Welcome to our new web thingy, grab a cuppa' and make yourselves at home

As you may have noticed, we've got a shiny new website.

Website? What, not a platform, social network, or a revolutionary new online collaborative crowdsourced community?

Nope. It's a website.

A few months ago we embarked upon the task of taking Good for Nothing online. During the process we've talked to many of you (even filmed a few, sorry), looked closely at what else is out there [1] in terms of online community-driven social enterprise whats-its and tried to understand what it meant to be Good for Nothing. It's been a healthy balance of intro- and extrospection, and this is what it boiled down to:

"Good for Nothing is about smart folk collaborating and experimenting to solve stuff that matters"

There's no shortage of stuff that matters, so it follows that the only thing making Good for Nothing Good for Nothing is the smart folk. You. Without smart folk, no amount of nifty technology or online collaboration tools [2] would make the slightest bit of difference

In short: You are the community, the platform and the network.

So – the thunking went – what do we build online to both encourage and enable you to collaborate online with as much drive, enthusiasm and energy as you do offline?

We could go down the path pioneered by OpenIDEO: Inspirations, leading to ideas, to digestion, to selection, to completion… but we figured you've got enough to do in your lives to dedicate this much time to process, and, after all, the lack of structure and mildly chaotic approach that we enforce at gigs is a big part of what makes it work; it's supposed to be about putting your 9-5 frustrations aside and concentrating on working the way you know works, a way in which you know you'll get shit done.

So we're taking a different approach. An approach based on the principles of indirect collaboration that fuel the Open Source movement; rather than trying to translate direct, face-to-face collaboration into a set of cold, web-based tools, we're going to try to encourage frictionless online-offline interactions. Like the idea of a challenge? Take it, it's yours. Organise a team of colleagues to build a contribution in an evening, arrange to meet the challenge owner for a coffee and solve it there and then.

Whatever you think it takes. We only ask you take a second to pop back here and share the answer with the community; its likely that your solution will be useful for more than just the challenge you provided it for.

These are truly open challenges; free-for-alls, no holds barred.

Along the way we'll try to keep a note of the Good you're doing and who you're working with. There should be little to no effort on your part for this, but if we're smart enough about it you should build a rich Profile for Nothing by just doing.

The website as it stands is very much the beginning, a blank canvas for us all to experiment on. We'll be rolling out (and possibly retracting) features as we learn how you want to work with one another online.

All we ask is that you continue to experiment and collaborate to solve stuff that matters.

As always, thoughts and suggestions on a postcard, or just go get stuck in and do some Good, the way you want to.

Footnotes

  1. OpenIDEO, Improve SF , Simpl, Catchafire, Shaped By Us
  2. http://crisismapper.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/why-technology-is-10/

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