This week Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes launched Jumo, which he bills as “the social network connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world.” Well I definitely think changing the world could be fun, so I decided to check it out.
Jumo (which means “come together” in Yoruba) is currently in beta, so you need a Facebook account to join, but if you don’t have Facebook account, I doubt you would use Jumo. After joining using your Facebook details, you are taken to a page that asks you what issues you are interested in: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment & Animals, Health, Human Rights, Peace & Governance, and Poverty. You choose your interests and specify your level of interest, then a number of non-profit organizations are suggested for you to follow. I chose five organizations and then was directed to my very own Jumo page.
Jumo looks a lot like Facebook (surprise!), but it makes in-depth news the primary focus, as opposed to status updates. The “top news” is features from the organizations you are following – content generated on their websites, through blogs, etc., and posted to Jumo. The secondary focus is on what your organizations and people in your network are saying – essentially status updates.
What I like about Jumo is that it does make it very easy for you to follow specific causes and see what the organizations you like are doing. It does an excellent job of aggregating the information you need to stay informed on the latest issues and also discover like minded people. Also, for U.S. non-profits, it makes it easy for you to donate quickly – capitalizing on that all important “I see it now and need to be able to act now” part of fundraising.
I was a bit disappointed with Jumo in terms of its integration with Facebook and Twitter though. On the homepage, you can like content, but there is no option to push the content to Facebook or Twitter instantly. Once you are on an organization’s page, you can share a bit more easily through the “Talk” feature, but only through Facebook. It seems to me that if Jumo wants to really generate action, it needs to improve this so people can transmit info to their broader networks.
Another feature I would like to see added to Jumo is more of a local engagement and activity feature. Being able to share information and give money is great, but what if I want to do something beyond this? This engagement piece doesn’t really exist, and it’s hard for me to image the world changing without finding a way to mobilize action.
Overall, Jumo seems like a good idea and certainly has a lot of potential. The key will be getting individuals to join and visit the site daily – like people do with Facebook. If it is just organizations posting information and no new people consuming it, Jumo will be just another neat aggregator. It is something I wish existed though when I was working in non-profit marketing. The onus is on the smart non-profit leaders out there to make this grow – and as I said, better integration with the other major social networks seems vital. If you are passionate about a social cause, definitely check out Jumo!