Looking for some candidate blogs to add to Planet Hospitality I stumbled upon Spurring civic engagement on Facebook, Myspace and SixDegrees.org.
For the moment, while Facebook’s Causes and Myspace’s Impact seem a welcome change in allowing some use of these networks for more civic purposes, it seems as though they’ve hobbled their tools enough and created a weak-enough attachment that we’re skeptical that a lot of civic good (beyond some fundraising) will take place. We’ll hope that the next generation of tools is significantly more powerful.I don't believe it's just a matter of adding powerful tools to so-called social networks. MySpace and Facebook are mostly about connecting people in the online world. To do good however, the real world needs to change. And collecting a bunch of money for a good cause might sometimes help. Even though there are some noteworthy exceptions, I've read, seen and experienced enough of the NGO World to know that this will never end serious issues like hunger and poverty. I think it becomes more interesting when the social network is the cause itself. I was made to believe that this was the case for CouchSurfing, and I worked my ass off, but unfortunately I was seriously misled. Though it won't be the solution to all the world's problems, I still think that real social networks have a chance of enacting serious change. My bets are on BeWelcome, more decentralized alternatives or even something radically new.