We’ve been working on World Tree Circle for over a year now, so I’ll briefly mention what we’ve done up to now. Then I’ll just list things bullet style for simplicity.
So we started out by placing an ad on Craig’s List asking for programmers, web designers, marketers, etc. that wanted to work on this project in exchange for a percentage of the company. That is how we built out initial team. Then we started getting the accounts and things we would need: Host Gator, Word Press, Skype, and so on. Our team was spread as far as Arizona at one point so video chat is important. Now we used Google Hangout and Skype, depending on everyone’s preference.
Next we started looking for other professionals to help us. This is all new territory for Clarke and I so we needed help from people that really know their stuff. We talked to some companies about maximizing SEO, we studied the social networks out there. Learned about what other countries are using and some of their regulations concerning the internet. The goal is global use so we didn’t want to do anything that would get us banned like other websites had in the past.
We also started a Business Plan. That is where we learned which countries to target early on and what our future goals for integrating would be later on. Our ideas for the site grew. Why not make this a tool for travelers? For education? Businesses branching out to world trade? Then how we would make such a powerful and complicated site simple for any and all to use? Still working on that. That is where we need programmers and designers. We want to work with people who are excited and not deterred by mistakes or setbacks. Folks who will see those as an opportunity to learn and make it better. We want our users to make suggestions and help us improve the site for everyone’s benefit.
That isn’t everything to date, but those are the big ones in a nutshell.
Recently we have:
- Emailed everyone on our personal contacts list the link to WTC”s blog and Facebook page and asked them to read it, comment on it, and of course, pass it along. We got some good feedback. One person gave us the name of a local professor that teaches in a business college in the the entrepreneur department. It’s finals time so we plan on getting in touch with him soon. We are hoping to get some help from their students, especially the international ones, on our marketing, feasibility study, financial backing, and things along those lines.
- Another suggestion was made concerning Clarke’s run. You can read more in our post about that here.
- We talked to a screen printing company based in Asheville, NC, about getting the T-shirts for the run and handing out to folks to get the word out. Once we have our logo in the proper format, Matt and Haley are going to do some mock-ups for us. We’re going to have their logo on the shirts too. A win, win, huh? So our current designer is getting the image the way they want it and once that is done we’ll move forward with that. Any suggestions on how many we should order to start off with?
- We got an email from another entrepreneur wanting to get in on this! A total stranger found us on Linked In and contacted us to see how she could help (score!) So we met on Google Hangout and got some really great suggestions. She is going to help us with the public speaking part of things as well as some marketing. Press releases and such. She also recommended some websites that could help us further our search for programmers. Catchafire.org pairs people like us with volunteers that want to help in their area of expertise. Also zeef.com, which is more international.
- We’ve had several friends in other countries check the Bing translations too. The Russian is pretty good, I’m told. Not perfect, but better than Google’s. Our good friend from Brazil agreed Bing did a good job on the Portuguese. Imagine how much better if we had a way for the users to correct the few errors?? We also have folks checking the Korean.
- Sent the email:”Attn: Translation Software CommunityWe are World Tree Circle, an open source project. My husband, Clarke, and I have been working on the idea for our website for about a year now. It is still in its very early stages. One of the major functions of this social networking site will be that it translates all chat and video so that you can communicate live as well as the current mode of email and posts. Our site would benefit translation software companies, too. We would help the companies with making the translation organic as we grew with fun games to play in order to learn a language as well as help with improving the software. People would have more and more accurate translation software to use and we, meaning everyone wins.We are sending this to as many companies as we can find, to see who has the imagination and resourcefulness to meet the challenge. Do you want to be a part of the next big news?As this is an open source project, any and all help is welcome and greatly appreciated!”
- We also sent an email to Crowdfunding to see if they think they might make a good match to join forces or at least help each other out.
- Sent a message via LinkedIn to William Hammer, SEO to Help Businesses grow & Website Design, Social Media, Email Marketing, Mobile Apps, and Reputation Management
- Contacted Dr. Bob Carton, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Department Head for Entrepreneurship, Sales and Marketing, and Hospitality and Tourism at Western Carolina University via email, asking if they would view the blog and get involved. – Update: Dr. Carton has agreed to speak with us in a few weeks!
- Contacted Wendy Cagle, Program Director for the Small Business and Technology Development Center at Western Carolina University via email, asking if they would view the blog and get involved.
- Sent a message via email to the staff at OpenStack explaining WTC and asking if they would view the blog and get involved.
- Started work on Logo design in Adobe Illustrator so we can submit it to the T-Shirt Company, BluBus. See our early design here.
- Began work on the Pitch and refining a business plan.
- Got a meeting planned with Wendy Cagle for the end of June 2014!
- Meeting with Wendy went GREAT! We scheduled a time to meet with some of the professors and talk about the possibility of having a team of Seniors to work on WTC as their Capstone Project for graduation.
- Met with Dr. Yue and discussed what WTC has done so far, what our goals are and how we hope to have the students help with it. It was very exciting and we are very hopeful that we will be picked as one of the businesses they work with. She was careful to say IF we work together this Fall whenever we talked about the possibilities but also said that they’d probably assigned multiple groups from one class to work on sections of the project and then collaborate with one another for the whole. VERY Excited!
- Decided on a Logo – thanks to all our supporters who voted! It is Logo B!!!!
- Emailed the final logo decision to BluBus for quotes on T-shirt orders so we have an amount for our fundraiser(s)
- Gearing up for our meeting with Wendy Cagle and Adrienne at JB Media, Inc. on Tues July 29