Grow your local economy
July 10, 2009 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Grow your local economy
My wife and some friends have started a non-profit to help folks find and rate products grown or produced in their community. The organization is called Local Bounty and the associated Web site has just been rolled out. We’ve gotten a bit of participation so far in our community here in State College, Pennsylvania so if you want to see how it works with some populated entries, try looking there first.

Looking for feedback on the sustainability of the project (will folks actually donate/become members, or will they just use the site until funds run dry) and on the design of the site. How easy is it to navigate? How easy is it to become a member and is there enough value in it? Are the product categories comprehensive or excessive? What’s missing and what’s unnecessary? Does the membership structure make sense? Let us know ways you think the site could be improved. On the to-do list is adding a Google Maps map to the producer listings. Also on the to-do list, adding local forums for community discussion, recipe swapping, news, etc. The way the site is currently designed, it would rely on some local community volunteers to help with moderation and editing of the listings. Is that realistic or should the design incorporate more of a hands-off approach? Should the forums have moderators or should those also be more hands-off?

posted by Toekneesan (1 comment total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I like the idea. I suspect they'll have a hard time getting people to donate. Business will be hesitant to join until there's a large community. Community members won't join until there's lots of information entered by businesses. It's kind of a catch 22.

If they built enough of an audience the businesses would probably join eventually, but I'm not sure they will ever get many community members to join. I'm as into this stuff as anybody, and I'm not sure I'd pay $25 to become a member.

I agree that you will need local community volunteers to help with the listings. Someone will need to do some up-front legwork to get the site up to critical mass. That might be a tough sell too.

Sorry I'm such a pessimist. Kudos to your wife for trying :) Good luck!
posted by diogenes at 6:21 PM on July 11, 2009

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