Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Back in February as one of our activities for Student Volunteering Week we headed to Roe Vale campus armed with some lap tops and took up residence in the cafe to demonstrate some Microvolunteering. 


So what exactly is Microvolunteering? Well according to I-volunteer it is 'small, quick, low commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause'. The best examples of this type of volunteering seem to be online. Below is a selection of microvolunteering options for you to have a go at. All the websites below came from Help From Home which provides over 500 microvolunteering actions and were highlighed by VInspired which has helped narrow those 500 down a bit.



Free Rice is a bit of a classic. It’s a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Programme. By answering general knowledge questions your correct answers generate donations of rice. Simple, effective but be warned very addictive!



Grid Republic will appeal to those with a technical mind. Using this site you can donate your idle PC processing power (with a piece of free software). That excess processing power will be combined with thousands of other PCs to help solve problems for good causes. 


Nessie on the Net is a bit of a novelty! A webcam has been set up overlooking Loch Ness in Scotland, to solve the debate over whether Nessie actually exists! If you think you’ve spotted something just click the ‘Snapshot’ button to submit your image. 

Galaxy Zoo is really fascinating. The site contains images of galaxies. The human brain is better at spotting patterns and classifying things than computers so NASA are asking for your help! As you work through you’ll answer questions to identify features and tell one galaxy type from another. The only downside is that the tutorial on how it works is rather lengthy. However once you’ve read it your good to go and can dip in and out. 


Gwap stands for Games with a Purpose. This sight has a range of different games you can play which will help computers learn to solve problems like we do!






Answer4Earth works on the same principle as Free Rice. Using Answer4Earth you work through answering questions. Correct answers collect leaves, then branches and finally you’ve planted a whole tree! 


The internet has proven over and over again how good it is as a campaigning tool. The Petition Site lists hundreds of petitions so you can search through, find a cause close to your heart and add your name to the campaign.

Have a look for yourself and see what you think. From my perspective it wouldn’t beat actually getting out there and volunteering in the real world but its always good to find other ways of doing useful things in your spare time!

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