Kindness on the Web – Rice, Books and Community

June 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Digital Space

This is a guest post by Helen Crozier – thanks Helen!

Kindness seems to be a bit of buzzword lately. In the name of ‘kindness’ we have organizations, movements and ‘days’ devoted to ‘paying it forward’ and spreading generosity. There is a proliferation of creative websites making it easier for us to participate in ‘kindness’ – a small selection of my favourites are listed below.

RICE – learn while giving

Free Rice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Their partner is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Help end world hunger

FreeRice has two goals:

  1. Provide education to everyone for free.
  2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.

This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on the site. 64 billion grains of rice have been donated to date. Like an online trivia game, you choose between five different subjects and for each question you answer correctly 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program.

goodreads_bookmark_backBOOKS – record, give, liberate

There’s something addictive for some of us about being in a bookshop and buying books. However they do take up a lot of space so I’ve taken to recording and reviewing the books I have read on Good Reads then giving books away on Book Mooch. Sign up and add the titles you are prepared to post to someone. Postage costs will generally mean you are limited to posting to someone in your own city but nonetheless when you pop a book in the mail knowing it’s about to land in the letterbox of someone wanting to read it you feel so good.

Bookcrossing is another site dedicated to giving books the adventures they deserve. Register then leave your book on a park bench, a coffee shop, at a hotel on holiday. Share it with a friend or tuck it onto a bookshelf at the gym — anywhere it might find a new reader! Track the book’s journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.

COMMUNITY – Live Local – experiment, publish and share!

logoA new initiative, Live Local is a place to share stories about improving our communities. Use the website to document your neighbourhood experiments – your stories about your experiences and adventures meeting neighbours, discovering neighbourhoods, improving your local economy, saving energy and making our air and water cleaner.

Examples of Experiments are, sharing your tools or other things with your building or street, introducing yourself to your neighbours, car-pooling to work, cooking for neighbours once a week, growing vegies in your front garden, having an open picnic in a nearby park, inviting a neighbour over for a drink and organising a progressive dinner.

Helen Crozier is a Technology Coach devoted to helping you make friends with IT and specializes in the Internet, Outlook, Blogs, Twitter, the iPhone and IT Solutions. Helen offers one on one support, workshops, presentations and information on her three blogs Keyboard Karma, My Fabulous iPhone and Techno Savvy Parenting. She may be contacted on


3 Responses to “Kindness on the Web – Rice, Books and Community”
  1. Hi Helen. It’s so good to see you writing here at The Calm Space. I’ve enjoyed your presentations in the past so thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

  2. karen says:

    Welcome Helen! We’re so thrilled you’ve taken the time (at quite short notice!) to share this with us. I visited Free Rice and learned some new words whilst helping to make a difference!

    I am not sure about Book Mooch – I have great trouble parting with my books (in fact in the plans for our new house, we’ve included lots of bookshelves!)… do you find that it’s easier to let them go when you know they are going somewhere they will be appreciated?

  3. Chris Owen says:

    Welcome Helen
    I have Karens’ problems with the book attachment issue!!
    Maybe I could spare a couple!!!