May 17, 2010

Short takes on 10 worthy projects



Watchitoo, DoGood, ClassWish, Zynga, business ethics & more

JD LasicaWe’ve been deluged recently with updates and rollouts of interesting new sites, tools and services. There’s no way to fully do them justice, but they deserve attention, so here’s a roundup of eight worthy projects and websites that have crossed our desk:


Watchitoo: Collaborate with rich media

1At Socialbrite we have a pretty good directory of cutting-edge Web 2.0 productivity tools, so we were intrigued when a longtime friend, Brian August (who provided legal advice to, told us of a new Web conferencing service called Watchitoo. It’s a live, two-way, HD multi-streaming video platform that lets participants collaborate and share any form of rich media (video, photos, documents) in real time. Fully web-based and embeddable, Watchitoo offers any organization the ability to communicate and collaborate remotely. It also has full integration with Twitter and Facebook

Says Brian: “Watchitoo represents a portable, modular, simple way to instantly collaborate while sharing media. A candidate could use this technology to have a web-based town hall watched by hundreds (or thousands) while taking questions from constituents who will appear live on screen with the candidate. A reporter could use this to review footage/photographs with others in the field. The implications of this type of remote intimacy are profound.” I’m looking forward to seeing Watchitoo in action on June 3 at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York.


DoGood: See good. Do better.

2With DoGood, a free browser plug-in for Firefox, IE or Safari, you can turn your everyday web browsing into donations that support green initiatives and movements for positive social change, at no cost to you with no privacy or security issues. Today, for instance, DoGood “served” 172,673 good ideas. The DoGooder hides generic advertising on the Internet, and shows thoughtful green initiatives, philanthropic calls for action and health and wellness ideas instead. The site then donates 50 percent of its profits from ad sales back to good causes, effectively turning web surfing into a funding mechanism.


Zynga: $3 million to charity

3You’ve probably heard of Zynga because of Farmville, Cafe World, Mafia Wars, Fishville, PetVille, and other games in its stable of online diversions. (Disclosure: I’ve spoken on panels with Zynga CEO-founder Mark Pincus.) What I didn’t realize until recently is that Zynga has raised more than $3 million for charitable causes through its online game sites. For example, Zynga’s relief efforts for Haiti were impressive, given the size of its audience and the pledge to donate a good chunk of proceeds to the cause, although it should be noted that Zynga spends $5 million to $8 million every month just for advertising on Facebook.

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