The crowd was a heady mixture of web developers, designers, entrepreneurs and people with all sorts of skills. Although coming from different angles, everyone seemed to have a driven passion for using the web to help solve the problems of society.
Six projects had been chosen for the weekend, from over 70 submitted ideas (one of which was my dream for “Social Compost)”:
- Barcode Wikipedia – community-driven database of product information
- Enabled by Design – product advice and support for disabilities
- On The Up – personal development tracking for youth
- Rate Your Prison – accountability for prison visiting conditions
- Rate My CV – support for marginalised workers
- Stuff Share – community network for sharing possessions
I was working in the Stuff Share team. Our goal was to create a website to facilitate the sharing of possessions – tents, books, power drills, baby gear and all those other bits and pieces we accumulate but hardly ever use – in order to reduce consumerism and increase community. The idea was that pre-existing trusted groups, such as one’s workplace, neighbourhood, hobby group or children’s school, could become a hub for sharing.
We identified a number of hurdles that we’d need to overcome in order to create a successful site – such as how to support trusted relationships between users and how to get people starting to share as easily as possible. The strict time limit dictated that we decide which set of problems to tackle for the first release – and then the build was on…
We worked hard until 2pm Sunday, when each group had to give a presentation of their project. A panel of judges then awarded prizes of £2000 and £1000 to help take the most impressive projects forward.
Work is continuing on Stuff Share and is hoped to be launched at stuffshare.com some time in the near future…