ICTs for Development

February 2, 2008

“Social Networking for Social Change”

Filed under: Uncategorized — anoushrima @ 10:15 am
Tags: ,

If you hadn’t heard of it already through this NYTimes article, a new darling of ICT and development seems to be a website called “Babajob,” which was recently launched in India. It is an example of how new media can be used not only as a “medium” for publicizing or galvanizing the need for a change in society, but as an end solution to a problem in and of itself.

Babajob uses the social-networking revolution popularized by Facebook and MySpace “to people who do not even have computers…to connect India’s elites to the poor at their doorsteps, people who need jobs but lack the connections to find them. Job seekers advertise skills, employers advertise jobs and matches are made through social networks.”

Babajob is conscious to build in a mechanism to reach those who are not “wired” or are not familiar with computers (ie- the majority of the population it seeks to assist). As the home page plainly explains: “We know that many of the people who might be hired through babajob.com may not have access to a computer or phone, and so their accounts can managed by a friend, relative, NGO or even a cyber-café operator – called a mentor…Whenever someone is hired, their mentor earns Rs 200.”

The interesting element for me is that it tries replicate online the process by which Indians hire in real life: through chains of personal connections.

Here’s a pretty comprehensive interview with one of the enthusiastic founders of the project:
[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/09/PID_012442/Podtech_StartupsinBangalore_Babajob.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/4043/startups-in-bangalore-babajob&totalTime=834000&breadcrumb=7fb21eb5178f4475b17cea4f156472fc]

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