Building from yesterday’s blog about networking what it is and how to do it, I was thinking today about how social media brings people together. Even more important than that it encourages people to come together towards a shared goal. There are some great examples of how charities have been able to use social to develop crowd funding.
The best examples of crowd funding come from the bottom up. It is from those affected by the issue or illness rather than the big charity bosses. Social often brings out the best in human nature and that makes us all respond more to the genuine story of hardship or concern told from the individual perspective.
I have also been struck by emerging examples of crowd funding through digital platforms such as Kickstarter. If you haven’t seen it I would urge checking it out. People post ideas that they need funding to develop and they outline what you would receive for various amounts of backing. Some really interesting products and services have been supported this way and we all get a chance to back those that matter to us.
So, they key has to be how do we maximise the social within social media and encourage people to crowd source solutions to some of the problems that exist within communities?
It isn’t easy. People came together after the riots of 2011 and made a real difference. They have managed to come together in some places to develop services where local authorities have reduced or removed funding. I have seen that locally as a collection of people are running one of the former local authority swimming pools.
It has been said that two heads are better than one but I think more than two heads are the best. If we can bring people together to solve a problem or to find ways to improve their communities it will be a huge step forward. I have to wonder if there should be some form of Kickstarter for local communities to be able to encourage people to back them to do something. Perhaps it already exists and if it does then let me know.
We have to look differently at the problems to find a new and innovative solution. If we are able to develop new models and frameworks we can then encourage people to step inside and join the crowd. The positive of crowd sourcing with the support of social media can then really make a difference.