Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has taken a benevolent approach to social networking, today launching a non-profit platform called Jumo.
News that Mr Hughes was planning his philanthropic start-up, which aims to match users with appropriate causes, emerged in March. At that point, the site was little more than a homepage featuring a message stating Jumo’s mission: ”[to] bring together everyday individuals and organizations to speed the pace of global change. We connect people to the issues, organizations, and individuals relevant to them to foster lasting relationships and meaningful action.”
Fast forward eight months and the site has officially launched in beta form, according to Mashable.
Mr Hughes told Mashable that 3,500 organisations were offering projects for users to follow on launch, with more to come.
Although Mashable reported not being able to access the site, Neowin was able to sign up for an account and get a first-hand look at the new social network.
The first thing to note when trying out Jumo is this – you will need a Facebook account. Although the site promises that non-Facebook users will be able to sign up for accounts in future, for the moment, those without a Facebook account are out of luck.
After jumping that hurdle, sign-up is relatively simple – users provide their Facebook credentials, email address, date of birth and location and choose a password. Jumo will post on your Facebook wall to indicate you’ve signed up, which may annoy some people.
From there, users are asked to indicate what kinds of issues and organisations they’re interested in, with options divided into broad categories such as Arts and Culture, Human Rights and Poverty. From the answers to those questions, Jumo suggests a range of projects the user may be interested in following.
After getting the sign up steps out of the way, the user is greeted with a main page very reminiscent of Facebook, right down to your display picture, which is taken from your Facebook account, to the ”Like” buttons beside posts in an area clearly inspired by Facebook’s News Feed.
Yet after the initial buzz wore off, there appeared to be little reason to hang around, with most ”News Feed” links leading to external sites. Mashable’s Brenna Ehrlich noted something similar in her piece on the new site.
”At this juncture, you’re probably thinking: ‘So what does this site actually do? Isn’t this just another form of the infamous slacktivism?’,” she said.
Mr Hughes argued that interacting with a cause on Jumo would act as a first step, and believed that users would follow through on their online actions.
”I think that when people click a ‘Like’ button of follow something on Twitter or sign up for an e-mail list, it’s the first statement of support for any interest. It doesn’t mean that they don’t then go out and do things like knock on doors and go to protests or go to rallies or go volunteer or donate. They do do these things,” he said.