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Bamboo divisions to share

Posted on February 18, 2015 • Comments:

This article is the fourth of a series of 6:

  1. PlantCatching 2.0, modern and beautiful, available soon
  2. Improvements pretty much everywhere
  3. User profiles show up on PlantCatching
  4. Bamboo divisions to share

The title could be the one of a listing published here on PlantCatching. But no, this article is about the evolution of the Bamboo account. This account, as it stands today, is a good way for professionals in horticulture and urban agriculture to announce their events (conferences, courses, workshops, open doors, and more) and therefore to be visible and noticed by visitors of the PlantCatching platform.

For those of you who wonder why this account gets its name from a bamboo, think a moment about stakes (and their origin) that help our plants stand right. As they "support" our beloved plants, this is the same idea for these accounts whose goal is to support the citizen initiative PlantCatching.

Yes, PlantCatching needs to be supported. Remember, I started this web site after a few months of development in 2012. After getting this original idea, this was like an experiment I wanted to try on a whim and see succeed. And the success came, as soon as the first year. Although I had just ornamental horticulture in mind at first, the world of urban agriculture quickly connected to me in various ways. A strong connection has also emerged naturally with the Incredible Edible movement and I got the opportunity to meet great people, some known and unknown. I was touched by all the occasions of sharing plants generated by the site and many people thanked me personally. Far from making my head spin, I realized that I had stop considering PlantCatching as an experiment and that I had to ensure it will last long. Additionally, I have come to like this new domain so much that I want it to be a pivotal point in my carreer and then work for it and for you all.

This calls for making smart choices to generate a viable model. So far, I used my money and my time in an unreasonable way. On this criteria only, I should shutdown the site right now. But be reassured, this is not my intention. I shall therefore explain now the path I wish to follow that is based on the fact that the platform must be kept free forever with the same spirit. This involves developing the Bamboo account further with three different offerings.

Last year, a few people cared to purchase a Bamboo subscription, even if they were not professionals. As a result of that, I decided to create a new type of Bamboo account for citizens. Instead, I could have launched a kickstarter campaign but I'm not very keen to managing this, improvise some rewards and face the fragility of such a process and its result. No, I prefer to spend my time at coding new features that will be really useful to you. This was all it took to start the Bamboo Shoot account. It is here for you if you feel the need to help me assuring a lasting future for PlantCatching. I find this far more concrete than a crowdfunding campaign at a given time with a finite end date.

To thank you, this account comes with exclusive features. They are not necessary but they are very pleasant:

  1. Your profile will be twice longer, compared to a regular one, and you will be able to chose an avatar to represent yourself.
  2. You decide if you want to receive email alerts as soon as an offer is published under a distance you specify. These alerts can be filtered by keywords.
  3. Offers will appear on the map in realtime. Usually, there is a 15 minutes delay between publication and appearance on the web site.

Keep in mind that, before all, this is a very important support from you. I encourage you to do it if you have enjoyed using PlantCatching and/or if you simply think that this is an initiative that merits to live and to improve the way we garden and connect to each other. Your action will help supporting production costs, development and maintenance time, as well as all the promotional efforts. If your reponse is substantial, I also plan to create a mobile version of the web site since this is something that is heavily requested. Imagine yourself in the street in a non familiar area, checking your phone and seeing if some plants are offered nearby... or if you could do some vegetable tourism by searching Incredible Edible containers in the city...

I do want to indicate that the web site well have to push forward this support possibility, in various ways with incentive messages. Please, don't feel obligated or even harassed. This is the only way I have to motivate a set of citizens to be part of the success and the durability of PlantCatching. In advance, I thank you to help me in this direction.

Professionals also are a key solution. There is no way one can keep them outside of this big sharing movement, simply because they have a lot of knowledge and skills to share. This is together that we will aspire to create a huge communal resource of plants, seeds and gardens. But this fourth article becomes a bit lengthy. I will pause this discussion here and let it be continued in my next post. Come read it and you will see that the two other Bamboo accounts have something to do with you too. And it even counts double if you are a not-for-profit organization.

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