Idea Exchange: What Would You Like to Discuss in the Community?
by ZanetaB, Former Moderator
- Created: August 26, 2010, 11:21 am
What is an Idea Exchange?
Each month the Business.gov team presents a question to the community for feedback on the content, features or services provided by Business.gov. This is the chance for members, and more importantly business owners, to tell us what kind of information and services they need to start and manage their businesses
How Does an Idea Exchange Work?
Members are encouraged to submit their own ideas or comment and vote on the ideas they think are the best. Any member can vote on an idea by giving 'Kudos!' - just look for the orange box with a star!
Each idea in the Idea Exchange will go through phases. The first phase involves launching the question and asking for ideas, comments and votes. In the second phase, the Business.gov team will close and review each idea, consider and implement the ones that best fit the question at hand.
Once the second phase begins, we will set a 'Closed for Review' status as we evaluate the suggestions. Some ideas status may change depending on whether they are accepted and implemented. For example, in the most recent exchange we have already implemented the Helping folks to get started and Small Business Opportunities, Grants, Benefits ideas, and their status has changed to reflect this. But more on that in the next section ...
What are the Results of the Last Idea Exchange?
Shortly after the Business.gov Community launched in February 2009, we started the first Idea Exchange. From February until the end of May we asked members What kind of topics would you like to see discussed in this Community?
We'd like to extend our thanks to all who participated! There were 10 ideas submitted during 18 week period, with plenty of discussion and voting. Of the 10 ideas, here are the ones where some action has occurred, whether it was initiated by the Business.gov team or a community member in the discussion forums.
- Helping Folks Get Started - DawnRiversBaker suggested a 'welcome' board to encourage members introduce themselves and their business. We thought this would be a great addition to the Community and so did our members - it received 3 Kudos! and many comments - and thus the Introduce Yourself board was born. To date we have over 1000 discussion posts, where business owners are welcoming each other and networking about their business. Thanks Dawn for your great idea!
- Small Business Opportunities, Grants, Benefits - In this idea, Luckycharmz336, talked about having more discussions about ways to help small businesses grow financially. This idea points out that small business owners need to have more discussions on ways to find funding.
We currently have the Loans, Grants & Taxes board and the Loans & Grants Advisor blog for members to discuss this topic. You will also see articles like the recent Tips for Finding the Right Blend of Funds for your Non-Profit from the Small Business Matters blog. A good way to keep track of these types of conversations is by subscribing to receive e-mail bulletins about Loans, Grants and Venture Capital.
- Scam Alerts - Receiving a whopping 8 Kudos!, this idea focuses on the scams targeted towards business owners. If you are interested in this type of topic, a member started a thread called Why Isn't Someone Doing Something About Online Scams, and a Government Grant Scams blog article was recently published.
- Ideas on Marketing and Advertising - Three ideas had a similar theme revolving around discussions on Marketing and Advertising in the community: Marketing\Advertising Section, Importance of Online Marketing, and Social Media Tools for Business Owners. All over the community members have started various conversations on this subject. Discussions such as Existing Business Owners: What are your most effective advertising techniques? and Twitter for Small Business are just two examples of business owners engaging in this type of discussion.
The result from this Idea Exchange seems to be, 'if you want to discuss a topic then start a thread in the discussion forums.' I hope you will follow suit and start a discussion today.
What's Next for the Idea Exchange
The current idea exchange Where Do You Typically Go for Business Advice?, started in early June will run until July 7. So you still have time to submit your thoughts and vote on the ideas you agree with most by clicking Kudos!
We encourage your feedback and are really looking forward to hearing your ideas.
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