I’ve been told this in several ways, that as a start-up, we must show we are solving a general problem everyone has. Put as a question,
What problem is Skooppa trying to solve?
We’ve mentioned the a main issue in our intro video. If you haven’t seen it, please do.
Currently, online community software vendors are all creating great software for building an online community. This software can range from just a forum software to practically full blown content management systems. And that is great. We need a strong online community market! Right?
However, ALL of the online community software vendors determine exactly how you should be running your online community.
Now you might be asking, “What do I mean by that?”
Well, they all create what is called the “domain model” for your online community for you. “Domain Model” is quite a techy term with an even more techy definition. Here it is:
A domain model in problem solving and software engineering is a conceptual model of all the topics related to a specific problem. It describes the various entities, their attributes, roles, and relationships, plus the constraints that govern the problem domain. It does not describe solutions to the problem.
In other words, when you buy a software application, the data and their relationships are predefined for you, in order to solve the online community “problems”, like how to post a thread or reply in a forum application. The thread and the reply and how they are related and what attributes, roles and relationships they hold are all predetermined. What ends up happening is each vendor not only comes up with their own ways to solve these problems, they also come up with their own ways to extend their domain models. That in turn means, as online community owners, you end up with a stiff and pre-dictated method to working with your online community.
Yes, you can get other general problems solved, with add-ons or some other form of extension or even other software, but you are stuck still with those predetermined domain models too.
Most people don’t even see this as a problem actually, because they are happy being told what to do or are happy with the solutions given. It is the paradigm we live in.
And, if you really are satisfied, Skooppa isn’t going to help you.
Now let’s look at this issue a bit deeper. Think a bit deeper and you’ll notice an intrinsic issue arises. I’ve heard it time and again.
Why does every online community on software X look like the next one?
Although I don’t like saying this, if you are satisfied with the predefined domain models and have no other wishes to do more for your community, then your community will be boring, stagnant, just like the others. It’s because, you are using that same software with the same predetermined domain model, just…like….everyone…..else.
You might be asking, “Ok Scott, what does it take, to stand out from the rest?” Currently, you need programming knowledge, plain and simple. You see, practically every very successful online community, which has stood the test of time, has always done a lot to extend their offers to their community with new ideas, usually in the form of some programmed services, which the users can use explicitly through that online community. Let me show you a couple examples.
- Extra webmaster services
- An advertisement platform service
- A marketing platform for users to sell their own digital goods
- a mapping database service
- a stem file database service (coming soon)
- a shop for DJ technology
Ok. Now you might be saying, “But Scott. They are both businesses. They have the means to explore and create those extra services.” And I have to ask. Do, or actually, did they really? Or did they take on the task of programming something different (or installing different additional software ) to offer these extra services? I can tell you, both started out as online communities first. And both are now leading communities in their niches. Do you have to become a business to be a leader? Currently? Probably. And this isn’t a bad thing. But, it means a lot of hard work and effort. This is where Skooppa wants to change the ball game. We at Skooppa want to make things easier, in order to be different.
Skooppa will give site owners the ability to create and manipulate their own domain model within Skooppa.
Domain Modeling has always been the untouched, hard to reach part of the “World of Programming”. It has always been the bigger darker secret, probably because you need to learn another language to manipulate the database (called SQL). Some of you might be able to look and edit data in tools like PHPMyAdmin. If you’ve gotten that far, but said, “Oh my. What am I doing?” You are actually a prime candidate to be a Skooppa site owner. You want to be different. Yet, the means to do it calls for a huge learning curve. We want to bring that learning curve down.
Now, this isn’t going to be easy. Skooppa isn’t going to be a totally “point and click” and you can completely remodel your whole site kind of service. You see, programming is a necessity, in the end, to all ideas, which can be modeled into software. However, with Skooppa, we aren’t defining anything for you. You may want to add a software to Skooppa, and we expect there will be plenty to chose from, to set up a basic domain model, like for a forum system. But, you may also want to set up your own workflow or extend the data models (both part of domain modeling) to basically offer a more unique user experience, which will ultimately set your site apart from the rest. This will be relatively easy in Skooppa.
I also realize what I’ve just written is quite abstract and if you aren’t relatively familiar with at least the basics of what it takes to make a website work and even “stand out from the rest” now, it might be hard to understand or even swallow. But, you can bet on one thing. Because we’re going a totally different direction at a number of levels within software and platform development, you can be rest assured, a website built on Skooppa will mean you will stand out from the rest, and every other site on Skooppa will be able to do the same too! It is the core of what we are doing. The main reason for this is….
In order for the online community world to grow properly, communities must not compete on the same level all the time, but must compliment each other. To do this, they must be unique. That is the first step to a new and much stronger online community network of users. And, the first step needed to blow the socks off of other “social networks”.
I hope this was interesting and made sense to you. If not, please join our project community and ask questions. They’ll be answered for sure!