"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Friday, August 30, 2013



Website: www.urbanresearch.org

Gigz.com is a super fun, gaming-inspired (specifically The Sims inspired), start up website that is to be used as an online tool which will facilitate offline transactions called 'Gigz' that are focused on using individuals as resources for local economic support. Individuals, Businesses, Organizations, Non-profits all have real-life, real-time needs that can be met locally.

Through commercialization, the value of the working individual has dropped. One person is expected to do the work of 3 positions at half the pay. The turn-over rate on individuals in a work position is increasing.

We are trying to empower the individual and let them turn over more work and jobs, rather than work and jobs turning over the individual.

As a society, we are slowly awakening to the fact that 'more' no longer equals 'better.' Cheaper prices means sacrificing personal intimacy. Technology is being used in a way to distance our relationships, not strengthen them. This needs to change.

We hope to reconnect people in our communities by engaging them in local opportunities. We feel that more people would get off the couch, away from the screen, and involved in what is going on around them, if they had a simple yet entertaining way to learn about what opportunities are actually available near them.

At Gigz.com, we define a "Gig" as available opportunity to engage in your community though work, causes, or interests. Our site is currently in the Beta stage. It is free to join and use, unless a work Gig is paid for online, in which case, we will take a very small percentage of the job to aid in the costs of our start up.

Our emphasis is to work with strong ethics, values, and purpose. If we are in a position of growth, we will look forward to expanding nonprofit divisions in our company that we are currently seeking to establish.

The main Gigz interface is a map where you can see local activity mapped out in the same fashion that you would normally use a map to see how local businesses are located. You can search/filter through Gigz based on whether you are looking for work, to get involved in a local cause, or to engage in a hobby with your neighbor... like... knitting, running, or gaming.

Every Gigger has a profile and the ability to showcase their skills. The more Gigz that a Gigger completes in a particular area, the higher their 'level' goes up in said area.

At Gigz.com, just like in video games, collective quests can be conquered, badges can be won, new levels can be reached, and experience points can be gained. But instead of the user's experience being based on simulated experiences. Gigz will dole out online game achievements based on the amount of times a user engages in offline experiences. The basic reward principles of playing video games are applied and people who complete real-life activities will be rewarded in the Gigz simulation.

Although, ultimately the real reward will be the experience gained as a result of a Gigz connection. The more people get involved, the more fun Gigz.com will be and the more experiences people can generate offline for each other. Ultimately we are trying to get individuals to support each others work, causes and interests and to achieve something together.

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