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Jumo – the social network for global change

There really is a social network for everything these days. But this one, I promise, is good (in more than one sense of the word).

Have you heard of Jumo? I hadn't until a friend of a friend tweeted about it this week. Founded February 2010, it's nothing short of magnificent in concept: "Jumo is a social network connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world." Jumo, in one African language, means "together in concert."

Sign me up!

Here's what you get: a profile that looks similar and integrates with Facebook (because it was made by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook) and an opportunity to get inundated by connect with tons of non-profit organizations that champion issues you care about. It's different from, which focuses on charity evaluation, rather than connecting people directly with a cause.

Jumo's bread and butter

Organizations or "projects" on Jumo are divided into six categories:

  • Arts and culture
  • Education
  • Environment and animals
  • Health
  • Human rights
  • Peace and governance
  • Poverty

After I became a follower of 18 causes, my page ended up looking like a mess. Is it possible to care about too many things at once? I imagine most people in our industry feel like this – how do you pick and choose which causes are the most important? Especially this time of year when the ASPCA re-runs Sarah McLachlan's injured puppy commercial that forces one of my good friends to quickly change the channel – or cry.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

After more digging, I discovered that you can search for organizations, issues and supporters. The issue pages combine the latest news about the cause along with some helpful context surrounding the cause. For example, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80 percent of the population living under the poverty line and 54 percent in abject poverty. 

Jumo's a great concept, but if the people aren't there it won't work. It's still in beta, but you can make a log in, connect with your Facebook account and invite all your friends. Just don't overwhelm yourself: Pick five causes to start.

Sometimes we forget that time and attention to a cause is just as valuable as money. This is one social network start-up that's worth both.

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