Members of Advisor Garage will have received emails letting them know that Advisor Garage will be launching a significant amount of new ‘Community’ based functionality very shortly. We’ve received some questions so assuming others may have the same questions, here goes with our answers:
1) Why is Advisor Garage launching community functionality?
Advisor Garage has passed the 1000 member barrier and we believe the Community functionality will help entrepreneurs in a number of ways. For example, we’ll be adding a ‘Ask the Advisors’ series of forums covering key subjects of interest to entrepreneurs. The Advisors have broad and deep expertise, this functionality will help them interact with entrepreneurs prior to establishing a more continuous relationship. Sort of a ‘test drive’ if you like…
2) What will the Community Functionality Include?
The functionality is extensive – so much so that we will probably release it in stages so it doesn’t overwhelm and the site can get traction in the released features before the next release. Some of the initial functionality to be released will be:
a) Advisor Forums / Entrepreneur Forums
b) Groups: i.e. giving members the ability to create their own groups which will allow emailing amongst subscribers, event posting and management, private messaging and so on. We will create the first few groups then will hand off moderation for them to those members who are most active and interested in being moderators. Initial groups will include city, region and country groups and groups for particular kinds of entrepreneurs such as Young Entrepreneurs.
c) Advisor Garage Blogs, Pages, Articles and other content
d) Personal Sites for Entrepreneurs and Advisors: As show cases
e) Book Marking: Content created within the community will include bookmarking functionality so members can recommend the best content to Digg, Technorati and other similar sites.
3) Will there be a fee for Advisor Garage or the Community Functionality?
Advisor Garage is currently being funded by the founders and is not charging for the service. One day we hope to charge for the services but will not do so until:
a) The value being delivered to the membership is significant
b) Members are given advanced notice of the charges for the service
c) Each Member is asked to opt into the ‘charged for’ services
Until these conditions occur, we will not be charging for the service.
When these conditions have occurred, a significant percentage of fees received will be reinvested into Advisor Garage to allow us to improve the service we provide to members. No one at Advisor Garage receives a salary or a payment for their services – this allows us to invest in making the site better and who knows, maybe we will be able to put a few bucks into a tightly targeted online marketing effort to increase the entrepreneurs and advisors within the Advisor Garage community. As ever, at this point we rely upon people to tell entrepreneurs and advisors they know and encourage them to join…
Let me know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to update this posting with more questions and answers.
All the Best