A short while ago, I wrote a little piece about a possible idea to enter into the Building Democracy competition, which was to create a social ‘directory’ of online community groups. I put directory in inverted comments because that isn’t really what it is, but I could think of a better word. Anyway, I’ve come up with a working title for the project: Communicosm – it’s like a microcosm of communities. Or something. I dunno.
Anyway, for the Building Democracy site, I need to answer some questions about the project. Here’s my draft responses, which will hopefully give more detail on how this thing might just work. Once again, all feedback gratefully received! I need to get this up on the site next week really, so chop chop people.
What is your idea’s name?
A short description of your idea (in twenty words or less)
A socially generated directory of online communities, tagged by areas of interest, that organisations can use to find people to talk to. (This is 22 words. Dammit.)
Describe your idea. What will you do?
Create a wiki based site which will contain details of online communities, which organisations such as central and local government can use to find the people they need to get in touch with for consultations, etc. Each community will have a page describing it and its interests, with tags describing it with keywords, which can then be used by organisations to find the right communities quickly whether through a search engine or a tag cloud. Time will be spent at the beginning researching and finding communities and adding them to the site so that when it launches, it is full of content for people to get their teeth into. After this initial burst of activity, it will be a community generated job. Further additions to functionality might be for people to make lists of communities that they have found on the site, which can be emailed to them or shared on the site.
What will the benefits be?
The site will save time for those searching for groups to contact and engage with. Searching online for communities is a time consuming business, not least because some human research element is required to judge activity levels and how relevant the community is to a project.
Who will you target?
Online community groups will be targetted and encouraged to add themselves to the site. Non-online community group could also be added, though if they have no online presence this could be tricky. It will also be publicised amongst government and other organisations to encourage use.
Is your idea linked to a particular town or region? If so, where?
No, it’s a national thing. A local version already kind of exists with GroupsNearYou.
What kind of assistance would you like from others?
Help in identifying, adding and tagging communities on the site once up and running. Encouragement of organisations to make use of the site’s content.