You’d like to be a better person, right? But you’re busy and sometimes in the crush of meetings and errands and chores, your day-to-day obligations might crowd out your focus on self improvement.
A group of students at my alma mater, University of Michigan, understand. Three undergrads — two engineers, one designer — developed an iPhone application called DoGood to help nudge users to do one good thing each day.
According to an article earlier this month in Forbes:
Three weeks since its launch at Apple‘s ( AAPL – news – people ) Worldwide Developers Conference, the application, DoGood, has recruited more than 15,000 individuals to be part of a growing network of users who want to change the world, at least a little. The application began as a hobby for three students who run a fledgling Internet outfit, Mobil33t, (pronounced “Mobileet”) in Ann Arbor, Mich. But according to Mobil33t’s co-founder and engineer Jason Bornhorst, who is in his fourth year as an undergraduate at Michigan, keeping up with the application’s success is becoming a full-time job.
The program tallies how many users are fulfilling that day’s deed, and users can share what they have done on Facebook and Twitter. So far, it’s up to 209,214 good deeds.
Bornhorst says the goal behind DoGood wasn’t just to do good works but to experiment with “leverag[ing] the network effects of 40 million mobile devices.”
According to iPhoneAppReviews.net:
The app is pretty simple. Every day there is a suggested “do good” task, like thanking a teacher, or use less water. If you need some inspiration to do the “do good,” read short posts from others around the world who have done it. If you do it, great! Share how it made you feel or what you did, and get a running tally of all the “do goods” you do. You can even post them to your twitter account, automatically.
It’s a simple idea, but it does reinforce the notion of one small gesture a day making a difference in the world. And, with it right there in the palm of my hand, staring me in the face, I have to admit, I felt a little guilty if I didn’t at least try to do the daily “do good.”
And Rick Broida on CNet says:
At the risk of coming across all touchy-feely, I love this app. I love everything about it: the idea, the execution, the price–and the fact that it was created by University of Michigan students. (I’m a Spartan myself, but good deeds know no rivalry.)