Erika/John FS

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Time To Kill

Creative Brief

Company Background/Mission
The service our site provides is getting young adults outside and offline through creative ideas of fun things to do offline. We founded this site to accomplish two goals: to promote personal wellbeing as well as broaden the base of people that care about the natural environment around them.

Assignment (The problem)
There’s a widespread and growing dissatisfaction with the amount of time people find themselves spending online, doing things they find unfulfilling. Now more so than ever, getting outside is vital for the future of the human race, and more importantly, for the planet. The more time people spend outside, the more it can benefit their physical and mental health and the more they will care about the world they live in.

Target Audience
American young adults, ages 18-25, who are looking to get offline with greater frequency. They are aware of their own happiness and health, and can tell when something isn't serving them. They google search to find answers to questions. The are open to trying new things, and perhaps have spend some quality time outside in their childhood.

Key Consumer Insight
Young people are online all the time, but crave to be unburdened by it sometimes and to do something more fulfilling.

Promise
To give people fun, creative ideas of things to do outside or offline, catered to the individual To have a seamless, engaging, interface that makes people to come back

Positioning
Our site offers a unique experience for those who want to spend less time online, in that it offers real, fun, doable activities that have been tested, instead of linking to other sites. It also offers a more spontaneous experience than committing to meetups.

Brand Attitude
helpful, convenient, playful, hip, intuitive, trendy, exciting, inviting, bold, inspiring, fulfilling

Brand Essence + Personality
A good friend that has your best interests at heart, and knows how to motivate you

Objectives
To promote physical and mental health for young adults To promote a sense of inspiration to get outside and offline To create or embolden interest and excitement in the natural world

Timing/Key Dates
Prototype due November 11th, Final presentation of work due December 9th.

Early Prototypes in pictures & video simulation

video experiential prototype

Current version of the Business Model Canvas

Description

This website offers a service catered to a need of people ages 18-24. That need is the basic human desire to have fun, to not be bored, and to connect with others. My Coworker John Lewtas and I have both been immersed in the online world and we have noticed some trends, either in ourselves or with our friends: 1. That social media sites are great, but don't always fulfill the need for real face-to-face connection. 2. That people, in service of trying to live a more active and worthwhile lives are trying quitting their social media accounts to search for more real experiences.
Our website enters the market at this gap, as a potential solution to these trends. TimeToKill.com or ImBor.edu (we haven't decided) is an interface that offers creative, easy-to-do ideas for fun activities for people to partake in when they are bored or would otherwise keep checking social media. It caters these ideas to the weather, and to the specific interests and preferences of the user. It uses location to promote site-specific hang out spots and activities. Our website will come up with easily-doable fun activities for the user that has only 10 minutes to kill to the user that has a whole day of time to kill. Revenue would come from advertisements of local businesses that would promote themselves as hang-out spot or fun-sites. One feature we are considering is allowing users to submit their own ideas, to be considered by our team - which may be helpful.

Facebook Integration

In order to gain ground and spread the word of mouth, we have decided to allow users to login with their Facebook accounts. They don't have to have one, but there will be features that are available to Facebook users that the typical user won't have. It will allow you to post directly to your Facebook page detailing what you did, where you went, and include any photos you took. There will also be an option, when you click on an activity, that allows you to post on Facebook and invite to do this activity with the user. Much like the existing event invite system on Facebook, they can select friends, who will get invite notifications and in turn they can either confirm or decline said invitation. In an ideal world, we would also be able to pull data off the user's wall, looking for keywords and likes that would help optimize their searches. I (John), personally, have a fundamental issue with this so the user can decide which information is shared, but would be warned of the features they miss when disabling the information sharing. Not sharing a friends list disables the invite feature, not sharing interests and wall posts limits their optimal search potential, and so on.

Because I (John) find the standard banner and clickbait ads annoying, I use adblock. But instead of trying to bait clicks out of gullible people, we would planned a feature that allows for small businesses to promote their offerings. These would be similar to Google's sponsored links, where you get one or two results at the top of the page that are highlighted and say "Sponsored Link," instead of trying to slip them in with the other activities like another, more unscrupulous companies might do.

-these are just a few examples of sponsored links-
Hike the Molly Stark Trail
Visit the Hemmings Motor Museum
Go antiquing at Paula's Weaving Works
Relive history at the Bennington Monument
See the history of the town at the Bennington Museum
Did you play with dolls or action figures as a kid? See what old toys look like!

New insights about potential re-habilitation-like services and what that would mean for advertisers.

We have divided our customer segments into two different categories, Users and Advertisers. The purpose of this is twofold: the first and most obvious is that we offer completely different services to the two, and the second being that the advertisers are static, whereas the users are constantly flowing and shifting. Since we offer almost a rehabilitation-like values, the idea is to get users to eventually stop using our site as well as forming new habits offline. But before leaving our site, they are ideally ingrained with two habits: finding things to do offline, and forming habits of going to these small businesses in the area. Advertisers can rest assured that their investment will be worthwhile; their increase in customers will be steady. Because the userbase is shifting, they can be assured that their ads will not always be viewed by the same people and will always be getting new customers. Since older users are forming new habits anyway, they might also form habits of visiting these businesses, and return regularly, thus the return on investment will increase steadily the longer they chose to advertise.

Business Narrative and scenarios

Scenarios

  • Sarah is a 21 year old who has been online for more and more of her free time but still remembers the days when she used to spend time outside, doing things. She misses those days and would like to start doing that again, but isn’t quite sure how to go about doing that. After stumbling upon ______, she now has a personal profile that suggests ideas she tries whenever she feels like she could be doing something better than just the usual internet escapades. Each time she tries a new idea, she finds it more worthwhile and actually fun than she thought it would be at first, and is pleasantly surprised. She even shares some of her favorite ideas with her friends and they’ve started trying some of the activities together. She can gladly say now that constantly checking facebook is not her go-to habit anymore, thanks to this site.
  • Jacky is an introverted college student who likes to do more life-fulfilling things than simply scrolling through tumblr when she gets home (though let’s be real, tumblr is great). She saw the site meetup.com and aspires to be doing exciting things like what the meetup groups are doing, but she really preferst to be alone, and gets the most energy from doing things that way. When she found out about ______.com, she realized this could be the perfect alternative platform for her. She can check the “alone” box and watch the ideas flood in of super fun-sounding things to do that aren’t with giant groups of people (Yes!). After trying some of the ideas, she thinks this site is definitely a good match for her. She goes back to it whenever she needs to take her mind off of work or just when she thinks she’s spending just a little bit too much time online for her own comfort. The “active” checkoff is a plus, as it’s getting her to do more exercise-like things things that are still fun and exciting. (which is good right?)
  • Peter has recently begun a small museum outside of Monterey detailing the history of x. Peter is having trouble establishing himself as a credible museum and pulling people in off the street, and people hardly read local physical newspapers any more, so he can’t put out an ad that way. One day, he gets in a particularly bad slump, and closes up early for the day. He sits down in front of his computer and checks facebook out of habit, and sees that one of his friends has shared a picture of z activity that they did from our website. Looking for anything to do to get his mind of feeling sorry for himself, he checks out our website and creates a profile. He gets to the results page and sees the sponsored links at the top of the page, and notices a few neighboring businesses in his area have advertised themselves there. He looks into it, and finds out that for a small fee, he can place non-intrusive ads on this website that already has an established user-base of people already looking to do things. He begins payments of the monthly fee and begins getting more customers as a result. He feels good about what he’s accomplished because he didn’t have to pay a large advertising firm to put his ads all over the internet.
  • Jimothy has been spending a shit-ton of time online, but he's really bored. He feels like he keeps seeing the same buzzfeed articles and strange youtube videos being linked, and none of his friend online are that interesting right now. He just doesn't know what to do. So he googles that he's bored doesn't know what to do and ends up finding a few sites that are okay, but don't entertain him for long, until he finds our site, which is not only aesthetically pleasing, but gives him ideas of actual things to do, like not just online. He at first is skeptical of the site, wondering if it will ever come up with something he would want to do, but he tries it out and sees pictures of other people doing the activities suggested to him. This actually made him kind of want to do these things. So he tried one, and hey it was fun! Bored no longer, he actually would consider coming back to this site for more ideas.

Business Narrative

We are a start-up that offers a service that is catered to 18-24 year-olds who want to spend less time online and more time doing fun, interesting things out in “the real world”. While there is no formal research on how large that market is, we expect it to be substantial. We are special because no other website is as intentional as we are about our values of helping people who want to spend more time offline, doing exciting things. We have great design, and we have fantastic, creative ideas that have been tried many times and have received great reviews. We can serve this market better than our competition because we offer more customization to what the individual wants to do with their free time in the moment (meetup.com only allows you to make room in your schedule for meetup events when they are planned). Our profile capabilities also allow us to smartly track customer’s preferences and cater even better to what they would be most likely to want to do - a feature that other “I’m bored” sites do not offer. Lastly, we are completely location non-specific, meaning that you could try out our ideas anywhere from village to rural town, a feature that our competition Off-line.com simply cannot intigrate into their current business model.
If our business is not going well, we will have to do even more, better research on our target market and collaborate with them (or with random LA social media specialists) to come up with even better ideas that people would actually do. Or perhaps we would launch a crazy social marketing campaign to access our market more. Our workspace is located in a coffee shop in Austin, TX, as that’s what all the techies do. So we don’t even have to pay for lease space.

Market Analysis

Meetup.com Website

Meetup.com is a great platform. It connects people to gatherings, skillshares, hangouts, and more in their own community. It offers fantastic location-based services and is a multi-sided platform - both for people that want to market their meetup and for the people who may want to join meetup groups. Their target market is getting kind of close to everybody. There are meetups from young monterey hikers group to Santa cruz 70's+ minglers. This would be a huge competitor, as it is more well-known, many people may go to a meetup instead of trying one of our activity ideas. Heck, there are probably meetups made especially FOR internet addicts! One thing about these meetup groups is that they are inherently social. Maybe our business is catered more towards introverted, less sociable people?

Instructables Website

Ooh, this one is good. It offers DIY projects of pretty much anything imaginable! They must already have an extensive team of thinkers, an extensive database, maybe they even follow certain people who come up with these DIY projects constantly (open business model?). Their database is much like how we will want ours to be, what with its extensive list of DIY projects and categories to cater to specific people. However, they are targeting people who actively want to make things. In that way, their target market is not quite our target market, as we're targeting people who want to spend less time on the internet, but aren't necessarily makers and do-ers. However, we should be keeping an eye on instructables for the future. They seem to be headed in a smart direction.

Other I'm Bored Bored Button Pointless Sites

We've looked at a lot of these websites and have noticed that they all pretty much link you to other interesting sites. Kinda cool, but not what we're going for, which I think will separate us from this group. However, the addicting nature of some of these sites could be some good competition regardless. It will make our nudges have to be even better to get people off their computers. I'd love to see how many views we get when in the same space as these I'm bored sites. I realize that names are key in this game.

Nature Rocks Website

This site actually operates in a very similar way to ours. It offers minimal customization based on the weather, and offers only outside easily doable tasks. Its target market is for toddler-age kids and their parents. I would say it's a big competitor, except for the fact that seldom people know about it, and it's being run by the NGO, the Nature Conservancy. Perhaps this could be a partner? They do have a lot of ideas we might want to use. We could become more of an open business model and benefit from each-others ideas!

Get-Offline.com website

Holy crap, we found this one last night and oh jeez, it is a huge apparent competitor, except it only covers select locations.

Help Remedies Website

This is a hilarious potential competitor. It's on the first page of google, so you know it's good. It's entirely jokes though, and it's not really that helpful. But it's quite funny and I didn't want it to go amiss.

101 things to do when kids say "I'm bored" Listicle

We'd want to perhaps use some of these ideas if we truly are an open business model

Business Model Canvas & SWOT

Strategy SWOT

Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

  • Start with a small scale – encompassing just the bennington college student community and demographic, scale up from there; much like facebook
  • We would allow users to submit ideas, as well as rate current ideas to help us with our work; Make friends with a web-developer
  • Group-funding approach? (Indegogo, GoFundMe) Which gets people interested in the idea from the outset, and allows us to see if our idea is just completely not worth pursuing in other peoples’ eyes early on
  • Find a way to link our site to google searches “I’m bored”. Try to score a Upworthy article.
  • We’d have to get local research using local moderators from any area

Turning Threats into Opportunities

  • We could turn this into a strength by specifically telling facebook users how our site could be beneficial to them to break the online cycle? Partner up with internet time-limiting apps
  • On our website, we have visible all the benefits of not spending as much time online. As a catalyst to use our software
  • Let users be able to share on facebook what they did from our site – to catalyze some new users – make it a social thing
  • We distinguish ourselves from meetup.com in that it is focused more on younger demographics, many of which Bored.com and like-websites just link the user to new websites, we link users to new ideas. Attach ourselves to the bored.com google searches
  • Try to stay under the radar for as long as possible, or else try to show how our site would be a great partner with facebook? As a way to retain some of their quitting population? Hm.
  • Come up with ideas of things for them to do that they then can post online? That involve going out somewhere and hopefully still having fun, but still integrating into the online world to provide social incentive?

SWOT Analysis

Strengths:

  • We can scale up from here
  • Revenue-The ability for companies to promote themselves, not necessarily in the traditional advertisement structure
  • We're passionate about the topic
  • Linking with facebook would be beneficial to help get multiple people on our platform quickly, linked to their already existing friends
  • We are our own target market - we've had much experience delving perhaps too much into an internet-filled lifestyle
  • Our team is flexible, creative, and willing to turn critique into smart solutions

Weaknesses:

  • scale
  • Our team is limited at the moment
  • Big initial investment needed
  • Integration into the everyday lives of people
  • Our location-specific features are weak
  • We are busy people and cannot focus wholeheartedly on the project at the moment

Opportunities

  • The internet is a great platform to promote things
  • Many people are quitting facebook for periods of time and permanently, and many sites have listicles saying "why you should quit facebook"
  • Maybe facebook would want to partner? maybe?
  • There's competition in websites titled "I'm bored", which means we are entering a new gap trying to be filled - and we are distinct compared to them (differentiation)

Threats

  • Being online can be addicting / social media sites
  • The difficulty in making new habits within people, or breaking habits
  • Lethargy in younger generations
  • Competition - meetup.com, I'm bored.com
  • Facebook may not like what we're trying to do

Target customer demographic research quote 1: "I love Facebook but I also hate Facebook, for being such a time suck, for making me feel bad about myself when other people’s lives seem so much more exciting than mine, and for leading me to spend more time interacting with a screen than with the real world. And when I log off Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are there clamoring for my attention, a never-ending scroll of links and tweets and photos and conversations that feels impossible to keep up with. A few weeks ago, I’d had it. It seemed like social media was bringing me more guilt and frustration than happiness."

Target customer demographic research quote 2: Yahoo Ask: "I'm bored. I don't know what to do!? My parents are very strict and they don't let me out often. All my siblings are gone. I'm home alone with my parents. It's sunday. There's nothing to do. I'm tired of being online. I don't really know what to do. So what do I do for fun?" <------ The fact that someone would Yahoo Ask what to do before coming up with a creative idea themselves is a telling trend among millennials. This is the target market we are tapping into. We hope to help these people find fun things to do that fill their days with more than just online social media scrolling.

Website/database structure

TTKSystem.jpg A quick sketch of how the site works. Users follow the double line, data flows through the single.