Bijan Sabet

The social web: helping each other out, one person at a time

My first encounter with the social online was usenet

It blew my mind where i could find people all over the world to talk about things I was interested in like computers, consumer electronics or photography. 

Since then of course the social web has evolved at an accelerated pace with new experiences and new capabilities.

I think one of the best parts of the todays social web is seeing startups build applications, networks and marketplaces that where people can help out others.

Four examples to point out but there are many many others.

Kickstarter.

Kickstarter has made an enormous impact and is growing substantially in use and in the range of funded projects. And today, to give on Kickstarter is truly about just that - giving. It’s about helping support someone or something that you believe in. The projects happening as a result of Kickstarter and people’s will to make it happen are wonderful. 

Skillshare

In many ways, I see Skillshare as Kickstarter’s cousin. It’s not only because the founders are friends but they have a similar ethos. I remember having goosebumps when I heard Mike told us he wanted to turn every city into a campus. We made an offer to invest in the company the same day. The magic on skillshare is when students also become teachers and teachers become students. We are teaching each other new things and that is amazing. 

charity:water

Jack was the one who first told me about charity:water. it’s an important cause that once you learn about it, you just want to spread the word. And 100% of the money raised goes directly to building water projects. And they built an excellent social website where people are raising money from their old friends and new friends. Here’s my profile

Stack Exchange

Everyday people turn to the web with questions and a thirst for an answer. Not necessarily an opinion but the factual answer. Joel and Jeff built something that does just that. It started out as a site for programmers and has quickly become a network of sites across a wide range of topics. 

I am intentionally leaving out a ton of other startups because I can’t cover them all. But these services help each other out are an inspiration.