Edelman’s new SocialCapital widget will help industries lobby, how long will it take nonprofits to catch up?

May 30, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Edleman has created a Social Capital Widget.  I have been following widget evolution for some time now, and these cute pieces of HTML code have not totally  caught on, but I think there is a lot of potential.

How does it work?  Say you are filling out email forms to send letters to your legislator on issues like foreign aid spending or Darfur.  But you have to click through each form before sending the email.  With this widget you can easily see multiple action alerts at once, which makes sending your congressman an email quicker and cleaner.  Additionally the widget can live on your desktop, blog or homepage, so you know about new issue votes right when they arise.  Check it out:

Social Capital Widget

But, as you see here, the widget has been designed for the Partnership For America’s Energy Security, a group that advocates for more oil drilling in the U.S.   They have a lovely website thanks to this top PR firm.

It’s ironic that Edelman has trademarked the words “SocialCapital”, a term which by definition should belong to all of society.  According to Robert Putnam, the term refers to  the collective value of all ‘social networks’, and the beneifts that arise when these networks to do things for each other.  This synergy is a key component to building democracy and is currently in decline in America.

Here is my hope: that all the social action groups that have people and environmental concerns at heart, with their low-budget websites and clunky messaging, also use tools like this this widget so it easy  for people to take action on legislation that has global benefit.


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