It’s Friday afternoon and I thought it would be a good idea for me to come up for air long enough to provide an update on WeEarth. This has been a super-busy week with a lot going on. I’m going to do the best I can in 35 minutes, since we’re having a meeting at 3:00 PM and it’s 2:25 now.
The WeEarth concept continues to be refined, and continues to evolve. An important aspect of it is that we have to find the right way to position it as an environmentally aware community without letting it be perceived as “just another Treehugger.com” or “just another greensite”. We feel that we have come up the right approach to this, but it will undergo further refinement. A clue to how we’re approaching it can be seen in the following mission statement, which is still a work-in-progress:“At WeEarth we believe that we are all connected; that we occupy a fragile planet and shared its stewardship; and that by empowering people with technology to create and share art, ideas, and mutual concerns we can amplify our connections and be a meaningful force for good for the planet, its people, and all the life which it sustains.”As you will see from this, we are looking to make “green” a subset of a larger “culture of connectedness”. By doing this we think we can tap into a much larger audience and create something that can truly grow into a major enterprise.COMPONENTSWe see WeEarth having basically four components:1) An information portal that is very “content rich” (important for Search Engine Optimization) with articles, stories, videos, etc on subjects that resonate with the WeEarth philosophy as expressed in the Mission Statement. We will make use of both professional journalism and user generated content and blogs. The idea is for it to be very lively and fun but also substantive and informative. (INCOME STREAMS: Advertising2) A social network that is as big as we can make it and includes as man sub-groups as the users want to create. (INCOME STREAMS: Advertising, Subscriptions for Premium Service)3) An e-commerce dimension (INCOME STREAMS: Products sales –digital and physical)4) A video hosting service for videobloggers (see blip.tv to get an idea of how this works)No site on the internet that we can find actually combines these elements.FUNCTIONALITYResearch has indicated that a key “magnet” for attracting people to a social network, particularly the Generation Y group that is our main target, is making sure that the functionality of the Social Network component (which includes blogging and videoblogging that might just be on the social network or might in some cases make it onto the information hub) is good and evolves in a way that keeps it as good or better than “what’s out there” on other social network sites. The “basics” are: profile with photo and video uploads, blogging capability, friend invites, group setup, chat, email. We will be looking to do all of this but also create some “upgrades” that will let people follow the site’s motto: “Use your voice…be heard”. More about this in another post.TEAMOur team working on this right now consists of 8 fulltime people working on the various functions. More on them in another post. It’s a very bright and talented young group.SEQUENCEIn our work sequence, the first thing to come online will be a beta version of the information hub, which will start out as a webzine and evolve into an information portal as content flows into it. The social network will be second, followed by the e-commerce element and finally the video hosting. We will have the webzine up and started before the end of January.That’s all for now. I will expand on some of these areas shortly. (I have no clue by the text went green and bold in the last bit of this but I don’t have time to fix it…..I tried a couple of things and no luck — whatever. It looks normal in my editing page — only goes green when you view the site.)