Membership Business Model

Setting up your Smart Village Site

This help guide section is for new Smart Village site leaders, to guide the set up and ongoing development of the site.

The primary activity is to co-develop a ‘Membership Business Model’ for the site, achieved through a combination of i) Configuring Modules, and ii) maintaining a Community Membership system.

Configuring Modules

Smart Village sites are built via turning on or off the site modules that enable various functionality, from blogs through vendor directory listings, forum discussions and much more, so sites are configured like lego pieces. Each site leader can decide which particular permutation suits their local needs.

The main categories of modules are:

  • Content : The site can be utilized to easily produce lots of great town information that engages online visitors, such as the Biggar visitor guide.
  • Community : At the core is a community system – Users can register, build a member profile, participate in forums and post content types like Events and Photo Galleries. This user generated information is key to the content strategy.
  • Local Democracy : Forums can be used for local digital democracy, facilitating debate on key local issues, and documenting local governance and Town Officials, like those listed on the Biggar front page. Other features include Votes and E-Petitions, so outstanding issues can be matured into larger community campaigns.
  • E-Commerce Marketplace : The Marketplace can cater for all aspects of local buying and selling, including a Vendor Directory, e-commerce stores for local artisans, classified ads and real estate listings.

Community Membership System

The CMS regulates ‘who can do what’, a permissions system based around different site roles, such as Visitor, Commenter, Author, Editor and Owner, that each site user may be assigned.

Web site visitors could include a wide spectrum of different users, from international guests exploring it anonymously to plan their tourism visit, through to local residents who use it regularly and to an in-depth level.

As the name suggests the Site Owner has absolute access and control of all functionality, and can then cascade delegation of these, for example enabling Editors to approve and publish posts, Commenters can post comments, and so on.

Defining these permission levels defines the CMS, and we work with each community to customize theirs to suit their marketing and membership plan.

Site Roadmap

The matrix combination of Site Modules and Membership System enables each site’s unique operational model, a design we document into a Site Roadmap for each community.