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Platforms

There are different types and forms of platforms, but in the main, they involve giving people the tools and resources they need to organise themselves. In the case of Meetup, for example, this means enabling people to connect and come together to discuss and act on issues of their choice. There are countless other examples. Think, for example, of micro-blogging service Twitter, personal publishing platform Wordpress, citizen reporting papers such as OhmyNews, social networking sites such as Facebook, Orkut and Bebo or collaborative projects such as Wikipedia. It is easy to see the generative potential of platforms: as more people get involved, the wider the scope and reach, and by extension, the greater the social impact. But platforms do not follow the traditional linear model of social innovation. The various stages from design, testing, development and diffusion occur almost simultaneously.