CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World

by by Tom Watson




This is a book about how the internet and social interaction on the internet might change philanthropy around the world, both by changing fund raising methods and also by increasing connection and transparency. Overall I found the book a little disappointing on several fronts:

  • It was recommended to me by someone I greatly respect and therefore my expectations were high and it did not really follow through.
  • The book describes a number of organisations involved in the area but they are largely ones that the author is directly involved in. This causes some problems in perspective on the issues at hand.
  • The author repeatedly demonstrates that most of the social internet related causes have not raised much money. That is fine if that is the reality but then there is very little analysis on why this is so and how it might change. I was looking for insight and a forward view and I did not get much of that.
  • The book is only short (197 pages of actual writing) but probably could have been a fair bit shorter as it is somewhat repetitive.

All of this should not detract from the fact that the author is involved in a number of worthwhile causes and organisations. It also should not detract from the passion, drive and purpose of the organisations that are described and the contribution and integrity that the people involved with them are showing. The book does provide a good resource base for looking at a number of organisations that are described and therefore is a good research tool for anyone looking to be involved in the area or as a starting point for not for profit organisations who want to start looking at this area.

Therefore I would recommend the book to people who want to pursue some thinking in the area, just do not expect too much insight and analysis. For those outside of not for profit organisations I do not think it provides much value.