Facebook got there first. So what?

Last week, Facebook announced a new app feature that allows users to see their friends’ organ donation status.

Shorty after that, SilconeCaribe.com posted an article about Xorgan (pronounced Zor-Gan), a social mobile app meant to increase the rate of blood and organ donation worldwide; it was being developed by St. Vincent-based entrepreneur Herbert (Haz) Samuel. Because Facebook launched their apps first, Samuel has decided to “move on to plan B” and possibly forgo development of his app.

Although Facebook is a global organization, many such decisions are dependent on local culture and customs. What works for your friends in the US or the UK may not work at home in St. Vincent or Trinidad. Samuel said in the article that the idea for Xorgan came after a conversation with his brother, a consultant renal transplant surgeon at the Mount Hope Medical Sciences Complex in Trinidad & Tobago. He is quoted as saying: “After our first conversation, I wanted to immediately sign up as an organ donor, but I couldn’t, because there’s very limited infrastructure for organ donation in the Caribbean. So he [Samuel’s brother’] had to send the registration forms from Trinidad for my wife and I to sign up”. What we know for sure is that the Facebook app is not going to change the organ donation infrastructure in the region. Such culturally-centered apps such as Xorgan could give people ideas and indicators for how to communicate with their family and medical professionals about organ donation. The app could also include a location feature so that people across the region can know where to go for information on organ donation There are many ways to improve upon and continue developing these apps. Facebook may have launched theirs first, but what many global media/communication organization gain in expanding across borders, they also lose in local-centric intricacies.

The full article on Samuel is available at: http://www.siliconcaribe.com/2012/05/02/now-on-to-plan-b-caribbean-entrepreneur-unveils-mobile-organ-and-blood-donation-app-project-as-facebook-launches-their-timeline-version/

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