Friday, December 1, 2006

Reinvention of the wheel again...

One of my irritations in life is when dollars dedicated to social change get invested invested in duplicative technical infrastructure.

So I've been looking at DonorsChoose, Kiva and GlobalGiving. From a software perspective, I pretty much can't tell the difference between them. Authenticated user creates project, visitors contribute money to project, project contains some rich information about the project, there is some accountability structure and reporting.

Why did they have to build three incompatible software systems? Why not standardize on single open source platform? That way each organization's investment in the open source foundation benefits all users. Over time the cost of innovating and maintaining the software per organization falls drastically. [I'm not naive... there are lots of good reasons, but still.]

Better question... where is the "micro-project" data standard so small fundraising opportunities (a school in need of a whiteboard, a village in need of a goat) can be syndicated quickly and easily across the Internet?

Lets build our technology with the same eye toward social change we use when developing our projects.