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Jumo Launch Overloads Servers

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes' social network that connects charities with donors left users waiting as an unexpected number of visitors strained servers.

Jumo, a social network that connects charities with donors, was officially launched in beta on Tuesday, but the site founded by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes didn't open for business smoothly.

The unexpectedly high number of people trying to access the site on its first day caused "load-related issues" that caused delays for people signing up for the first time or trying to log in. Users also experienced slowdowns once logged in to the site.

"Jumo is driving me crazy!" one user wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. "Just want to edit my profile. Giving up for the day."

Jumo acknowledged the technical problems in its blog, saying, "While we anticipated great interest, we've seen an unbelievable response from people in countries around the world. This is beyond our wildest dreams."

The site assured users that it was working on handling the increased capacity. "We'll be here until this works for everyone out there who wants to use Jumo to have an impact," the company said.

Hughes founded the nonprofit site this year in order to provide a social network that connects people with the charity organizations they want to support. The site enables people to follow and comment on developments posted by their favorite charities, and to communicate with the organizations much like people do on Facebook.

Hughes said he got the idea for the site after discovering the difficulty in staying in touch with people who share his interest in particular causes. "It's hard to find smart people doing meaningful work on the issues I care about," Hughes says in the company's blog.

Hughes is not the first to combine social networking with charity work. A Facebook application called Causes is a Facebook application for people interested in connecting with groups working on causes related to animals, education, environment and other areas. The site GlobalGiving connects users with grassroots charity projects.

The use of social networking in charity works comes as the nation's biggest charities report a drop in donation. Last year, donations to charities dropped 11% from 2008, and projections for this year indicate an increase of only 1.4%, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a biweekly newspaper that covers nonprofits.

Hughes left Facebook in early 2007 to work on the campaign of then presidential candidate Barack Obama. Hughes worked on the campaign's "new media" strategy of using social networking tools to organize supporters and raise money. He currently is "entrepreneur in residence" at General Catalyst Partners, a Massachusetts venture capital firm.

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