Thursday, February 12, 2009

What Drives Microphilanthropy? Our Strong or Weak Ties?

Our real world social circles are largely finite resources. We all have our set bunch of friends and acquaintances with that we tend to knock about with on weekends. The phrase "birds of a feather, flock together" certainly applies here. For many of us, we feel most comfortable around people that are most like us. This is fine, more importantly it is human. A devout Amish carpenter in rural Pennsylvania probably won't have a lot in common with a pill-popping nightclubber in Manhattan. The only problem in regards to creativity and innovation, time spent with the same social circle can often be a breeding ground for the homogeneity of ideas.

The impact of the rise of social networking sites, particularly twitter applies here. It is from our tenuous links or our "weak ties" where often the most value is derived. Where inspiration from another medium can spark the flames of creativity in our own industry. The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson is a great business book that chronicles the value derived from the confluence of ideas.

And so it goes with microphilanthropy - we have certainly discovered as much at the 1 Dollar Club. It is not neccessarily those that are our closest friends that appreciate the benefits of microphilanthropy, it is those tenuous links - people who we may have nothing else in common with apart from small giving on a large scale, that are driving this movement forward.

It is this committed troop of microphilanthropists who are the ones who will make microphilanthropy mainstream.

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