Thursday, July 31, 2008

Online community 'concocts' neighbourhood eatery

See the Washington Times article for details:

I'm particularily interested in this venture because of the grassroots nature of organisation and the role of ICT's (through the online community etc.) in bringing this venture to fruition. The Washington Times operationalises the concept of 'crowdsourcing' in describing the phenomenon of ideas and plans being brought to fruition via outsourcing to interested members with specialised expertise (in many cases assisted through information communication technologies), drawing comparison with the principles of the open-source movement. It will in many ways be a novel approach to planning an establishment . Whether the establishment becomes a success (thus living up to the hopes and aspirations of its community of organisers) will be crucial to similar future projects.

Finally, a few observations on the venture:

- Large community input into the project inevidably means that it will become a rather complex venture; in the sense that a raft of ideas and expection of their implementation will be forthcoming. Whether the project can facilitate and appease the input of its members and go on to efficently manage this complexity has yet to be shown.
-As it's become a community venture, the design of the cafe/eatery will most likely have to accomodate its community by adhering to principles of an effective 'Third Place'. Whether this conflicts with this establishment as a business venture and its desired profitability will certainly be of utmost importance.
-Once the establishment launches, It will be interesting to see how ICT's (such as the existing online community aspect) facilitate's its perpetuation as a crowd-sourced project. For example could a service like LastFM be utilised in providing music which represents the members of the venture etc. How will ICT's faciliate communication and co-ordination with local producers such as the 'Artisans' and 'Organic Farmers'. Can online web 2.0 technologies be effectively utilised in the organising and time-tabling of events etc.

Copyright © 2006-2009 Shane McLoughlin. This article may not be resold or redistributed without prior written permission.

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