Mesh and Philanthropy

I’m here at the Mesh Conference, having flown up this morning. Travel meant I missed most of the conversation with Mike Arrington except for some of the Q&A. From some of the replies, I’m guessing many of the questions had been asked before; the biggest reaction was due to a question from a representative of PayPerPost, the organisation got some ribbing even as he answered the question.

Second session was on The Web and Philanthropy, with Rob Hyndman talking to charity 2.0 entrepreneurs Tom Williams and Austin Hill. Here are two people that made their money early and now want to give things back. I didn’t take too many notes, here’s a few points that caught my interest.

Austin: like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there is a broadband version. First is access, then safety and only once these base needs are met do we get communities, arts, media etc. The saying ‘be the world you want it to be’ is more true in social media than in many other parts of the web; we are giving people the tools to do that.

Tom: What is different now from the first wave of the web is that organisations look to inspire others, not wait for people to come to them. UGC does not work for a lot of the incumbents….but it does in the charitable section, that is what is should be about. But the establishment in this section is as entrenched and needs to let go as much as the rest of them. A blog that is talking about what is really happening in Dafur can get a bigger audience than Oxfam.

Austin: Social media can put the fun in functionality. Give them an experience so that their human agency os reciprocated in some way. For some, it is about writing, for others it is different – media increases,

Tom – we live in an ego-casting world. web3.0 needs to facilitate good conversation better. we need meaningful discussion, or it will just be little groups of interest that bubble up and disappear.

Now to check in at the hotel.

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