2 Doing Good By Texting

Jed Alpert is harnessing cell phones in the name of charity and social change

Benjamin Lowy / Reportage by Getty Images for TIME

Mobile Commons co-founder and CEO Jed Alpert is photographed on August 3, 2012 in Brooklyn, NY.

To understand what makes the cell phone such a uniquely powerful tool for community organizing and activism, consider three facts about text messaging: it is almost completely spam-free, it's personal, and nearly every message gets read. Websites, e-mail, paper mail and phone calls don't come anywhere near achieving this trifecta.

"It's as close to reaching everyone as anything--here and everywhere else in the world," says Jed Alpert, co-founder and CEO of Mobile Commons. Alpert, 48, is a leading voice in the growing field of mobile activism: using cell-phone technology--mostly text messaging--to dispense information, raise money and advocate for political and social...

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