I’ve been with Edgeryders for over 3 years now, though I have (due to very silly circumstances, like getting pregnant) never been able to attend any of the events outside of Georgia (where I’ve been living for the past 4 years).
But since March this year I started working with a new (social) start-up: topishare. It’s the first time in my live I’ve swapped non-profit to for-profit, and it’s a pretty big deal. And I woudn’t have done if I didn’t believe in topishare’s misson, and that of the founder Rotem, Hila, and Yair (daughter, mother, and father by the way).
And although topishare is officially for-profit, half of it will be shared with its users and the other half will be invested in not-for-profit projects around the world (this is, of course, once topishare starts making profit).
And it’s been an inetersting journey.
Now, before I explain what topishare is, I’d like to let you know that I want your advice. Setting something up, no matter what it is, demands a lot of you, and you can’t do it alone.
So, the reason I am posting this, is because I know in both Edgeryders and topishare have the same goal, the same aim: to make this world a little bit a better place (although both with a slightly different strategy :).).
And one of the things I learned during the first and second edgeyrders project in Georgia, is that by collaborating, helping each other, we can achieve together so much more than alone.
So, I thought, who better than the Edgeryder community to tell me what we’re doing right and wrong at topishare.
Now, a little bit of background story: topishare was born in the jungles of Costa Rica, by Rotem (she’s officially my boss :).). She was 22 at the time, and had ‘fled’ the western world to take her mind off the crazy world we live in. But while in Costa Rica, she realized that the local community there, which was super active and did amazing things, couldnt reach out to the world outside of Saint Theresa (where she was), or could collaborate easily within the community itself. So she wanted to help them, with a small online project. Two years later, the beta version of topishare was launched (March 3rd), and it turned more into a new sort of social network, than the initial community idea.
So, what is it we do? In short: it’s an online platform where everyone can create Kingdoms, which are - basically - mini-social networks where you are in control of everything, from privacy - no datamining - to the kind of features you want (we’re working on the open API to make this really happen), and have topic-based conversations, like on Star Wars, or veganism, or online privacy.
We want to make a platform accesible to all - we’re working on different accesibility tools for people with disabilities or other issues that may prevent them from using social networks. Our first is voice-posting, which was developed by our founder Rotem, as she is dyslectic and hates to read and write as a result. But there’s much much more in the pipeline.
But it’s hard to understand really what it is people would need. I follow (and love) the OpenCare project. But I don’t really know yet how we could collaborate on this. Or perhaps you have another idea how we can understand what it is people with whatever dissability would want/need?
Now, in order to share our profits with the users, we do need to make profits (those crazy capitalists!). So, we have a business model.
And that’s where I’d like to hear your thoughts on as well.
Our main idea is to have user-controlled advertising (you decide where which ad goes and get 50% of the money the company pays to advertise on topishare) and you can make money with quality posts. Does this make sense?
We’re still in beta, and really appreciate any comments you may have (I prefer them to be constructive ;).). Or any other ideas you have you think we should incorporate, do let me know down-here in the comments. Thanks!