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Empathy Engine

FROM: Martin Long

What NEED does this meet?
Everyone will most likely at some point have a problem or a difficulty that they cannot solve all by themselves, and will want to turn to others for support. This could be for help with a practical problem, a social problem, or any other difficulty. Family and friends may not always have the necesessary knowledge or experience to be able to help. However, the likelihood is that there is someone out there on the Internet who does. I propose a method for helping to find those people. Problems could range from large to small - from needing help in choosing a new car, to coping with an illness. The idea is to find people who have done, or have had to deal with, the same thing.

What is the APPROACH?
I suggest either a searchable Website of some kind, or a Napster-style client program. Users could register themselves as having experience of or wanting to help with certain problems. Searching the site / program for the problem would allow users to obtain contact details (email, Instant Messenger etc) of those who could help.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It would provide a convenient place to turn to find someone who could help, or at least understand, whatever problems you might be having. It might also have the side effects of allowing people in similar situations to communicate and make friends, and encourage people to reciprocate by sharing their own knowledge and experiences.

What is the COMPETITION?
There is nothing else like this that I know of. There are support groups and other places to look for information, but the advantage of this proposal is that you could quickly end up communicating one-to-one with someone with experience of the problem.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
It may require a fairly complex search engine and user registration system, and I imagine creating a client program would be more compex and expensive than using a Website.

October 31, 2003 in Connecting People, Matching System | Permalink



Posted by: amateur at Jun 28, 2008 11:21:25 PM