Kiva is that great organization that allows everybody to make personalized microloans, by selecting who is getting money, getting in touch with them, and getting repaid by them (if things work out). Kiva does a great job of making loans less anonymous, and it adds some feel-good factor for the lenders because they now have an actual personality.
we just received our XO Laptop (a.k.a.
one laptop per child laptop). i am struggling a lot with the basic interface functions, but i am pretty sure it's just me, my decadent iPhone-driven expectations, and some getting used to this new toy. i'll figure it out, and i just love the green ears.
what i was wondering about: what if the give one get one promotion (through which we got our laptop) would have used Kiva's model to actually let me know who received my laptop? to let me get in touch with them, learn how my laptop is being used, and maybe help them if they needed to figure out things? i think this would have been just great; right now, the only thing i know is that my laptop probably went to the southern half of the globe, and that's about it. i would like to learn to better use the XO, maybe help others to better use the XO, and learn how the XO is being used.
give one get one is over now, but i am wondering whether it would still be possible to set up these partnerships. i know my serial number, and i guess there is some record of which laptop went where. and there is ning or other sites which support customized social networks. now that could be really cute, wiggling my XO's little green ears in sync with its brother somewhere else...