook. You’ll get updates on all the projects you’ve shown interest in. You’ll also get a talk section where you’ll get social updates from Projects and people you’re following.
As Hughes explains, the main idea is to make it as easy as possible for people to find organizations and connect with them in a substantive way. Would you like another feature that’s also present on facebook? Jumo has “Like” buttons as well. Whenever you run across a story, a video or any sort of content you like from a Project you follow, you can press like and let people know. What you “liked” will be displayed in a feed that includes your activity on the site. You can then see what your friends are up to and they can take a look at what you’re interested in.
That pretty much covers regular users but what about organizations? Hughes explains that Jumo is an open platform where anyone can create a profile or page for an organization. But if you want to gather donations then you’ll have to be vetted by the IRS. When joining Jumo, a project can apparently gather up all its social streams on one single page. This includes Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other sources of information. Visitors will be able to access a ton of information on that project on a single page and they won’t be forced to donate. According to Hughes soliciting donations should occur the very moment when someone becomes more engaged in a cause. Jumo won’t be just another donation platform. It aims to be a social network, gathering people up, encouraging them to talk about organizations and causes.
As is mentioned in a post on the Jumo Blog, there are many, many people who would love to help other people but don’t know how. “Unlike other groups in the space, we’re not interested in the big red donate button. We’re not interested in a one-time donation on your friend’s birthday or a $10 text message to a cause or organization you never return to” The post goes on to explain.
Ok now that we got the gist of Jumo it might be worth mentioning that today Jumo beta is up and running. The team of people behind it are committed to building on it in the month and years to come so expect some improvements in due time as well. If you’re interested, go take a quick look at the website which you can find here.11