What Would Motivate You to Use MindSpread?

What Would Motivate You to Use MindSpread?

Recently a commenter posted a reply on the original MindSpread announcement. The commenter posted this:

Noble idea, but for me the question is this: Why do I need a web site to buy a book and give it to somebody? Assuming I’m inclined to do it in the first place, how much additional motivation is the web site really going to give me? Why subject myself to the additional complication of filling in the web form? How likely is it the people I give the book to are going to bother updating the web site to tell me where the book went after they read it?

I started typing my response but then felt that it made more sense to make it a blog post because this response needs feedback as well.

I should first start out by pointing that the you don’t need the website to buy a book. I know the commenter knew that, but for you new readers that fact may not be clear. Allow me to address the first question: why you need a website to give a book. You don’t. You don’t need MindSpread to give a book like you don’t need Facebook to stay in contact with your friends, in the same way that you don’t need Amazon to buy merchandise, in the same way that you dont need eBay to sell goods, in the same way you don’t need Youtube or Hulu to watch TV, and in the same way you don’t need Wikipedia for information. No, you don’t need MindSpread at all.

It’s time for the million dollar question. Why would you use MindSpread? What does MindSpread offer you? When you buy a book and read it, what do you do with it when you are finished? Most likely it sits on your bookshelf for years untouched. What if you could give it to someone and it would make a difference in their life? What if you could give it to someone and know that they will give it someone else and so on and so forth? What if you had a website that could track all of this and you could see your positive impact upon the world?

Yes, chances are there will be people who do not spread the books after they have received them. This can be solved in two ways. Technologically and socially. MindSpread could send them an email monthly reminding them to spread the book. MindSpread could integrate with Facebook Connect so that people would know who is not spreading books when they receive them.

However, I don’t think that technology is the best solution to the problem. That’s why MindSpread will be a non-profit/charity with open-source code. MindSpread’s users will own MindSpread. MindSpread’s users will be responsible for instilling passion amongst their peers and the receivers of the books. MindSpread’s users will control MindSpread’s fate. It’s about giving.

Remember MindSpread’s mission statement:

To encourage the spreading of knowledge and culture throughout the world.

You would use MindSpread for the same reason that you may help your neighbor shovel his drive way, for the same reason you might serve food at a homeless shelter, for the same reason that you might answer a question on a forum, for the same reason you might take time out of your day to listen to a friend who is hurting, for the same reason that you might donate food to charity. Helping other and giving makes us feel good. So what does MindSpread offer you? Altruism. Selflessness. MindSpread offers you a chance to make a difference.

Follow me on Twitter: @jprichardson

-JP Richardson

PS: I would appreciate any additional feedback.

If you made it this far, you should follow me on Twitter.  


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