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A Web Site Idea


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#1 Adrian

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 06:27 PM

So I've been talking about an idea on IRC tonight, which to me sounds kind of interesting, if in need of further development before considing it an idea worth building. I thought it post about it here to see if anyone else thought it might have legs and actually worth thinking about seriously ;)

Stay with me while I describe it, it may ramble slightly :)

Take something like Upcoming as a base point, allowing people to 'organise' events, and for other people to sign up to take part, add on some other aspects of social networking, and give it a niche along the lines of local communities.
The idea being that people in a local community could use it to help set up and organise events for fundraising, local recycling schemes, church fete's, local environmental work (cleaing up a local area of woodland, or planting trees for example) and other stuff like that.

The focus being real communities, and trying to build engagement. Take the idea of Facebook networks, and let people sign up to their local community, so they can find out what's going on in their village/town/county/country, and let them sign up to take part.

Like some kind of Upcoming, Google maps, Facebook, UpMyStreet mashup for doing good stuff in the community.

Now there's big holes in the idea, and it would need clearing up a bit, but the intetion would be to hekp 'good things' in local communities happen, and to generate enough revenue from maybe advertising/sponsorship(you know, those companies wanting to associate themselves with good deeds :)), or even public funding if it could be got at to cover the costs.
But is it a concept worth exploring? Anyone know of something doing that kind of thing already?

Cheers :)

#2 BillSlawski

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:30 PM

Sounds like a really good idea, Adrian.

I think that something like that might be capable of being built on top of a platform like Civic space: http://civicspacelabs.org/

#3 iamlost

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:14 PM

...the inte[n]tion would be to he[l]p 'good things' in local communities happen, and to generate enough revenue from maybe advertising/sponsorship...

What I would suggest is to build two side-by-side compatible projects within the one domain, one for-profit events, one not-for-profit and use the revenue from the one to pay for both.

If you build in the ability to scale (in the backend and interface) but start local and build outwards the growth should be controllable and appear natural, i.e. start with Bristol, scale up to Gloucestershire, again to add in turn Somerset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Monmouthshire, Herefordshire, etc. (not necessarily in that order) and so on. Plus of course a more 'national' organisation/event roster.

The not-for-profit side would likely be strictly grassroots and your service could well become 'the' online rally point. Obviously a potentially valuable service.

On the other 'side' the social community becomes a 'captive' audience for more commercial events - concerts, gallery openings, indie music groups, etc. Think of the ad power if there is an upcoming not-for-profit event in Bristol that you showcase and promote - what is the value to Bristol hotels, pubs, etc. to advertise on that events pages?

And then, as you mentioned, there are the corporate sponsorships, etc.

It would require a lot of thought and work to get right but the potential both for 'good' and for 'greed' looks exceptional.

Work up a proper business model and plan.
Then go for it.
:cheers:

#4 Adrian

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 09:45 AM

Thanks for the comments guys, I did wonder if it would generate some responses :)

I'll check out Civic Space Bill.

I guess I, and the person I was discussing it with, was focussing on the local community doing community stuff because I wasn't aware of stuff that already did that.
General events like gigs and things seemed already covered by sites like upcoming, and isn't really about the community.
But it could certainly be a kind of 'bolt on' aspect of it.

Taking an example from my childhood, the Primary school I went collected old newspapers and stuff from the village, and once a month or so a big trailer would be dumped outside the school gates, and loads of people would turn up to shift all the stuff from the shed it was stored in, to the tailer, as well as running round the village and the local area collecting more that people would put out. There would be signs up round the village the week leading upto a 'collection' so people hopefully knew to put anything they had out.

Taking something like that, and providing the information about it online as well, not everyone in the local community is going to visit it, but some hopefully would, with it acting as an extra promotional tool, and perhaps organisational tool as well. Something that would help communities engage with each other a bit more (lots of commentary in the UK these days about how people don't know/speak to others in their local community any more).

It would require a lot of thought and work to get right but the potential both for 'good' and for 'greed' looks exceptional.Work up a proper business model and plan. Then go for it.


Heh, yes, as we were discussing it on IRC it all sounded so easy and obvious, but then you start thinking about it properly and run into issues working out how it would actually work as a real tangiable 'thing'!

I'll see if it goes anywhere, but I thought it was an interetsing idea, the fact no ones jumped up with half a dozen links to people already doing it makes it more so :)



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