It has been a busy fortnight!
The first great bit of news is that LikeMinded is now in not-so-secret beta at www.likeminded.org. Take it for a spin and let us know how you like it! If you could use a brief intro, we threw together a short introductory video here.
Since making the tutorial, we’ve been working all week with Exygy on new features and fixes for the platform, and we just updated likeminded.org with a bunch of new stuff:
Community Moderation: If you see something that doesn’t belong in LikeMinded, you can flag it and alert the LikeMinded team. Flagging links are at the bottom right of each Project and Resource page.
Search: You can now sort search results by most recent additions to LikeMinded.
Messaging: we’re putting the finishing touches on another requested feature: member-to-member messaging. It should be available sometime this weekend. You will be able to send a message to another LikeMinded member. Go to the LikeMinded member’s profile, click Contact User, and you will get a unique and anonymous email address for that member. Send an email to the member using that email address in your normal email program. A key privacy note: your outgoing email(s) using this anonymous email address are logged in the LikeMinded system.
Fixes and Enhancements
you can more easily share info on projects you love, but which you weren’t directly involved in. When you start a project, you are listed in the “Shared By” credit. If you were also involved in the project, you can add yourself in the People section.
Project Status Visibility: the status of your submissions is visible in your Profile view. If you have shared Resources or Projects, you can see whether they are active, inactive or rejected (sad face).
Facebook for Sign-Up: when you click Sign Up, the Facebook sign-in option is now there.
Project Creator Visibility: you can now see the LikeMinded member who shared a project.
Add-To-Project Button: members who have projects will now see a green button on the top right of Resource pages allowing them to add the resource to any of their projects.
Signing Up During Project Creation: if you start a project without a LikeMinded login, you can now set up your account without losing the Project details you had already shared.
Duplicate URL Help: if you share a URL for a resource that’s already in our system, we now will give you the LikeMinded URL for that resource instead of just an error message.
Emails: various improvements in email notifications when you share a resource or project
Admin Stuff: we changed some things to make it easier for the LikeMinded team to manage the site. I can attest to the fact that this rules!
LikeMinded is now officially speeding it’s way toward existence. Zach Berke and Pierre Hunault, our awesome development team at Exygy, kicked off work on the project last week. On Monday we had a chance to see their handiwork.
The focus of the first week was the front end, translating the wireframe designs from our UX period into web layouts. It’s tricky and detailed work. Turns out that Exygy was able to make huge progress and overcome most of the technical challenges we had identified as possible trouble points.
Among many highlights, our inner geeks were particularly giddy about the neat animation effects built into the homepage search feature, with Tron-style connective lines smoothly zipping between top level and sub categories.
We are also pleased to announce that after surprisingly cordial domain negotiations, we are the proud owners of both likeminded.org and likeminded.us ! Take a peek and sign up to our newsletter for project updates and greater organizational news.
As the year ends, we would like to extend warm holiday wishes to all the labrats, key informants, partners and friends who have helped us to get this far. At the beginning of the year this project was little more than a hunch, and your guidance, expertise and support has been invaluable in making LikeMinded a reality as we head toward an early 2011 release. Thank you!
We recently came to the end of an incredibly enlightening and gratifying design process for our knowledge share project, now officially entitled LikeMinded (see this blog post for some thoughts on that). A number of months ago we enlisted the expertise of user experience design expert Jordan Kanarek, and are elated with the results.
A stylish combination of our extensive research and big ambitions for this project, we are really excited to be able to show you an early preview of what LikeMinded will look like once released in early 2011.
As always, we will continue to reach out and source feedback on the design and it’s function, hopefully starting out with some comments and early impressions from our blog readership!
We would like to publicly thank Jordan for everything he has brought to this process. An early focus group participant, his abilities as a designer, product strategist, thinker and communicator have been invaluable to realizing our ambitions for this project, and we are hoping that he will stay engaged with us as it continues to evolve in the coming years.
So here they are, let us know your thoughts! The first screen is an example of the homepage, while the second is an idea of what an individual project page will look like.
Thanks for your thoughts and support.
The big news today is that our project is funded. We are one of five organizations included in the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Technology for Engagement Initiative. Needless to say, we’re pumped. Read more about it on the Craigslist Foundation blog and the Knight Foundation blog.
This grant not only provides funds to build an initial release of a knowledge sharing service. It also gives us a comfortable time line to listen to community feedback and iterate on the idea. We’re working toward having a first release by the end of the year, and
Our next step is UX – user experience. We are working with UX expert Jordan Kanarek to build on the feedback and drawings from our discussion groups to refine this service. What actually happens when someone uses the service and what features are available to use? This week, Jordan has scheduled 1-on-1 chats with some of you about our initial design concepts and feature ideas.
Jordan’s bringing a lot of creativity and rigor to this chapter in our project’s life. We’re excited to show you our progress.
So, you helped us understand the need for community solutions to travel from neighborhood to neighborhood. You helped us understand what an online service to help with this might look like.
Now we need a snazzy name.
We’re brainstorming words and naming ideas using a game format. You can play as many times as you like. You’ll see two options. Choose your favorite. And you can add your own ideas at any time.
Try it at http://www.allourideas.org/nameksp.
Thanks for your help.
We’ve shared reports here from our knowledge sharing meetings around the country, and last week we brought it in-house so the Craigslist Foundation team could weigh in using the same discussion format. We’ve taken all that feedback and rolled it up into a short summary. It’s a short five pages. Hope you enjoy it, and keep the great ideas coming.
We held our latest knowledge share tool focus group at the gorgeous DLA Piper offices up in the sky of San Francisco on May 6th.
Yet more great feedback and ideas were cultivated with a small and informal group of new and familiar faces as we tried to answer the question, now that we know that this tool would be useful, what would it look like? What features should take priority?
Here are some of the many insightful suggestions we noted:
- Fact checking. Moderation is key to ensure the credibility of stories submitted to the system.
- Narrative Arcs. Stories should be brief, and entry forms should encourage a narrative arc highlighting the initial problem, the process undertook to solve it, and the final outcomes.
- Zipcodes. The zipcode is a powerful tool not only for geo-location, but could also be used for email alerts about your neighborhood, and to create highly specific community bonds.
- Integration. The tool should be able to integrate within Facebook, Linkedin etc for ease of use, and also ease of author reference.
- Online > Offline. The tool should contain features that encourage offline interaction, whether it be through meetup groups organized around zipcodes or subject interest, or direct connections drawn between author and reader.
- Antonym’s. This creative suggestion pointed out that there are two sides to every story, and wondered if there might be a way to generate antonym’s, or oppositional perspectives on any one issue.
- Audio & Video. Many agreed that the tool should be able to transfer audio and video information for rich story telling.
- Offline Communities. A few suggestions were made about the tool serving offline communities, from text message compatibility, inviting people to populate the tool with stories from elderly communities to printing and distributing stories collected in short run local newspapers.
- Praise. Success stories, or brutally honest stories of best attempts should be praised and showcased for users to read.
- Demographic pairing. How did a similar sized community with similar diversity deal with your issue?
In addition to these big ideas, we could not leave without a sharpie session! Here are some of our participants artistic impressions of what this tool would look like:
Thanks so much to our attendees Kathy Bella, Thea Selby, Lucy Bernholz, Arthur Corbin, Leo Romero and Jordan Kanarek. It was a fun evening!