Yay! I passed my exams!
Archive for August, 2006
This is the week. Today Derick and I had a talk with the programmer and the statutes of the Helpalot Foundation have been signed by the notary. Yesterday morning I met Herman Wiegerinck who’s helping out financially and is also conceptually involved in making the best of this project.
Yesterday afternoon I became sick, but today I feel much better, but still not perfect. This leaves a lot of work left for tomorrow I would like to have done yesterday and today. Still I feel the exams on Friday should not be a problem.
For the Helpalot project I have to get a feel for the potential market and growth Helpalot would be able to achieve. I must admit that I do like to think like what is explained as Chinese Math in this article. There are sooo many people who are involved in charities, surely, if I an only get 1% of them, the site would be a success.
But the total market doesn’t really matter (at first) because getting from zero to a 100 people is just as hard when the potential market is huge, as it is for a small potential market. For this reason I try to do more research on charities to get a good feel for how to get people (like you?) on the Helpalot site and what the implications are for the details of the concept.
In particular I’d like to get in contact with more charities, preferably based in Amsterdam (because that’s the startingpoint I’ve set out in my plans). If you know some charities that wouldn’t mind me and Derick dropping by for a talk, please helpto arrange the contact.
Maybe more important even is contact with (small) businesses that might like to become active on the site. In my business model, companies can have a personal company page that states what charities they support for an annual fee. As for this moment this is primarily based on a gut feeling and some indirect research. That this would be a viable option is a strong gut feeling, but it’s time to test that by talking with some companies that might be interested.
My first focus was on the concept as this is my graduation project, but now the concept will be developed for real, I feel this extra research is highly needed to make it work. If you can help me out in any way with this, please comment or leave a message.
Since the SIGCHI conference there have been major developments on the Helpalot project. I like to inform you by introducing Derick Mekking:
1. Can you give a quick introduction of yourself?
My name is Derick Mekking, I run my own company Sporttaste Interactive. I work with different partners on building “Social Network” Internet communities. I am currently working on www.teazel.net, http://network.globaldutch.com and hope to add more Internet communities to my list.
My goal for the next coming years is to have a lot of fun helping out companies, foundations or other organizations in the field of social network communities.
2. How did you come in contact with the Helpalot project?
I was surfing on the Internet and run into the Interactive Marketing Event SIGCHI conference, where you made your first public appearance by presenting the Helpalot project.
I am very interested from the first moment I got the message that Julius wants to help out people to find the charities that fit them best. When he talked about a social network community I send him a message to tell him I want to help him out.
3. What is your role now in the Helpalot project?
At this moment I would describe my role as a big believer of Helpalot. With that in my mind I want to support Julius with all the knowledge and resources I have build up during my 27 year life including the last 2 years as an entrepreneur. Within a month we hope to make a big step so we can launch the website a.s.a.p.
4. How would you use the Helpalot site?
I hope to get relevant information about charities. The site with my network of friends can help me out as I search with my pocket money – all bits will help out - for Interesting, local and trustful donations. From the moment I support a charity I hope they will give me feedback on their project via the Helpalot website.
5. What do you see as the challenges and the opportunities for Helpalot?
The challenge will be to make the site an icon in the world of charities. It will be an independent portal open to all individuals. To make it a success we need a lot of people to help us out. At first we hope to find them in our own network of friends. If we succeed to make them as enthusiastic as we are we hope to spread the virus via them. We will find out very soon if our friends are the real ambassadors we hope for. To become a good ambassador, as we know Marco Borsato (A successful Dutch artist with a beautiful wife) is for Warchild, we need you to speak up and deliver relevant content or contacts to the Helpalot website.
Opportunities will come if we are successful in our challenge.
6. What do you see as the most important reason for individuals to participate on the Helpalot site?
To be part of a new world where you can help friends, friends of friends, all members and charities with their questions, search and expression to make the world a better and trustworthy place.
7. What do you see as the most important reason for charities to participate on the Helpalot site?
So they can tell their story of what the charity is all about. Questions or maybe misunderstandings can be resolved. By setting up your own site you can communicate with your supporters. It can give a charity valuable feedback for future steps.
8. We’re going to use your social network site as a starting point to build Helpalot. Can you give a rough estimate of when Helpalot might be launched?
We want to launch Helpalot January 2007. As I have some experience with building Internet communities I know the site is never finished or perfect. Off course we aim for perfection!
If you want to help us develop the website as you are very keen as a programmer you can always contact us. The more help we get the quicker we can launch the website.
9. Thank you for your time, is there anything else you think is important to mention?
Thank you for the interview and the introduction to all your friends, visitors, family viewers and all other supporters. Hope to see you all when we introduce the website.
You have a great Weblog, keep up the good work!
This was the sixth 9 questions, I’d like to thank Derick, not only for this interview, but also for all the effort he has put into the Helpalot project.
Friday next week I’ll have my exams. As I won’t be able to show a working test version, I’m now building a mock-up version of the site:
The tabs are not working on the owner page, but they do work for the visitor. For the owner the personal view, management and visitor view are not working yet.
There is not much color on the page, because I’m first focusing on lay-out. Besides, the site has to be easy to navigate for color-blind people too. So this is a good way to test that.
Feedback would be great .