Twitter Roundup – September 10: Legal updates via SMS, US gov’t offers prizes for citizens’ solutions, and more
Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week:
FrontlineSMS is free software that helps NGOs reach large groups of people anywhere there’s a mobile signal. Because of its huge potential, the original software has spun off a number of custom versions for use in different situations, including Medic, for developing-world healthcare and Credit, for mobile payment processing. This week, FrontlineSMS released a new version of the software for legal situations, FrontlineSMS:Legal (@SMSLegal). The aim is to extend the reach of justice services and legal aid to previously unreached people. Check it out here.
The U.S. General Services Administration announced a new website, Challenge.gov (@ChallengeGov), at the Gov 2.0 summit in Washington, D.C. Through this new site, federal government agencies ask for public help in solving big problems, and offer cash prizes for the best answers. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently asking for help to create healthy school lunch recipes for distribution across the country, with a total of $12,000 in prize money.
Ebay will provide new, reusable shipping containers to thousands of users who simply have to request them online. The boxes are sturdy enough to be used over and over again, and they’ll be tracked on a website that lets buyers and sellers see just how far that one box has traveled. Anything that means fewer new cardboard boxes sounds great to us! You can read more here.
Inspired by the energy efficiency of CFLs and the beauty of old filament light bulbs, designer Nicolas Roope (@nikroope) unveiled his combination of the two. The Plumen is a low-energy light bulb that showcases architectural beauty and provides a warm glow. Those real vintage filament light bulbs are horribly inefficient, so this solution (three years in the making!) is a real achievement on a number of levels. They’re currently available for purchase in the U.K. and Europe, with U.S. sales rolling out soon.
Did you come across any other notable #socent tweets this week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @dowserDOTorg.