Building TechFinder 2.0

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Facilitated by Aspiration Staff

Session Description

TechSoup and NTEN have decided to retire the TechFinder service, and Aspiration has happily inherited the service provider data and plans to deploy a new service in 2011 to help nonprofits find appropriate support and resources to meet their technology needs. This session will be an interactive brainstorm, inviting participants to weigh in on how a reworked consultant and services directory should work, including reputation management, published costing guidelines for different types of services, and interoperation with existing social network platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

Session Notes

An online service where people who provide services to the nonprofit sphere can be found and over time, information about them can be aggregated in a Yelp-like way.

-I'm a convert to virtual hosting for nonprofits -making sure that you don't get lost -intermediary to guide nonprofits through the decisions -having a good database of people means nothing if -having a forum in this? -just having a rating/commenting system -splitting sessions into providers and consumers -"i don't need to retain a service provider, i just have a question!" -what is the content piece for giving the decision maker a frame to make a decision -a place for nonprofit-oriented developers to collaborate with the actual developing of software -providers looking for other providers -they will be searching for each other for collaboration

-We're going to launch a mailing list around nonprofit development -No one in this business wants to be in the business of running a repository -We want to be the community aspect and not the technical repository piece

-Paying someone to put the data from Techfinder into a wiki -the beauty is to see "who would come and edit, if anyone" -this would be our motivated audience who want this

pushback: -But these aren't the transactions that you ultimately want -but in theory there should be some subset of people who want their records to remain accurate when the data is transferred to TechFinder

THinking about doing a parallel project called whatdoesitcost.org

Value propositions for nonprofits/nonprofit staff?


-any tool that increase their audience/donor base -saving money -increasing efficiency -not getting ripped off -convenience

what are specific queries nonprofits would search for?


-"we need a new website" -"our database sucks, what do we do?" -"maintain our mailing/membership/donor list?" -"software developers for nonprofits" -"we need some training" -"software solutions" -"donor database software solutions" -"affordable..." -"web designer"

We could see the keywords that people are coming to TechSoup looking for -check out the google adwords for those keywords

You don't want a site to connect nonprofits to developers directly

"Do you need a developer?" tool that walks you through the decision-making process -similar to Answr.net eAdvocacy tools: -http://answr.net/component/content/article/175-eadvocacy-readiness-assessment.html

Bend rather than Build -nonprofits should bend what's already out there to meet their needs rather than building something new

Social Source Commons -Who's using what? -This is the place where people can use -Personal toolboxes that contain what you have -also community toolboxes that can be collaboratively editable Answr -FAQ on steroids


what are specific VENDOR user stories/value proposition ---

hang out shingle build a reputation [RATE US ON TECHFINDER] widget Build customer base Find each other (B2B features) "Client from hell" warning service Characterizing consumers for providers, capturing wizard data from client side Transaction flow through Tech Finder? Aggregating what clients are looking for/demand -"everyone wants CRM this year"


    • match.com nonprofit profile

-nonprofit personality types If you're going to build anything intelligent


Is there a trouble-shooting value proposition for vendors?

-We talked about what Techfinder 2.0 could look like in general and add to the nonprofit tech world -We brainstormed what nonprofits would be looking for and what they would find useful -We brainstormed what would motivate service providers to maintin their listing on Techfinder and what value could they find outside the basic exposure of the service