Social Actions Announces Three Change the Web Challenge Winners
San Francisco, CA, April 28, 2009 — Three developers, whose web applications and widgets will make it easier for web surfers to find and share ways to make a difference, were named the winners of the Change the Web Challenge today. Social Actions (www.socialactions.com), a web-based nonprofit initiative committed to making it easier for people to find and share opportunities to make a difference, produced the Challenge. The winning applications were announced at NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Thirty-five developers submitted web applications to the Challenge that use Social Actions' API, a dataset of ways for people to take civic actions (i.e. volunteer, sign a petition, donate) pulled from over 50 websites such as VolunteerMatch, Idealist.org, and DonorsChoose.org. In addition to using the Social Actions API, all of the applications were required to be fully functional and have an open-source license.
After a public online vote winnowed the list to 24 finalists, a team of eight judges selected the three winning web applications based on innovation, usability, and potential for impact.
First place winner, Social Actions Interactive Map, submitted by John Brennan, facilitates users finding and viewing actions by location on an interactive map.
"This application has the potential to be a bridge between online and offline actions - the holy grail of organizers, said Beth Kanter, Change the Web Judge and Scholar in Residence for Nonprofits and Social Media at the Packard Foundation. "Linking actions with geographic information visually shown on a map could be a powerful stimulus to facilitate self-organizing groups of individuals who care about an issue and want to do something about it in a particular location."
Second place winner Zemanta's Related Social Actions for Bloggers, submitted by Jure Cuhalev of Zemanta, notifies bloggers of contextually relevant actions to promote with their blog posts.
"Zemanta's entry can be used by a vast network of bloggers to embed social actions in contextually relevant ways, making it easy for millions of blog readers to take immediate action when they interact with content that moves them to make a difference," said Stacey Monk, Change the Web Judge and Founder of EpicChange.org.
Third place winner SquarePeg's iPhone Application, submitted by Dieterich Lawson, allows users to search, bookmark and share actions on their iPhone.
"I'm a sucker for iPhone apps," said Chris Messina of FactoryJoe.com, who was also a Change the Web Judge. "The Squarepeg app leverages the iPhone platform and the ability to push actions to Twitter and Facebook in a fairly straight-forward way. I think this really accelerates the social filtering of actions and, in turn, discovery of ways to make a difference."
First, second, and third place winners were awarded cash prizes of $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 respectively.
"We're very excited for the winners," said, Peter Deitz, Social Actions' Founder, "And all of the applications that were submitted are making the web more action-oriented, so everyone wins: Social Actions' 50+ partners; local communities around the world; nonprofits whose actions are finding new audiences; and the open web movement."
Social Actions' Change the Web Challenge was supported by a roster of cutting edge web and communications organizations: (Host) NetSquared, an initiative of TechSoup Global; (Official Sponsors) PayPal, Convio, TakePart; (Supporting Sponsor) Challenge Your World; (Technology Partners) Mozilla, WordPress; (Media Sponsors) CauseWired Communications, Mashable, NTEN, Ode Magazine, O'Reilly Media, Osocio, Livingston Communications, ProgrammableWeb, Replyforall, See3 Communications, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Techvibes.
For more information about Social Actions' Change the Web Challenge go to: http://www.socialactions.com/changetheweb
About Social Actions:
Social Actions (http://www.SocialActions.com) is a nonprofit initiative committed to making it easier for people to find and share opportunities to make a difference. A search engine on SocialActions.com helps users find ways to take action for the causes they care about from over 50 action sources including Kiva, DonorsChoose.org, Change.org, DemocracyinAction, GlobalGiving, Idealist.org, SixDegrees, VolunteerMatch, and Care2. Social Actions creates incentives such as the Change the Web Challenge to encourage the distribution of their open API to websites, blogs, and mobile devices.
Social Actions was selected as a 2008 Stockholm Challenge finalist, and received 2008 NetSquared Mashup Challenge and DonateNow Mashup Challenge awards. Social Actions has been featured on PBS Online, SFGate.com, The Wall Street Journal, and The Daily Telegraph, and by leading tech blogs such as TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, and Mashable.