The University of Michigan’s School of Information and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan have teamed up to create Neighbors4Neighbors, an interactive website that uses social networking technology to connect unemployed workers with each other.
Visitors to the site can get and give advice on the things that matter when someone loses a job. The site has two components, an online discussion forum that lets people share advice with each other, and a “widget,” or online program that can be put on partnering websites that have information for the unemployed. Questions and comments that are created via the widgets on partnering sites will be mirrored on the Neighbors4Neighbors discussion forums.
“This site demonstrates an efficient, low-cost application of social computing,” Professor Paul Resnick, the primary architect of the site, explains. “Many sites already aim to help unemployed workers find information or job leads, but they don’t have a way to connect everyone who is visiting the page. Neighbors4Neighbors pulls people and information together to create a community.”
Neighbors4Neighbors is a project of Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s Keep Michigan Working Task Force.