Phew, it’s been a busy couple of weeks since www.makerhood.com went live in Beta! It’s been fantastic to see so much interest in the idea and lovely feedback about the site. Many new makers have asked to joined the site, and several have already set up stalls, adding to the great quality and diversity of goods on the site. It’s all go!
This project has always been a local community effort – and it’s been great to see this expanding and growing over the past weeks with more lovely local people coming on board. There’s also a growing number of requests from other areas to set up local goods sites, which is fantastic.
So, well done everyone on getting the site up and running in Beta. But really, this is where the work starts.
As many of you know, we decided way back in the project to open the site up early in the development process so that we can learn from the community about how it should evolve. This is because we want to be as open as possible, and it is also likely to produce better results – as we are all volunteers, it’s best to use our limited resources by building on feedback, rather than spend time perfecting features that turn out not very useful!
This project pilots a combination of ideas: hyperlocal shopping on and off-line, physical workshops, markets and events, community rather than business-driven approach, early Beta release going public… All these things are new to us (and as far as we can see, to the wider world too) so there’s lots to learn, improve, and make happen. We’re very excited about this!
So, what’s next?
Over the next few weeks we will be:
- adding features, based on learning how the site is used, prioritising the most important things that will help as many users as possible. Any suggestions are very welcome – please email us on email@example.com
- helping more makers come on board and more locals running workshops in the area to advertise on the site.
- organising more meet-ups – there’s been a lot of interest in “physical world”events and the first meet-ups have been a lot of fun. We will keep these going (see here for proposals on dates/regularity)
- participating in more workshops and events. For example, on 7 August we’ll be holding a collective knitting workshop at SW Craft Club’s Pop-Up in Clapham. We are also co-organising the Make It Grow It market showcasing local talent in Brixton (see here for more information and how to apply).
So there’s plenty going on!
How you can help
The project is open for anyone to join in and get involved:
- Volunteer: whatever your skills are we will welcome you on board – you can be part of the team organising events, help us manage the web portal, think of ideas for future projects and collaborations, work on PR, look at the funding strategy… You can just spend a couple of hours or be involved on a regular basis. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with a few words about yourself.
- Buy something: however small your purchase, it will be a support for local makers who are starting off online. There’re plenty of gorgeous things, art works and foods to choose from.
- Spread the word: there is lots to do to publicise what is a very new idea for many people – shopping locally + online. So if you support the values behind the project – promoting skills and creativity, supporting local trading, reduing the environmental impact of consumption – do help us raise awareness of the initiative. You can do that by tweeting about the project, sharing links on Facebook, telling people about the online marketplace and our events. You can also help us distribute flyers in your area.
- Keep the website fresh: Upload new items to your stall, and participate in the forums. Even if you’re not a maker you can take part, so do feel free to use these as often as you like.
- Help with resources: if you have other ways in which you can help – be it a physical space for meet-ups and events, or a donation to support specific activities – that would be very welcome.
Enough from me today – look forward to seeing you all soon, on or off-line! 😉