If you read our article about Megree, last week, you already know a little about the inner workings of the site. Megree is a “proprietary social media tool capable of how any two persons are connected.” The site, which is currently in beta, allows users to see the full extent of their social media reach without the hassle of registering for a new social networking site and replicating existing connections.
Essentially a user can use Megree to identify all of their existing connections and connections that have yet to be made. If you were interested in viewing your connection to the president, you could use the site to identify a person you have in common and if you’re lucky, an introduction can be made from there. Megree founder and CEO Eric Broyles is using this digital six degrees of separation to make the world a better place.
Eric Broyles is a man dedicated to his cause. How dedicated? He left a lucrative job as senior management at a friend’s technology company leaving not only the salary, but the stock options behind. While he has some angel investors, he is the majority financial investor in Megree. Working off the fundamental belief that if the world saw how much it’s connected, people would be less likely to do bad things to each other, Broyles and the Megree are attempting to use social networking to make the world a better place.
“Our initial focus as a company and as a tool,” says Broyles, ” is to help non-profit groups and humanitarian groups improve upon the likelihood of gaining support by showing benefactors and potential benefactors are personally connected to the beneficiaries of their program.”
Citing the recent earthquake in Haiti, Broyles says that instead of receiving a call to action via text, using Megree people could have received messages showing them their connection to a child in devastated region. From there, Megree would inject the social media aspect, showing which of your contacts had donated to the relief effort. Utilizing a domino effect, Megree would encourage people to donate through the bonds we’ve created both online and offline.
Non-profits have a choice to create co-branded pages with Megree to connect with potential benefactors, but it goes much deeper. The company currently has partnerships with a number of organizations including WaterAid and the National Kidney Foundation. For the WaterAid partnership, Megree will have exclusive access to award-winning photos from National Geographic covering the plight of Ethiopians facing the stark reality of not having enough clean water to drink. Megree will be selling the photos to users to raise money for this worthy cause.
In the fall when people begin registering for the National Kidney Foundation’s walkathon, they’ll be able to access a Megree widget on the registration page that prompts them to see how they’re connected to other walkers or people that will potentially benefit from their good deed.
While Megree works primarily with non-profits, the company itself is for-profit. Broyles plans to monetize the site via advertising and licensing the Megree technology to other firms.
“We are a for-profit business. We plan on doing well while doing good…We can plug this technology into almost anything. Take Match.com. Instead of hiring a private investigator, see who you know in common. Or say you’re looking to planning to hire a house painter on Craiglist, plug their name into the system and see if you know anyone they know. We have an enterprise version of the product that we’ve prototyped. We’re talking to a few corporate clients. They would license the technology and plug in their own data. They could use it as a contact management system.”
Many times as consumers we align ourselves with companies solely based on the cool factor. Megree is one of those companies. Combining technology with social responsibility, Broyles and the Megree staff see more than the big picture. They see the promise of a brighter, happier future through digital interconnectivity. It’s a future built on high ideals and hard work, but the reward is sweet.
“The promise of Megree is to remove the anonymity of people’s suffering and bring it to the forefront of our consciousness.”Category: Featured, Startup | Tags: Eric Broyles, megree, National Kidney Association, Social Networking, WaterAid