This really began back at the StartupEmpire conference on November 14th, 2008 in the midst of Howard Lindzon’s StockTwits presentation. Today, VenTwits (^VenTwits) is live as a the first property in a series of initiatives to help things happen and create the world we want.
Developed by Shouldless Inc. (^shldlss), VenTwits is a site for people building things they care about. We believe there is something special about communications that happen in public, 140 characters at a time. It seems to encourage a unique breadth and practicality of engagement such as the #hohoto party in Toronto. #hohoto emerged through Twitter (see SlideShare preso) and within 18 days of the first mention was sold-out to over 600 people, raised $25,000 in cash and 2 tonnes of food for Toronto’s Daily Bread Foodbank. All this without any one leader or cash investment – rather it leveraged parallel leadership from over a dozen people and the contributions of countless more. What if we could leverage what happened there?
Well, VenTwits is the beginning of seeing where this can go. Already in the first day, we’ve had people visiting from around the world to see what’s going on, some of whom quickly adopted the new tags and jumped right in. We are already working on another property that will come at this from a different angle as well. Once launched, we want to see how people use them to help things happen and with a few months under our belts we’re planning on open-sourcing our core code and firing up the Social Venture Commons (^svc).
The Social Venture Commons is being established as a non-profit organization dedicated to coordinating the development and application of this concept for the purposes of social change and public benefit. If what we believe about this mode of peer-produced organization is true, then we have a lot to give. If we’re wrong, we’ll have learned a lot from trying.
In the past two months, I’ve met some extraordinary people – all through Twitter of course – that have come together to make this happen. As we’re building we’re experimenting with how to peer-produce an organization, how we create and measure value, and how we deliver public benefit.
We’re inspired by the potential of people coming together and contributing to the creation of things they care about. We believe that we are building uniquely helpful ways that help that happen. And we believe, that together, we can use it to create the world we want.
Please jump in and give it a try. And if you have any feedback or want to get in touch – please do.