July 30, 2008, 1:34 PM
Solidarity on the internet
It has been a very long time since I last wrote on this blog, being very busy with my work which had everything of a full time job, even though I was a freelancer. As now I have some time again I take that opportunity to do it again, to write about a website which, for once, doesn’t have anything to do with graphic design, but deserves being advertised. Sorry for all you English speakers, it’s a French website, as I’m French… But I leave this post in the English version of this blog hoping it will give some ideas to some people… If like me you are kind hearted, if you are the kind of person to give money to an NGO every month, in order to help people in need, you will be interested by this website. It has an original concept, quite excellent in its own way: you are used to buying over the internet, and as it happens there is something you would like to buy: why not an induction stove as a replacement to this horrible electric stove which doesn’t heat up well and gets dirty very quickly? Or a graphic tablet to replace the one you already have and which is too small? Then you think you are a victim of the consumers society, as you actually don’t need these objects.
But if evry time you bought something part of the money was given to NGO of your choice? Without even having to pay more, just because you chose so? You would still be a victim of the consumers society, but in a much less selfish way.
Well that’s possible, with a website called Soliland. A revolutionary system, even though it doesn’t look like it: it compares prices between many partner websites. When you have found the product you want, and you click to buy it on the merchant website, that website knows where you come from. You pay the product the same price everybody does, but because you have used that price comparator, a percentage is automatically given to the NGO you have selected when creating an account on Soliland, or to all the NGOs which have an agreement with them if you haven’t configured an account.
Of course it’s not perfect, the NGOs list is limited, the ones you like might not be included. But you will find in the list some famous NGOs. The search engine doesn’t seem that great though, if I search “graphic tablet” I only find 9 products, but if I search Wacom I get 55… But what is a bit of time wasted when you can help people in need unlike with a more efficient system. Sometimes it will be even faster to search for a product on a website you know and are used to, get the ref from there and then search with Soliland in order to come back to that website, only in order to give a bit of money to NGOs by doing such a thing.