Monday, April 21, 2008

Social networking for the greater good?

To tap the power of emerging social networks for a greater cause looks promising. This article on the use of Facebook to address malaria in Africa is one example.  Conferences are organised with aim to bring new Internet applications closer to sustainable development actors.  

From an economic development perspective, a few loose observations on this emerging phenomena.  Increased networking may decrease the costs of doing transactions (farmer with a cellphone), it is important to understand whether collaboration and 'social huddling' increases the amount of social capital (do we create or destroy trust), whether this increases the resilience of communities (are networks strong enough to help cope in bad times as well or is it only fun when we all ride the wave), and how emerging social networks are complemented with other conditions for the creation of added value (over and above social capital we need financial capital, human resources, natural resources, rule of law etc. etc. for development).  

Other ideas? Development 2.0 anyone?

1 comment:

giulio quaggiotto said...

Thanks for the link! You might be interested also in this post on NGO2.0 from Anthony Williams, author of Wikinomics (http://www.wikinomics.com/blog/index.php/2008/03/16/ngo-20-wikinomics-and-the-future-of-the-non-profit-sector). On the Wikinomics wiki, I also posted a short bibliography on Development 2.0 (http://www.socialtext.net/wikinomics/index.cgi?development_2_0_collaboration_in_the_development_sector).

Cheers,

Giulio