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development 2.0.

13 November, 2007
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Lately I have kept a very low profile on Culture Matters. One of the reasons for this is a project I would like to put up for discussion today: www.betterplace.org, an internet platform I co-founded and have been working on for the past 10 months. It went online last friday and I would greatly appreciate the feedback of all Culture Matters contributors and readers. Its a very applied project and I hope to learn from those of you who have a much deeper understanding of the development field than I do.

betterplace connects people who need help with their social projects, with others, who want to contribute to them by giving time, knowhow, donations in kind and money. It combines Web 2.0. tools with the world of development projects and aims to improve the way people can organize support for their projects, as well as give donors the chance to find the very initiatives they want to support. The platform is designed to make development projects and transactions as transparent as possible and and enable donors to get real feedback for their contributions.

betterplace is a non-profit foundation and its use is free (we finance the operational costs with the help of private sponsors, as well as the fees companies pay in order to be able to show their CSR on the platform).

The great thing about such a platform is that it can continuously be adapted to the interests and needs of different participants. We have many features in the pipeline and are open to any suggestions. Thus, please let me know your thoughts: Is the format suitable for the self-presentation of grassroots projects and social entrepreneurs? Does it encourage the exchanges we envision? And – which social projects do you know well and would you like to see on betterplace?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Michaela permalink
    15 November, 2007 2:08 am

    I think it is a brilliant platform for grass roots projects and social entrepreneurs. I have just emailed a friend that runs a grassroots project for children in Vietnam, he is doing an amazing job as it is but a platform like this would be great for reaching a wider audience!

    Two things I can suggest are:

    1. The world map interface shows the number of projects and users in the different countries, which is really good to get an overview of where the concentration of grassroots projects sit and where they are lacking. I would suggest (based on my immediate user impulse) that it would be good if the user could get straight to the projects for each country at this interface level.

    2. This site does not come up in simple “grassroots” and “charity” searches in google, and there are lots of sites with “better place” in their site address if you google “better place” including http://www.thebetterplace.org/ which is a Christian web site. If it were possible financially it would be useful to get sponsored link…

  2. 15 November, 2007 8:10 am

    thanks a lot for your comment, Michaela,
    we will follow up on your first suggestion, regarding the direct link between the google map and the specific projects asap. It should be in place within the next few days, or weeks (the programming is always the eye of the needle: we have sooo many great features planned, but than the progammers have to built it all and the 3 we have are really very busy.

    I will mention the google searchability with our programmers – we definitely don’t want to be mistaken for this christian website!And I am looking forward to the project of your Vietnamese friend.

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