Page last updated at 14:07 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Global 'caring' portal to launch

School children at an open air school in Guinea
The portal could be used to help build schools

President Barack Obama and Bill Gates are being invited to back a website that promotes social politics.

The web portal, entitled Hope Plus, aims to offer online tools to enable social projects such as building schools and fighting pollution.

Although still being created, the site is billed as "a place where people can meet, congregate and change the world online".

It aims to launch in December at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference.

The project, which is still under development, is being set up by US-based consultancy PoliticsOnline.

The idea is to create a world online Peace Corps or a global eBay for caring
Phil Noble, PoliticsOnline

Founder Phil Noble was interviewed by UK e-democracy newsletter E-Government Bulletin about the plans for the site.

"The idea is to create a world online Peace Corps or a global eBay for caring," Mr Noble told the newsletter.

The concept was in part inspired by Mr Noble's previous work with the BBC. He was a key advisor to the now defunct BBC Action Network, a nationwide portal for community activism.

"I'd been throwing out the idea for a global network... and the consensus was - now was the time," he told E-Government Bulletin.

The portal will be multi-lingual and consist of a range of activism tools. Companies such as Microsoft, Monster, Cisco and IBM and participating in creating the site.

It will be user-generated, in terms of content and how it develops.

"Most NGOs [non-government organisations] are still quite web 1.0 - we want to apply the web 2.0 technology that Obama used so effectively to the whole helping world," said Mr Noble.

It would allow charities and NGOs to launch new projects without having to jump through bureaucratic hoops, thinks Dan Jellinek, the editor of E-Government Bulletin.

"So far attempts at e-democracy and social good have been on a small scale, built around communities or single issues. This is the first attempt to make it international," he said.

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