Saturday, September 28, 2013

Capitalising upon the crowds

Continuing the run of quick rough notes, here are some bullet points from two sessions at this morning's Talk About Local unconference about sustainability/making a living in communities that are becoming increasingly connected, either through or as a complementary side product of a hyperlocal website:

Ways of trading and making a living:
- grants - time-consuming, you need to be the right type of organisation. Partnerships may be effective to bring your skill audience with others
- crowdfunding - eg Kickstarter, Just Giving Projects
- creating markets where your online audience is your main buyer eg food trucks for physical perishable food, products influenced by the website audience/local area
- advertising - rates that are successful around £60 per year. Advertising also drives content and adds value and engagement for businesses. Success reported with Google ads and
- collecting surplus for exchange or trade eg Apples for Eggs, Freecycle, Urban Harvest, Loaf
- connecting people who like and trust each other
- income connected to the blog, but not necessarily the blog itself, eg education/training, consultation/bringing people together, storytelling/social media, services based on free or open source tools, eg voovio lets you build a 360 degree slideshow

- work out what should be free and what shouldn't
- be prepared to price your time properly
- cultural issues: we don't like to sell, can crowdfunding feel like begging?, accountability - advertising is more transparent, what happens when you take money - can you still be critical?
- there is often a surplus of ideas against shortage of people who can take action, so take incremental steps eg
> join/like a community
> ask for a small amount of help
> raise small amounts from large amounts of people
> have a collection day when everyone can bring/swap
> value/collect everyone's skills
> be sure to celebrate the outcomes / heroes who make an event of project happen, this will increase involvement for next time
- build a 'stockpot' of social capital
- design the outcomes you want: eg staying true to the community benefit

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