Can Bad Jumo Become GOOD Vibes?

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The social change side of the Internet was abuzz last week with the GOOD acquisition of Jumo. Everyone wants to know if the addition of the change media powerhouse turn around Jumo’s bad mojo.

Not much has been heard from Jumo since it launched in the fourth quarter of last year. The site promised to become the next generation gathering place for change activists. As you can see from the above traffic statistics, hype did not meet reality. Mainstays Care2 and Change.org barely felt its presence.

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GOOD, however, has a competitive presence. A more social GOOD could become the number one online change network, uprooting Care2 and its 16 million users.

But it’s not as simple as that. Jumo has serious problems, including profitability (or cash positive as it is organized as a nonprofit) and low traffic.

Beyond that, no one has ever really answered what Jumo adds to the competitive mix. When Jumo launched, executives — including Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes — briefed dozens of influencers, and ignored their advice. The product launched with bugs, an over-reliance on the Facebook platform, and failed differentiate itself with any kind of distinguishing feature set or functionality. There was no evidence of strategic product marketing. Jumo was dead on arrival, and that’s why its traffic is still so low.

The combination of GOOD and Jumo may have potential, but only if GOOD seriously revamps Jumo’s interface and feature set to make it clear and valuable. Otherwise, the second coming of Jumo will also be dead on arrival.

On a larger scale, the acquisition acknowledges how hard it is to enter established markets with new social networks. New entrants need to do more than offer unclear and undifferentiated services if they are going to lure away their competitors’ communities.

Attend or Contribute to Twestival on Thursday

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The third Twestival will be held this Thursday in cities all over the world. A great event created by my friend Amanda Rose, Twestival has already benefit Charity: Water and hundreds of local charities with its global movement. This Spring’s effort will benefit Concern (on Twitter), an organization that seeks to provide education aid to some of the world’s most impoverished communities.

By partnering with Concern, the 2010 Twestival is aiming to highlight eight areas which are preventing some of our poorest youth around the world from going to school and getting the education they need. With the event just around the corner, Twestival has already raised more than $130,000 for this worthy charity. It is on track to surpass more than $1 million in combined charitable donations to date for all of three Twestivals.

“The power of Twestival is not just in the amount of money it raises for inspiring nonprofits like Concern, an organization whose mission it is to end extreme poverty,” said Allyson Kapin, editor of the Care2 FrogLoop blog. “It’s in Twestival’s incredible reach across communications channels, and how they help to raise awareness about nonprofits and social justice issues through earned media and word of mouth.”

There are several ways to participate, including changing your Twitter avatar. You can also donate directly or participate in the online auction.

And of course, the most obvious and best way is to attend one of your local Twestival events on Thursday. I’d like to highlight two in particular as the East Coast Zoetican:

As a former Washington DC Twestival committee member, I want to wish my colleague Nakeva Corothers good luck on Thursday. The Washington Twestival will be held from 6-9 at the Shadow Room. Sign up today! C’mon DC people, get on board!

And of course, all of my NYC nonprofit tech friends — including organizer Damien Basile — are getting ready their Thursday Twestival, too. The NYC event is extra cool with the Good Units under the Hudson Hotel experience from 6-10pm. The NYC Twestival could surpass $10k with your help!

Wherever, make sure to do your part for Thursday’s Twestival.