Week notes 25 October 2019

Posted on 25 October, 2019

This week...  

  • Meetup ‘test’ charging per attendees 

  • Improving What’s Happening  

  • A 4 week challenge to help inexperienced organisers 

  • We saw how Skullfades raised awareness so well 

  • We have a Lend a Hand event! 

 Co-operate background 

Stronger communities are at the heart of the Co-op strategy, so we’re going to completely reinvent what commercial, community partnerships should be. 

Being a co-op we believe that more co-operation will improve our local communities. 

Co-operation is harder than it needs to be, so we're going to make it easier. 

The idea is that we build an initial range of tools or features and learn which ones Trafford use and which they’re not interested in. These tools need to be as real as we can make them so we can really understand what users do, instead of what they might tell us. 

Find out more on our About us page. 

Meetup test charging attendees 

Meetup ran a payment test last week indicating that they might start charging attendees $2 each. Whilst the annual subscription fee for organisers would be lowered from $200 to $24, the impact on organisers of thriving, regular, free events would make the app more expensive and for some prohibitive.     “Meetup is done, nobody is going to create a new group anymore. They’re just trying to wring more money out of people,” said Quincy Larson, the founder of online coding website freeCodeCamp. “They’re blowing up the community.” 

Our Co-operate mission is to make it easier for communities to come together and whilst we knew that Meetup is a useful service, albeit disconnected from other useful services, it could now be adding to the problem and putting a new barrier in the way. 

And we can solve that problem for communities across the UK by connecting them for free.  

Whilst we’ve started with helping increase awareness of community events with What’s Happening, it could be the foundation of this free event management service. Freetup! 

Iterating What’s happening 

Keeping and improving features that are providing a useful service while killing those that are discouraging to our users optimises the impact that we are having.  

Following last week's research, we’ve killed the ‘best of the week’ section as users found it confusing and it made it harder for them to browse all great things happening in their community, as their experience was hampered. 

We’re looking to improve ‘yes, I’m going’ – users were unsure what would happen next and we believe we can provide a better service of this feature for both them and us. 

And we’ve made ‘share your feedback’ front and centre by adding a link for it to the navigation bar. 

We’ve taken feedback that parking and price are key factors when deciding which events to go to so we have restructured the event cards to show if parking is or is not available and we have moved price further up the card. We're also looking into making it more obvious if an event is recurring (weekly, monthly, etc) as this is also a factor in people deciding if they want to go. 

Helping Inexperienced Organisers 

Over the past months we have gained a lot of deeper insights into the many smaller problems that organisers face within each of the broader problem areas that we know about. We have also seen a lot of variations in the problems that each organiser faces. 

We’ve gained expertise, joined community networks and have a proxy Member Pioneer. 

With all of this we can have an impact right now. Sharing advice content, useful links and connecting inexperienced organisers with the more experienced we can help organisers create or improve their community events.  

So we have set ourselves a challenge to: 

Help inexperienced community event organisers across 6 key areas with advice content and links. In 4 weeks. 

This week we have defined the problem areas, in no particular order 

  • Funding 

  • Getting volunteers 

  • Raising Awareness 

  • Communication 

  • Sharing and finding resources 

  • Ideas and development 

  • Networking 

  • Safety 

  • Legal 

We have looked at how people search solving problems on Google, as we believe that this should inform where we prioritise. If we make pages that rank well we will reach and help more people to improve or get their event underway, and start improving their communities; the ultimate impact that we aiming for. Google searches: 

Funding tops the list by far

We’ve also asked the Co-op Communities Facebook Group what they think, 10 responses so far, will re-post over the weekend to see if we get a few more. 

The impact that we are looking to have is increasing attendance at community events by helping inexperienced organisers with the common problems that we’ve seen that either prevent or limit the success of their events. 

Our goals are: 

  • Increase the number of Organisers visiting Co-operate 

  • Increase the number of events added to What’s Happening 

  • Create engagement with content (time on page, clicks on links, no. of pages visited) 

  • Receive questions about or edits to the content from users 

  • Increase engagement with Co-op Communities Facebook Group Mentors 

  • Increase engagement with Member Pioneers 

Next week we start the content and test some design approaches. 

Where’s Natalie been? 

A barber shop completely funded by the community and run by members of the homeless community who have been supported and trained by the Skullfades Foundation in Stretford Mall, so I went to see them. 

They’ve done a really good job in raising awareness of what they were doing.  Ged (Skullfades founder) posted videos of them giving haircuts to the homeless, shared the stories of the members of the team and the stories of the homeless community they were supporting. Their first video has over 10 million views. This then helped them with building their network which in turn helped them get the venture launched in Stretford. 

He was sharing the back story, his motivations and the mission long before the barber shop opened. We will be sharing this advice to help new organisers in the next few weeks. 

We have a Lend a Hand event! 

Chris Ryan who is the Chair of Urmston Sports Club, needs volunteers to help with his community bonfire night and has used Co-operate to help him find some.

So, if that’s your neighbourhood, give him a hand, remember though, never go back to a lit firework. 

That’s it for this week, have a lovely weekend. 




Posted by Ben on 25 October, 2019