Thursday, September 18, 2008

101 Cookbooks: The power of online communities

Every day, around 1.4 million new blog posts, commentaries, essays and observations enter the worldwide blogosphere. On September 3rd, one particular blog post led to one of the largest lending teams on Kiva.

101 Cookbooks is an online "recipe journal" of healthy, natural snacks and sweets. On September 3rd, Heidi, the author of 101 Cookbooks and an avid Kiva user, invited her readers to join the newly created 101 Cookbooks lending team on Kiva. She explained how Kiva works, provided step-by-step instructions for joining a lending team and set a team lending goal. By the end of the first day, over 100 lenders, many of them new to Kiva, joined the 101 Cookbooks lending team. After two weeks, there are more than 400 team members who have made a significant impact on fighting world poverty.

The success of the 101 Cookbooks lending team demonstrates the potential impact online communities can have on social issues. A virtual cooking blog to a virtual community has led to over $7,500 in loans to real entrepreneurs in the developing world. Just as Kiva leverages technology to connect willing lenders to qualified entrepreneurs, Kiva users can leverage technology to further Kiva's mission. We believe the same model can be replicated by other blogs and online communities. Thank you, 101 Cookbooks, for using your voice to effect change. In what other ways can communities partner with Kiva to help alleviate poverty?