Why am I writing this now? Well it's six months since myself and three of the team (Michael, Dimple and Liz) moved from the LGA to CapacityGrid. I think we're lucky to have landed in a place where everyone around us wants Knowledge Hub to succeed. True, it's been challenging working out the best way to make Knowledge Hub financially viable without public funding and, yes, we've had to pivot several times and adapt the models. However that's the highs and lows of being a start up - which effectively we are now - where we try out different options till we find the best solutions, trying not to upset too many people along the way.
As part of this journey, we've revisited what Knowledge Hub was set up to be and what we want it to be in the future. I mean, we know what it is - a collaboration platform with some 170,000 members; it's a bunch of social media type tools; you can link with people, discuss, store documents, run projects; we talk about connect, share, learn...blah, blah, blah....
But I think it's time to remind ourselves about 'why Knowledge Hub'? Why is collaboration a good thing?
Everything hangs off the why - not the what, the how or the who. They come later. The why informs the commercial model, future developments, how you engage with it and what you get out of it.
Well, here's a thought. We want Knowledge Hub to tangibly help accelerate people's ability to do social good. So simply put, that's our ambition for KHub.
Now, applying that to the reality of KHub 'washing its face' and our roadmap...
Recently we introduced a charge for private sector members - one of many revenue streams we're looking at. We then listened, reflected and tweaked the model, applying the social good concept. So, for example, if you're a carer and sharing experiences in the Fostering Exchange or you're a community worker and contributing to the Ending Gang Violence group then come on in, you're doing great stuff and we don't want there to be any barriers. If you're using KHub to do good things but you're not technically from the public, third or voluntary sectors then have a conversation with us.
Soon we'll be introducing advertising on KHub. (We've already started a conversation about this in KHub Connects
.) This is another way to help KHub pay for itself and is incidentally part of the Council Advertising Network (you can read about CAN here
, and there happens to be a webinar
about it on 2 June) which means we have control over who advertises. We can even use it to promote your groups across the Network, inside and out Knowledge Hub!
On the development front, we'll soon be inviting people to test out new features in a closed alpha with a view to going into a public beta over the summer. Again we've listened to you and we want you to help us make Knowledge Hub work better.
We'll be blogging more about the developments and commercial models in the public KHub Connects
group so do please join and give us your feedback.
So, in summary, we want Knowledge Hub to be about positive outcomes that anyone and everyone can achieve. It's about making a difference; doing social good: smarter, more efficiently and together. This is what we want Knowledge Hub to contribute to and hopefully, with that in mind, we'll crack the commercial model and improve how it works for you.