I’ve had the domain ‘UrbanPaganism.info’ for a few years, after trying to do some community building around the Paganism-isn’t-all-tree-hugging crowd. I wanted to run a wiki on the domain for the usual reasons – share knowledge and experiences and so on.
Unfortunately, I’m useless at community building and the wiki became home to spam and then got a bit broken and is generally useless. The LiveJournal community I set up doesn’t see much traffic either.
I’ve wanted to replace the wiki for ages, and had the idea of a Google Maps app that could show Pagan sites of interest in urban areas. Places like the local Pagan shops and hippy cafes, but also the small quiet sacred places in cities and towns, and the odd, well, oddity like the Granny Kempock Stone in Gourock.
From a technical point of view, this is pretty easy to implement – a simple Google Maps mash-up, some user authentication, maybe hook it off of Facebook/Twitter/Open ID, do image storing on S3 to let people upload pictures, etc, etc. Making it slick is work, but none of it is really difficult. Hosting and deploying isn’t a problem – that’s what I’m especially good at.
It would be a nice project to work on, and I’m considering it for the November Startup Sprint. Except… there’s a major non-technical issue. As I mentioned before, I’m not good at community building. I’m not involved in the Pagan community much at all these days, either locally or online. I have philosophical differences with a lot of people and find it easier to just avoid the drama. To make this idea work I’d need someone who is involved in the Pagan community to use it and encourage others to do the same, to be a ‘cheerleader’, for want of a better word.
November Startup Sprint will also assume that the app is the starting point of a business, but I think in this case I’d have to pass. I don’t think the Pagan community is likely to pay any kind of money for almost anything and advertising alone is a weak strategy for making money. The best idea I’ve had is making an iPhone/Android app and charging for it.
So why am I writing this? I’m looking for help and advice on how to move forward with this, or if I should even bother. Does this sound like an interesting idea to you? Are you involved in the Pagan community, either in your local area or on the internet? Do you know how to ‘monetise’ this kind of site/application? Please let me know, via all the usual channels!