MTV Launches Activism Social Network

Quick post on this:

Viacom Inc’s MTV will launch a new Internet social network sponsored by foundations operated by the founders of Microsoft and AOL to encourage youth activism.
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The site, Think.MTV.com, is designed to be a resource for social and political issues, aiming to inform as well as let users connect with other like-minded people on issues from the environment to sexual health and discrimination.

Lending In The Developing World– Gaining Scale and Reducing Costs with Technology

Interested in how technology can enable and improve credit lending in developing countries? Check out this conference next week:

The International Finance Corporation and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, in collaboration with Visa International, are pleased to organize a global conference on “Next Generation Access to Finance: Gaining Scale and Reducing Costs with Technology and Credit Scoring,” that will take place September 17-19, 2007 at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.

What Is Razoo? Social Networking For Changemakers

What is Razoo?

Razoo is an online community that lets you create goals and groups for raising awareness and taking action for various causes. The site is currently in public beta.

From Mashable , a blog about social networking. How did I hear about them? Through Omidyar Network, which is transitioning their community over to the Razoo platform:

We strongly believe in the power of community-based efforts, and we feel the best way Omidyar Network can continue facilitating the kind of work that’s being done both within and through omidyar.net is to empower communities online that are more narrowly focused on specific interests and moderated in a style of their own preference.

It seems like the Omidyar community scattering to several different platforms/communities, of which are all listed on this page (AboutUs.org, Better World Island, dowire.org, Facebook, groups.cx, Ned.com, etc.).

Check out Razoo’s press release which was released earlier this month: RAZOO LAUNCHES A “SOCIAL NETWORK FOR SOCIAL GOOD”. I’m planning to check out their other projects which are announced in that release.

In addition to the Razoo.com website, the company has launched several other platforms, each sharing the goal of inspiring giving and serving among young people. The Good Happens blog and newsletter aim to be the “MTV News” of the social good space, shining a spotlight on the good that happens around us every day. Speed Granting is both an online and offline platform that encourages and rewards social entrepreneurs for their social initiatives, and allows their peers cast votes to determine the recipients of the grants. And Brewing Good is a monthly offline event that brings together young people in a fun and creative environment to encourage, recognize and celebrate the good they are doing.

Earth2Tech- New Blog About Technology, Innovation, and Climate Change

There’s a new blog on our radar–

To put it cogently, Earth2Tech is a blog that covers green tech.
The new blog published by the Gigaom team was covered in this weekend’s New York Times.

The blog is “devoted to the business of clean technologies, its innovations and everything else,” he explained on his main technology-business blog, GigaOM (gigaom.com). Earth2Tech, he wrote, examines the clean-tech start-ups that are mushrooming in Silicon Valley and around the world, as well as the environmental initiatives of big companies like Google and Wal-Mart.

GreenDimes Helps Reduce Junk Mail By Up To 90%

GreenDimes is a new service that aims to reduce the amount of junk mail for their members:

GreenDime’s site says it has “tens of thousands of members” and the annual fee is $36 per year (a dime a day). For that price the company says it will reduce your junk mail by a 75% to 90% and plant one tree a month.

I think the idea is great– I understand the economics behind direct marketing but it’s very easy to see that junk mail is very wasteful and not environmentally friendly. Greendimes’ press page has a lot more information, and they just raised a significant amount of VC money so keep an eye out for these guys.

Weekend Reading: Small Companies That Try to Bring Innovative Technology to Teaching

“A revolution is needed in education — students exist in a world where technology is pervasive but classroom teaching hasn’t basically changed in 50 years,” said Mona Westhaver, a founder of Inspiration Software, a Portland area firm that developed a visual learning system for kindergarten through 12th grade.

Link to NY Times.

Zerofootprint Fights Global Warming Through Technology And Innovation

Zerofootprint is a non-profit that “combines the best financial engineering, environmental engineering, social networking tools and business intelligence to create products and services that help large corporations, organizations and individuals significantly reduce their environmental footprint.”

Zerofootprint sells carbon offsets and also raises awareness about Global Warming by leveraging technology. They offer widgets, white-label web solutions, and other tools to help get Global Warming on everyone’s radar. Their website also features a community based website and a blog.

The carbon offsets idea is similar to the Terrapass model but Zerofootprint goes an additional step further by leveraging Web 2.0 tools to fight Global Warming.