Micro volunteering

A very interesting article about volunteering, and applying the wikipedia philosophy to volunteering. Here he sets the scene:

“People have a problem with volunteerism: Now this statement is provocative. It’s not said in polite company. We like to think that we’re too busy to volunteer, but it’s not true. We don’t volunteer because we don’t want to. Why? Either because we don’t care enough about giving back to our communities or today’s volunteer opportunities aren’t suited to our lifestyles. Being an optimist, I’m opting for the latter. And so, a corollary is required:

Volunteerism excludes most of us: Why? Because it asks us for a kind of time that few of us can give. We’ve got a few minutes while waiting for the bus to play Texas Hold’em on our mobile phones. We’ve got an hour to watch our favorite TV show on a weeknight. And we’ve got 15 minutes to read Vogue in the dentist’s office. What we don’t have is two-plus hours on a Saturday. That’s prime leisure, family, and catch-up time. It’s the most valuable kind of time we’ve got. It’s expensive. Volunteerism excludes most of us by asking for something that’s beyond what we’re prepared to give. So we don’t.”

This rings true to me. The rest of the article proposes some ideas on how to better leverage the bits of time people have that they might be using to volunteer.

Ben then goes on to describe a project that he is working on called The Extraordinari which is a really cool idea.

If you are interested in volunteering and the new dynamics there, read the article!It is absolutely chock full of background information and links to other projects.

p.s. If you have the energy, also read the comments. There are some great pointers to other resources. I have to say that I feel it is a little unfortunate that this good post gets somewhat slammed by some who maybe don’t realize that whether or not these are new ideas, they are reaching a new audience and putting a new spin on them, and that in itself is positive contribution that should be applauded.

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