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Got a Minute? Use Your Cell Phone to Volunteer
Sarah Kuck, 3 Mar 09

Bored on the bus? Twiddling your fingers at the doctor's office? Why not use these micro-time slots to volunteer?

On-demand volunteerism organization, The Extraordinaries, wants to help you use your spare time for social good. Their smart phone software sends volunteers micro-tasks that can be completed within short periods of time.

Here's how co-founder Jacob Colker describes the project:

We make volunteering feel like a video game to encourage repetition and competition. People login to our system from any place on Earth within cell reception, and constructively use small windows of spare time for science, medicine, nonprofits, government, and more.
Nearly anything you do on a regular computer you can do on a smartphone.
You can help: -Translate micro-finance loan applications (Kiva). -Transcribe subtitles for human rights videos (Witness). -Immigrants improve their English (Phone ESL). -NASA find craters on the surface of Mars (Clickworkers). -Cornell University collect data on urban birds (Celebrate Urban Birds).
…Done by everyday people directly on their smartphones during a few moments free. With The Extraordinaries system, small windows of spare time can have a major social impact.


The social entrepreneurs behind The Extraordinaries were recently awarded $25,000 -- the top prize for non-profits -- from the We Media Miami 09 Pitch It! competition. The organization will use this money to "get people hooked on social good," and get a million people working to solve social problems in brief moments of spare time. Congrats to The Extraordinaries! We're looking forward to following the growth of these efforts.

Thanks to Nathaniel Whittemore of Change.org for the video link

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