Depression - A Community Resource

FROM: Stuart Mains

What NEED does this meet?
It seems that depression in general is on the increase; I for one have a dear friend who suffers from this affliction. I have tried my best at helping him, as it seems there really is no one else. A web based resource is needed to amalgamate the knowledge of depression as most of it is scattered over the web.

What is the APPROACH?
The approach is not a unusual one, a simple web based resource just a domain name, some web space and a database. The approach would be distinctive, as the resource would be targeted at depression and the forgotten element of people close to people with depression. It would be a amalgamation of all the current knowledge on depression and the resources the local area has available.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
The resource would have factions which range from current knowledge on depression, current treatments (advantages & disadvantages), books, relaxation techniques, resources in the local area, and so forth. It could also serve another purpose, as although people with depression are suffering it seems that the people close to them are ignored when they are suffering as well. Another purpose could be to educate the public on what is depression as again it seems that most people think depression is simply sadness and that is not accurate at all. The people close to people with depression could use the resouce so that strength could be drawn from the wealth of knowledge and that simple fact that other people are going through exactly the same thing.

What is the COMPETITION?
Most depression resources are freebased and nearly always focus on an actual persons depression and never mention the people close to people with depression. My idea must win out, as it is the only way that this affliction can be dealt with properly. The public must understand, the people who are close to people with depression must be helped in order to better help people with depression. Above all the people with depression must be helped.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Low cost but requires a lot of manpower in regards to compiling all knowledge on depression. Though once it is compiled it has to be updated. A simple website, domain & database are all that is needed. Tag on some web design and CGI scripts and it is ready to go.

November 3, 2003 in Health, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (8)

Manifesto comparisons

FROM: Matthew Flint

What NEED does this meet?
A website that gives straightforward comparisons of political parties' manifestos and beliefs.

Many people aren't getting the government they want because they don't really understand political parties' policies or beliefs. Several reasons for this:
1. they are influenced by the views of friends / relatives
2. they might read newspapers that are politically biassed
3. they're influenced more by the "don't vote for the opposition because..." rhetoric rather than the much quieter "vote for us because..." messages from polititians.

What is the APPROACH?
A website to compare the policies / manifestos of the major political parties, with a strict "no bull" rule.

The site will be divided into sections such as Health, Europe, Economy, Crime, Tax, etc, and each major party with have a maximum number of words to describe their policy - the more concise the better.

Rules:
1. No bull
2. No attacking other parties

An extension might be an online questionairre on Health, Europe, etc. Users should be able to answer a few dozen multiple-choice questions, then the results will tell them how compatible their views are with the major political parties.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
1. Enables users to easily compare political policies / manifestos
2. Helps users decide who to vote for without reading all the manifestos.

What is the COMPETITION?
None that I know if...

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Technically, it's not difficult at all. The hard part would be getting the content and keeping it up to date.

If I were doing it, I'd approach each major party and ask them to nominate someone to keep their policies up to date. This could be an MP, an employee of the party or a volunteer from the party's supporters.

The site would also need someone to moderate all the content.

I've been considering doing this for some time; I'm a programmer, and would be willing to do it myself if it's not a winner...

November 3, 2003 in Political, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (8)

Misunderstanding Elimination Plan

FROM: Omar Farooq Omar

What NEED does this meet?
To eliminate various misunderstandings and stereotype that exist in today's different societies. Growing anti-semitism and Islamophobia based on false notions and misrepresentations are a few examples. Could help us all understand each other much better.

What is the APPROACH?
It will not be to defend certain religions, cultures or societies on their behalf, nor to debate who's better than who. But just to discredit certain rumors or misunderstanding that contradict obvious documented facts regarding all sorts of societies, cultures, organizations, etc etc.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Will clear stereotype, hatred and misunderstandings that are rampant amonst all of our societies and bring people together.

What is the COMPETITION?
Not that I know of.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Requires just a website building software and volunteers to research and some web space.

November 2, 2003 in Helping Your Community, Political, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (3)

Aftercare notes for GPs.

FROM: David Harrison

What NEED does this meet?
Once a GP has diagnosed a complaint, they will advise patients of various things they should and shouldn't do, but the patient may forget before they have even got home.

What is the APPROACH?
An online/CD-ROM-distrubuted database of aftercare notes for most conditions and illnesses, each written in simple language without medical jargon, with diagrams/photos where needed (for moles, exercises etc). Once a diagnosis is made, the GP prints off the prescription as they do now, and then prints off the aftercare notes. At the base of each are automatically added contact numbers and details for support groups local to the area in which the patient lives, relating to their condition. For the elderly, the font can be larger, and the notes can be printed in foreign languages as easily as in English.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
GPs can be sure that every patient gets detailed aftercare advice that they don't forget, and is informed of all relevant local support groups.

What is the COMPETITION?
It is much better than relying on an out of date home medical manual and self-diagnosis, or upon a telephone service like NHS Direct. The service supplies accurate information, chosen by your GP, for you and your condition. It can be printed out in any language, and local support groups can insert their own details on to the system, that will then automatically appear on local GPs aftercare notes. The information on the notes can easily be updated to conform with best practice.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
A doddle. The service can be run privately, and operate globally, taking a small subscription to allow access, or run by the NHS free-to-use for all NHS GPs, and for a small subscription to private/non-UK GPs. Free access should be offered to those working for medical charities/in developing countries.

November 1, 2003 in Health, Perhaps Government Remit?, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (4)

Local Services portal

FROM: Paul Chapman

What NEED does this meet?
This has a two fold need

1. To allow a low cost distribution of videos about Council Services

2. To allow residents to find out contact numbers and services

3. To allow people wanting to move into an area to find out about the area.

A third need is to allow residents to fill in forms for things like housing benefit, Council tax etc. However, this would require some fairly extensive security elements

What is the APPROACH?
If you've seen movies.com then this is what I'm thinking about for local services. The movies.com motion shows the video element. These are streamed videos, instead of being movie reviews and news it would be information about local services.

Councils should be able to register on the site as providers and a standard interface based on XML.

Eventually if full agreement can be obtained from councils then the site could become self financing by charging councils for various transactions such as council tax applications, housing benefits etc.


What are the BENEFITS to people?
Primary benefit is that residents can find about an area without having to navigate a councils own site which in many ways do not have a standard navigation, and in some cases may not have a standard set of information.

Councils would benefit because the way they provide services would have a 'shop window'

Better ways of providing services can be shown and councils that may not have thought of can see how other councils have solved problems.

Videos with an educational/informative element are cheaper to distribute over the web

What is the COMPETITION?
A service like this has been set up in the US which later failed. Partly because the technology at the time was in it's infancy. The emergence of XML as a standard communications technology means that most technical problems can be solved. In many ways it would be easier to implement the non transactional elements before introducing the more complex chargable transactional element.

Here are some of the US versions

http://access.wa.gov/siteinfo/

http://www.fedworld.gov/

http://www.firstgov.gov/index.shtml

http://www.governmentguide.com/main.adp

In Singapore they have http://www.ecitizen.gov.sg/

The nearest thing in the UK is http://www.ukonline.gov.uk/Home/Homepage/fs/en but this is in no ways as detailed as I am considering. This tells you more about how government works rather than telling you what government does.

The closest thing to what I am thinking of is these two US Sites;

http://www.firstgov.gov/index.shtml

http://www.governmentguide.com/main.adp


What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Implementation should be in three phases;

1. Information portal.

2. Video streaming of Information

3. Transactional elements of council requirements such as filling in council tax forms, claims for single occupancy refunds, etc;

Generally the information portal elements and the video streaming can use existing technology so it should not be too difficult.

The third phase however needs the agreement with councils so the major problem is political rather than technical.

Phases 1 and 2 would have a low cost as they use existing technology or technology which can be developed comparitively quickly. The third phase would need the agreement of councils and negotiation on the structure of the XML documents which the site would use to report transactions to client councils. However since they should be used to the service by then this should be easier.

October 31, 2003 in Perhaps Government Remit?, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (4)

Expat Voters

FROM: Simon Pleasants

What NEED does this meet?
There are expatriates from all countries all over the world. Many of them are -- or could be -- eligible to vote in their homeland. It's just that there is no one place for them to visit where they can: (1) find out about their eligibility and how to vote -- whether it's online (unlikey) or at a consulate, or if they have to fly 'home'; (2) register to vote -- either on line or by snail; (3) find out about political party policies 4. communicate with candidates and party reps - asynchronous via email, and live via chat sessions

What is the APPROACH?
Plan: Database driven website. Information clearing house for elections Tailored specifically to expats Visitors register (email address and physical location)for email updates political parties pay to advertise. Approach is unique. Nobody else in the world is doing it. Yet it is likely to succeed, given the relative youth, affluence and global outlook of the primary market.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
(1) Democratic enablement and re-enfranchisement in a globalising world. (2) Increased relevance and communication by political parties, with people they have not before been able to reach with any degree of efficiency. (3) Cool!

What is the COMPETITION?
None. Governments and political parties around the world are only just getting switched on to the idea that they can benefit from communicating effectively with expats. There are no other websites around that are set up to exploit the possibilities of the new environment as it opens up.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
I've no idea on the money side of things. I'm a 'concept' type person. Database-driven websites are not cheap, expecially ones that could get huge. However, good money could be made in sponsorship and advertising on the back of the intensity of focus that comes sweeping along with an election.

October 31, 2003 in International, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (5)

Gov for Dummies

FROM: mark simpkins

What NEED does this meet?
The actual workings of government, parliament, local government etc are wrapped up in their own jargon. How can you properly vote for your representative if you do not understand what it is they can / cannot do?

What is the APPROACH?
To produce a site that explains the different components and the workings of government. Broken down into modules that explain the relevant operations, what an MP does, what they cannot do. How to get in touch with them. What it means to be in opposition compared to being in government. How to lobby. When you should be speaking to local government. By using simple either / or links a user can quickly drill down to the relevant piece of information.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will be an educational tool as part of the new citizenship part of the cirriculum. The Dummies style of books are fun and popular and people do read them, so if we let everyone know the relevant part of the site before an election then people will have had the opportunity to RTFM before voting.

What is the COMPETITION?
Nothing. iCan has the potential to start holding this information, but first impressions make its focus look more towards activist, less geared towards gaining a basic understanding of what it is all about.

This is all about setting the groundwork, allowing people to get that basic understanding on what government does, why and how we give them the power to do it.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Technical budget would be relatively low. The site will consist of lots of pages, and it will need good indexing. The real work here is in writting the content in a way that is easy to understand and get around in.

I envisage that the site would be able to pass the users onto the likes of iCan, FaxYourMP, PublicWhip as needed, also I envisage certain aspects of it to reflect the current state of Parliament. (who's who, in session, maybe the proposed parliamentary timetable). These would need to be implemented as feeds, but that is another project. This would just be a consumer of such data feeds.

October 30, 2003 in Political, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (5)

Moziah

FROM: Tony Ageh

What NEED does this meet?
People lose instruction books and maintenance materials. Whenever you move into a new home you inherit sytems and machinery without the manuals. Moziah (so called because its an E-MANUAL!) will be a universal database of manuals for every electronic device ever made. Users will be able to access at low or no cost as well as upload in order to allow others to share. Manufacturers will be able to reduce the cost of producing or replacing manuals and most importantly obsolete-but-still-functional machines can be put back into use rather than be scrapped, saving money and precious resources.

What is the APPROACH?
Dunno. I guess we contact hardware manufacturers to kick-start the database and pay £5 for every ORIGINAL manual we recieve until we have 1,000 (£5,000) at this point we have something approaching critical mass. Then we charge £1 or one new manual per download to users as well as having a second trawl around the manufacturers. Will require some form of security or identity tagging to stop theives making use of the system to operate goods stolen without instructions for use etc.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
Reusable devises, repaired rather than replaced. Hours saved, mistakes avoided. A great boon to professionals called out to repair or service old and obsolete boilers, cars, typewriters, computers, printers, toilet cisterns, dishwashers and stairlifts.

What is the COMPETITION?
Olde worlde printed manuals + photocopier + postman. Will solve the problem of out of print or very difficult to find manuals.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
The most expensive part is the compilation and digitising of the manuals themselves. I don\'t know how much the second part of that would cost!

October 30, 2003 in Empowering Consumers, Static Information Site | Permalink | Comments (5)