Today it’s the last day of the climate conference in Copenhagen – and today a new global, multilingual web portal is being launched: the website, entitled Hope+ (speak: Hope Plus), wants to allow people to work together on social issues and social campaigns. As Phil Noble from PoliticsOnline, by which Hope+ is led, writes in a newsletter, the website will allow its members to develop their own projects with “measurable goals”.
It seems a bit too sophisticated that Hope+ is promoted as the “first global portal for social change” - because its aims and the campaigning tools remind strongly of other campaigning websites like causecast.org, takepart.com or the German betterplace.org. They all share the idea of connecting people online, get them into action and make the world a better place to live in.
So is Hope+ just yet another online portal to change the world? What can it achieve what the other social campaigning projects did not achieve yet? Or, to use economic language, what is the unique selling point of Hope+?
According to its organizers, Hope+ will focus strongly on the individual social causes posted by the users and use the social network relationships of all members to complete the campaigns.
What Hope+ already did achieve – and in this point it differs from the other websites mentioned earlier: PoliticsOnline could invite a lot of financially strong and popular founding partners, like Bill Gates from Microsoft. The organizers also asked Barack Obama to support Hope+. This strategy already let to a small media buzz, especially Obamas endorsement attracted interest and got people hooked.
But big names and high ambitions also create big expectations. We’ll keep an eye on the project and will see how Hope+ develops and if the Obama-hype is strong enough to carry this project. It will be also interesting to see how Hope+ and the other social campaigning websites get along in the future, if there will be co-operations or a mere coexisting.
Simone Gerdesmeier, Zebralog Berlin