Wednesday, June 18, 2014

IndigenousX Dot Com

Hey peeps,

Sorry I haven't been blogging or vlogging much lately but life went and got itself really hectic really quick... good ways though.

I have been busily working away in the background setting IndigenousX up for the next stage of development. This has included registering IndigenousX as a trademark, establishing it as a Pty Ltd, and bringing together a number of Indigenous collaborators to provide support, guidance and assistance as it starts to grow into much more than just a Twitter account.

The most significant step in this journey at the moment is the introduction of an interim website which is helping raise funds for the actual website, currently being developed. This is being done through direct donation (via paypal) and t-shirt & hoodie sales (via Redbubble).

While we are pursuing a number of business options with IndigenousX, to date it has been unfunded and has made only minimal income. In the simplest terms, this means that all of the things I have mentioned above, plus the hundreds of hours I have put into the development, management and promotion of Indigenous so far have been done in my own time, and out of my own pocket, and at the expense of numerous career options (funnily enough, lots of peeps don't like the sort of things I, and some of our hosts, have had to say about all sides of government, and various areas of industry). The reason that I have not pushed too hard so far on gaining sponsors and funders is that most of these would have come with conditions that IndigenousX is not willing to be subjected to. It is essential that IndigenousX remains independent and has the capacity to speak about whatever issues it chooses, and sources hosts who are able to do the same. This provides a lot of opportunity, but also brings a number of significant challenges. Namely, getting money to do stuff, and to pay other people to do other stuff. Lawyers, accountants, web developers etc don't come cheap. Just because I am only using Indigenous people in these roles doesn't mean I am getting any discounts or freebies, in fact it has been important to me to not do this as I want to pay these professionals what they are worth for the services they provide, just as I want IndigenousX to be paid for some of the services it provides. As we have always been buoyed by our fans and supporters online I wanted to see how we would go with raising the funds through our online community. So far, we've done alright... We've had about $2k in donations, and sold a dozen or more T-shirts and hoodies. This has been an awesome start for our first week, but still leaves us a fair bit short of what is needed to do the website up right.

The simple truth though is that most of the people and organisations I want to work with are the ones who don't have the resources to afford it. This means we will need a lot of support, and some subsidiary income streams, to become sustainable. The other main focus is on making a comprehensive and exciting website. This will provide additional opportunities for hosts to engage with our audience once their week has concluded; will provide potential to showcase more Indigenous voices online; and will provide a wide range of information about Indigenous people and issues to help raise awareness and provide assistance to those who want to improve their knowledge and understanding, and find opportunities for how they can get involved. None of this really brings in a dollar though, it is just something that I really want to do, and something that I believe IndigenousX is uniquely positioned to do.

Some of the things I am looking at include an IndigenousX speakers conference (in planning - hopefully coming before the end of the year); in-school workshops around science education for Indigenous students ages 8-13; professional development/training programs; independent content creation (video, print, images, etc); advocacy, fundraising and campaigning support for Indigenous driven projects and campaigns; and continuing to improve the social media visibility of Indigenous people, issues, and projects that IndigenousX supports.  

So rather than looking at this project as a typical business model, I am looking at it in terms of: what needs to be done? and what is IndigenousX in a position to do? The financial sustainability side of things I will trust to the universe (including you mob); supported by my ability to work my ass off with little sleep, and to go without shiny things, or 'weekends'.

So, if you want to lend a hand, go to http://indigenousx.com.au and buy a shirt or make a donation, or if you want to get involved with any of the other stuff I mentioned, drop me an email to indigenousx@startsomegood.com and say hello.

NB: I probably should have written this in more of a 'promotional' style but I only got here by speaking plain and true, so I don't see much point in changing tact now.

Peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment