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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and Inspirational, January 3, 2009
This review is from: CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World (Hardcover)
CauseWired by Tom Watson describes an ongoing revolution in philanthropy sparked by the Internet's social networks. Sites like Kiva, DonorsChoose, and Change.org allow people to choose the global or local causes that matter most to them, to donate even small sums according to their preferences and passions, and often to see how their efforts benefit those causes.

A fluid and engaging writer, Watson, who knows the entrepreneurs behind these sites, and has participated in charitable and online start-ups from the Web's early years, describes how even Facebook and My Space allow people to add causes to their profile pages, making causes like AIDS/HIV awareness or cancer research part of their "identity." By advocating these causes with badges and inviting their "friends" to join, they raise awareness and passion even if they're not contributing money, because of youth or (temporarily) insufficient means. While major philanthropists like Warren Buffet will always play the biggest roles, a multitude of friends can make a big impact on any number of causes, from stopping genocide in Darfur to promoting women's health to education or cancer research--whatever issue hits closest to one's heart.

Watson also describes "Flash Causes," where millions of people blog, petition, and phone politicians and bureaucracies, such as insurance company Cigna, which denied Nataline Sarkisyan a liver transplant until she died; or Mukhtaran Bibi placed under house arrest by her native Pakistan for speaking out about human rights; and even the victims of hurricane Katrina. Using the Internet's social networks, people can call up virtual storms of outrage. These can, and have, pressed higher powers into action.

In the wake of the online groundswell that helped to elect Barack Obama, this book is timely and inspirational. Causewired is a phenomenon that is still in its infancy, but is already changing the world.
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Location: New York, NY USA

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