be my eyes – volunteering with social media

I recently learned about an awesome new app called Be My Eyes, a nonprofit, open-source app in which non-sighted or visually impaired people can pair up with sighted volunteers to help overcome problems that require sight using mobile video chat. The app allows its users to request assistance from available volunteers and for their service, these helpers level up, providing additional incentives and possible rewards for users willing to lend a helping hand pair of eyes.

This is a fantastic example of using the internet and social networks (in this case the model of a social gaming network as well as open source code) to do incredible, tangible good (to the tune of almost 10,000 sessions at the time of this writing).

Be My Eyes joins programs like Google Helpouts (which offers lessons and tutorials either for free or for payment) to offer interactive video assistance online. I am willing to bet these are at the forefront of what will be a growing movement towards a more resourceful, crowdsourced internet. They are part of an internet economy that is slowly shifting towards hybrid/sharing model for a generation that is beginning to show that it increasingly values social good as much or more than money.