Music entrepreneur Pete Lawrence has launched a crowdfunding initiative to finance the development of a social network for creatives that intends to ‘blur the boundaries between business and leisure’.
Pic-Nic Village shuns the advertising-funded model favoured by larger social networks such as Facebook.
A modern day co-operative, it aims to connect like-minded creative thinkers who want to share, enjoy and benefit from each other’s talents, ideas and thoughts of a personal, business or social nature.
Pic-Nic Village is aiming to get users to help raise investment to £750,000 or more to get the online community to launch in 2011.
In addition to the initial finance raised through crowdfunding, Pic-Nic Village will be financed by subscriptions in the region of £10 per month.
Lawrence was inspired by his last venture, The Big Chill Festival, which spawned a web forum now cited as an early example of social media.
Building on this experience, Pic-Nic Village allows communities to be owned and shaped by members.
Pic-Nic Village will feature an online ‘media centre’ for showcasing members’ projects, hobbies and passions, which will expand into offline networking events, conferences and gatherings for the community.
Lawrence expects the Pic-Nic Village community to attract thinking people who want to collaborate with other lively minds in order to gain fresh, original and often alternative perspectives on business, personal or social matters.
“I’m inspired by connecting people and then stepping back and watching the sparks ignite,” he says. “Pic-Nic Village will be a catalyst for unearthing and nurturing each member’s unique qualities. It will help them fulfill their potential personally, spiritually and financially. I’d like to think that we can blur the boundaries between work and leisure, helping members maximise the potential of their projects and have fun in the process.”
People can be part-owners of the Pic-Nic Village community with influence over its decision making by investing in one of the Founder Member schemes:
– Two-year membership package: £100 buys one share in the company and two years of full membership of the Pic-Nic Village web community [following its launch in 2011].
– Lifetime membership package: £300 buys lifetime membership of Pic-Nic Village plus three shares in the company.
“The advertiser-funded model adopted by many of the larger social networks taints the very heart and soul of the community ethos,” says founder Pete Lawrence. “The feedback I’m getting is that people would place a high value on a corporate and advertiser-free environment. The crowdfunding exercise is a great way to validate the demand for a community which is shaped by its own members.”
Pic-Nic Village will consist of a collaborative social networking platform that will provide messaging, chat and location geomapping features with the functionality of a personal ‘media centre’, enabling members to store pictures, movies, music, posts, events, news, blogs, projects, job offers, editorial and external links.
The community will be focused around specific guilds – art, architecture, design, film making, fashion, gardening, music and walking, for example – enabling discussion both within, and outside of, niche communities to be a catalyst for new ideas, initiatives and collaborations. Members will be able to shape the direction of the community by putting forward ideas for additional features and functionality.
Early research about the viability of Pic-Nic Village revealed keen interest. Mark Offord, managing director of a design and brand consultancy in Suffolk commented, “Social media is currently lacking the love factor. I love the idea of a community where there is a form of ownership and pride in belonging to a group that is meeting other stimulating minds virtually and maybe a few times a year in the flesh.”
A percentage of profits from Pic-Nic Village will be invested in the ongoing development of the community and the creation of the Pic-Nic Village Foundation to support and nurture members’ creative ideas, with particular emphasis on start ups.
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