The Extraordinaries allows you to take a few minutes of your spare time - while riding on a bus, standing in line at the bank, or waiting on the phone - to apply your passion, brain power, and skills to connect with causes and communities that you care about, Colker said. You will be "doing real work for those organizations," he added, noting that through the power of crowd sourcing, micro-actions add up to make a tremendous impact.
For example, through the Haiti Earthquake Support Center you could search the image database for missing persons and match faces, sort and tag disaster images. Other ongoing projects include helping the First Aid Corps find, photograph (with your GPS-equipped cell phone), and catalog publicly-accessible defibrilator devices. This will contribute to a database that saves thousands of lives by allowing those on the scene of a heart attack to access a dibrilator before an ambulance arrives.
Or you can go to The Extraordinaries to:
- tag images for the Smithsonian
- help KaBOOM! find places where volunteers build playgrounds
- fact check for reporters
- record locations of potholes for municipalities
- identify birds for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- transcribe ancient texts for ReCaptcha
- review Congressional bills for hidden pork
- translate a nonprofit's website into a foreign language
Already, more than 4,000 volunteers have undertaken some 25,000 micro-actions to help 30+ organizations.
The Extraordinaries' participation in The Power of Us: Re-Imagine Media Changemakers competition "was the start of a tremendous journey," Colker said. "It was a great way to raise awareness of what we doing with a community that really gets this stuff - that really understands and cares about this field."
Being voted a winner of the competition by the Changemakers community "was the that bump that gave us a push in the right direction, and is something we are really thankful for," he said. The winners cash prize "was really instrumental in helping us develop our first iteration of our iPhone app."
Be part of the We Media PitchIt! Challenge by entering your solutions until January 20, 2010. We Media and Ashoka Changemakers are looking for the most innovative ideas that inspire a better world through media.
The top finalists will pitch their ideas at We Media Miami, March 9-11, 2010. The best entry in each category - non-profit and business - will receive a USD $25,000 prize to help launch their new venture.