A few years ago, while waiting at Heathrow for a connection flight to the US, I struck a conversation with a Nigerian who was setting up a Malaria foundation. Before he boarded his plane to Lagos, I volunteered to help with the foundation's website.

Over the next couple of months we communicated via email, and the site went up here: After that, we lost touch, and as I visit the site from time to time, it is clear that it has not been touched since the launch.This experience is similar to other experiences I had, where there is a great deal of enthusiasm to do good, but it is hard to follow up - both for me and for the organizers, in upkeep and long term maintenance.With little technical and organizational resources, I think there are many thousands of 'Sitewrecks' - websites setup by foundations and nonforprofits - who do not make it through the long voyage of on-going maintenance.

The solution is to set up a grass-root movement, similar to 'OpenSource' that will connect talent from all over the world, with organizations, and help with that. I am talking about a long-term relationship, not just to setup the site. Perhaps such an effort exist already?

First posted on: Monday, August 21, 2006

Ezra SchwartzComment