Nonprofit person-to-person microlender Kiva has committed to a huge undertaking: to facilitate lending for entrepreneurs in developing nations for the sake of alleviating poverty. And part of making that dream into a reality means helping people get access to the loan information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s why Kiva recently provided access to its API. Now, BetterLabs has built Kiva Alerts on top of that API, allowing users to get email alerts whenever specific loan information appears in Kiva.
Anyone familiar with Google Alerts or other alert services will have no problem managing Kiva Alerts. Simply enter your email address, choose qualifications for your particular interests, and save the alert. You can add as many qualifiers or form as many alerts as you like.
We love the simplicity of the alert feature. And we’re hopeful that it proves to be an easy way to keep people informed about Kiva. But we’re also fighting a constant battle with piles of email and overflowing inboxes. Hopefully, we’ll have the option of pulling an RSS feed of alert information in the future. In the meantime, the Kiva Alerts emails will definitely be among the ones we’re sure to read.
Collaborating for the Greater Good
For Kiva, opening the API also meant issuing a challenge to developers – to join Kiva in making the world a better place:
“It is going to take a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity, and a lot of passionate people bringing the opportunity of loans to places they’ve never been. Because we believe in the power of you as a part of this open and transparent community we are opening our digital doors today and asking you to help us change the world with loans.”
BetterLabs, a small incubator focused on helping businesses create working prototypes of their product concepts, jumped at the chance to help Kiva spread the word:
“We believe KivaAlerts.com will remind every one interested in supporting the Kiva causes more proactively and we also hope that users will forward interesting loan alerts to friends and family and help grow the lenders at Kiva.org for global good.”
It’s great to see this collaborative development happening for a good cause. Here’s hoping other developers are similarly motivated to take up the challenge. We can’t wait to see even more applications leveraging the Kiva API.