Mark, Mick and I have created the back end of a website idea that brings communities together much like Trade School with some new global ideas. We want to facilitate people getting together even more by giving them reasons to go to class outside of wanting to learn the specific trade. We want to keep small communities together by joining people with similar ideas and facilitating a way to meet. We are looking at the way global websites like Facebook and OKCupid connect people to implement that on a micro-level toward community development. We’ve pushed ourselves farther and farther away as technology has made it easier to disappear from daily life. There is also a shift happening toward the experience. You can see it every time people gather in protest around the world or when you hear about the impromptu dinner party when many people get together in an apartment and have dinner together. Whether politicized or not, people are seeking to reconnect with each other.
From our about page, Grand IO is a non-profit teaching community that brings together “experts” in subjects from AutoCad to zipper repair. Members can teach, teachers can learn, and class offerings are nominated, chosen, and instructed by the community. Grand IO has a permanent physical space in Williamsburg Brooklyn but will utilize resources around NYC to create the best experiences possible. Grand IO aims to further disrupt the conventional model for higher education and make teaching and learning the responsiblity and privilege of everyone.
As you can see, we’re in the mood to create a community learning situation at first in Brooklyn but eventually around the world. I’m interested in creating strong communities and friendships all in the name of learning and community developement. One of the things that makes me excited about this is the community-driven curatorial interaction of the website. We want to make the people who are in the community be able to run the community and set content. The way they’d do that is, right now, through democracy of voting on content, teachers, meetups, and students. We are still figuring out the way to do this. The other exciting aspect of this interaction for me is the connection. We want to develop a way to connect people with the same interests as a way to create more and more community. Often, I’ve found that the hardest part of growing older is the barrier to meeting new people that activate our learning muscle. Many people have similar interests but as I’ve said before, are disconnected by the sea of technology that we want to use to re-connect people. We’re going to try and use the ways in which OKCupid connects people without the sexual overtone to the meetings. We also want to use Facebook and Twitter as ways of further connecting people. These two aspects are the reason that I am excited about this website and where it could go.
Below, we have implemented the very beginnings of the website, to show some but not all of the functionality of our idea. This is the groundwork that we will begin from and add to throughout the semester and I hope you enjoy it.