A to Z of Web 2.0 for Social Change: E

E for E-Democracy:

E-Democracy is one of the main Web 2.0 characteristics, and it is presented in different technologies, mainly reviews and ratings.

E-Democracy allows people to cast their votes and opinions about websites, blogs, products and services.

Even Google algorithm took this trend into consideration, when they considered the inbound links to certain websites a “vote” for the importance of a website, and this factor become the main factor in increasing the ranking of a website in Google’s search results. However, Google did not treat all votes equally and gave more weight to certain votes. We will talk more about this in our post about SEO.

Ratings is another component of the E-Democracy trend and it is shown in different ways: stars, thumbs and even custom buttons like Digg it and Burry it on Digg.com.

Digg is one of the first and most popular social news websites, it allows people to post link to certain stories, news and reports. The stories displayed on the home page were voted by the community members, if they like certain link, they Digg it, if they don’t, they can Burry it or do nothing.

The news stories digged by more members were displayed on the homepage.

Another rating system is used by Amazon.com, the online bookshop, where clients could rate a certain book or product and give it certain number of stars.

Amazon applied also the second technology of E-Democracy, the Reviews system, where clients could add their opinion about books. These features helped people make more informative choices.

How can E-Democracy help NGOs:

As we explained above, people’s ratings and reviews are important trend in Web 2.0, it can help you in at least three ways:

It can be feedback tool to better understand your target audience likings.

It can increase your search engine visibility and help you achieve high rankings for related search results.

Also, positive ratings and reviews can increase your conversion rate, turning visitors into subscribers, supporters and advocates.

Web 2.0 is a two ways communication platform, and listening and engaging your target audience can help you achieve your organization’s objectives.

Expert’s advice is to Engage, then Fundraise. Also, studies show that 5 of 9 reasons why supporters stop donating money are related to communication.

Implementing rating and/or reviews systems into your web presence can help you optimize your work and results.

Any other Web 2.0 tools or trends start with E?

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SMEX is a registered Lebanese NGO that works to advance self-regulating information societies in the Middle East and North Africa.

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