shuru.org — smartmobware?
December 25th, 2007

More and more sites for voluntary collective action via phones and Net are coming to my attention. smartmobware? Like this one. Anybody tried it? Know about it’s effectiveness? Shuru.org.

Tool. Shuru is three things: a tool, a community, and a starting place. It is a tool for interested people to leverage the viral potential of the internet and mobile phones to spread a social message. Then, using the same technologies, the tool empowers these ‘message readers’ by allowing them to take real world ‘actions’ that the message suggests. This meticulously designed tool will unleash the viral potential of communications technologies, and will be freely available to all – anyone can make a message, suggest action, and tip the first domino. Then, if people are convinced, thousands or even millions of people can easily join in.

Community. As more and more people take action on individual messages, or causes, a social network of action takers and cause creators will form. This will be a broad scale network, with automatic membership resulting from use of the tools above. Individual action history will be tracked, and publicly displayed, for each user – around this core community feature, groups will form. These groups might allowing people to make connections and collaborate on future social action, or they might simply let a casual user brag about her interests and impact on the world.

Starting place. If the design of both the tool and community is correct, Shuru will ride (and help create!) the next wave of an evolution in democracy. By creating an intelligent way to debate and make choices about the complex realities of our connected world, and then coordinating the actions of millions of people at the same time, Shuru is a starting place for a truly participatory democracy: one where a la carte political participation becomes the norm, and existing political structures better serve the needs of all people. The disproportionate power of special interest lobbies threatens western democracy. Shuru will give individuals the power to build a groundswell support for any worthy issue – in effect, becoming the people’s lobbyist.


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