We have a long way to go, but the initial signs are promising. I'd love your feedback on how we can make it better. Thanks!
Can you expand a bit on this statement on your home page:
"Speak with a compassionate, trained listener through our secure, monitored network."
What does "monitored" mean?
By "trained" what do you mean (because it seems as if anyone can be a listener)?
Also, your website does not seem to keep me logged in (in Firefox). Even directly after logging in and being able to view my messages, the upper-right corner still contains the 'Login' button.
Are listeners first going to be vetted? Is there going to be some push in associating listeners with their Facebook accounts, to have them authenticated as the good folks. Any comments in general about making it resilient to these types of attacks?
The startup will obviously make a commission on that.
And from last week: Ditto for online.
I don't know if the latter is a result of your own PR effort or great luck. Either way, congrats! :)
Mental health resources just aren't working for him, and I don't think he has a lot of positive role models in his life whom he can turn to. And we live in a time where many of the traditional institutions tasked with steering a young person into adulthood (religion, education, family, etc.) are broken or dysfunctional themselves.
This is definitely one startup that I would really like to see succeed. Good luck...
Also, as you indicated, a lot of the old institutions just are not there to provide as much support. I also always think of the role neighbors used to play. I still have friendly conversation with my neighbors, but I would feel really uncomfortable leaning on them for support.
And we live in a time where many of the traditional institutions tasked with steering a young person into adulthood (religion, education, family, etc.) are broken or dysfunctional themselves.
I guess the question (not reading any of the sign up materials) is is there an implied expectation of privacy on the part of listeners (I see with the people needing support there is an explicit statement of confidentiality) and should they be notified of ways that people can find out who they are?
Edit: And things to do (picture and name wise) to prevent that from happening?
Wrong. You're absolutely sure that you don't want that.
I mean, both are about building something people want, but they are definitely different points of view of this goal. One is about what people are willing to pay for, other is about what people could benefit from.
I most wholeheartedly welcome this trend (if it is in fact a conscious one). Myself, I work very close to this new field of "social ventures/social business/impact investment", the latest labels of a model that combine, at once, social impact and profit. No judgmental ideology, just using market forces to improve people's lives. Specially people with some kind of vulnerability (in general, poor people, but as seen here, not restricted to).
Muhamad Yunus (Nobel peace laureate) is the most famous champion of this way of changing the world, but he sure put some very rigid limitations on how to manage the profit, which I think are too demanding and not particularly effective. But it is a good way to think different about creating new business: http://www.muhammadyunus.org/index.php/social-business/socia...
For an approach that I think is more effective, here are some good places to learn:
Congratulations for your work, I hope you achieve great success!
Your callers are probably a different profile than the ones that called our hotline, but I would be very cautious about giving out identifiable details in the answerers' profiles. Also, knowing how difficult my volunteering work was, I'd like to know more about the training process for your answerers.
I can see how it might be legally required to add this disclaimer, but I would at least direct them to somewhere else that can help them.
Also, one interesting anecdote that I discovered when talking with experts that work with the elderly. They said that often times elderly people will complain about telemarketers, but they'll answer the phone because they are lonely. They'll then end up buying things they don't really want just because they were able to connect with another person.
I also wonder if we can find a way for elderly volunteers to sign up as listeners. They've been through a lot and could help a lot of younger people going through similar struggles. If anyone has any recommendations or contacts at senior organizations, then it'd be great if you could share them with me. Thanks!
My father has been working to keep some older relatives able to use computers, but there are lots of challenges. A couple of points I can offer from his experience:
- Tablets are probably easier use, especially if you spent some effort making a specific app.
- Reliable always on internet is not necessarily a given.
- Even if they have good internet, they may not have a wireless network
If anyone else is reading that wants to build something similar, I would love a marketplace for online therapists with solid reviews, bio statements/therapeutic orientation statements, clear pricing/insurance information, etc.
We are creating a marketplace where some people will volunteer, some will have a pay what you want option, and then others will have a set rate for 30 minutes.
Welcome to 7CupsOfTea! Connecting you to a specialist now...
You are connected to Listener "Twogirlssevencups"
<needshelp56> Hi, thanks for listening....I feel like my life is in shambles...
<needshelp56> i just...I just need someone to talk to...
<Twogirlssevencups> lol kil urself
It would be more honest to portray the service as an online hotline.
What a fantastic name for the founder of a company providing moral support to those in trouble.
Second, many of the listeners are "Unavailable" -- there should be a way to filter it to only the available ones. If a client wants to speak to a particular person, it would be helpful to know they were unavailable, but for a general browse, those entries are not helpful. (Just that many more people who don't want to talk to me, <sniff>...)
Third, I couldn't see how the category filters (Addiction, etc) changed much if anything. Is it that most listeners are ready to handle all those topics?
Fourth, the browse feature could benefit from a keyword search to cover those categories you haven't thought of as filters -- e.g. I'd like to know how many, if any, listeners call themselves "atheist" or "liberal".
-The testimonial scroll is a little awkward and hard on the eyes as it moves. My suggestion would be to have a fade in/fade out, or a much quicker animation
-There is quite a lot going on in the navigation bar (many different options + sub-options). My suggestion would be to narrow it down significantly to maybe 3 - 4 of the most important menu items.
-I think the "satisfaction guaranteed" thing can go. There can probably be some better messaging or use of real estate here to establish trust.
-I think there could probably be a better way to present the large image with text on top on the home screen (for example, see airbnb.com or screenleap.com). Visual design thing so it's kind of subjective.
Otherwise, really strong work. If you'd like more design help see my contact info in my profile.
I really hope it succeeds as I've become really worried about the number of suicidal posts I've seen on HackerNews lately. I've noticed on 3 separate occasions in the last month alone posts from severely depressed hackers usually titled something along the lines of 'want to give up'.
While I think its great that hackers can come together to support each other, I'm guessing most of us are not trained psychologists.
There's a lot of risks involved, but if they do it properly and take the security risks, and system abuse risks seriously from the outset it could be a really useful tool in getting people help.