Social Change Initiatives
The acquisition of knowledge is a great accomplishment but the application of that knowledge is divine... From the moment I felt strongly that my country of birth was ready to embraced Technology, I took the initiative to implement technology driven models that I felt were applicable not just in Trinidad & Tobago, but in the Caribbean on a whole. I'm always in search of that divine moment or rather those divine moments :)
Social Networking Model for T&T
TrinidadBeat (2010)Given that 380,000 T&T nationals are accessing Facebook from Trinidad & Tobago, I felt strongly that T&T should have a social network of its own.
- Designed a social networking community for T&T exclusively. I created groups within that community based on urban and rural districts because I am aware that even though T&T nationals identify themselves by their country of birth, they also identify themselves with the district of birth. And so I was sure to facilitate this distinction inside of the community. Each group will have discussion forums, event galleries and comment system
- Incorporated the use of FaceBook connect in order to facilitate the migration of nationals from FaceBook over to the community where they will not have to maintain two accounts but can access the community using Facebook credentials and port their Facebook statuses into their community profiles automatically - if they should so choose.
- To facilitate participation, I designed a reward system and loyalty program so that active participants gain reward points for using the various applications within the community and can redeem the points for discounts in the commerce store - where T&T memorabilia can be purchased
- In order to sustain the site, I included a Social Ads application similar to that of Facebook's since it is widely tolerated by Trinibagonians who use Facebook and is a good revenue stream for maintaining the community over time.
- To induce nostalgia which I posit will encourage repeat visits and word of mouth advertising, I included a photo gallery separate from the community's so as to showcase major landmarks from each district
- To keep users engaged I maintained interaction with Facebook so that members can share content from the community on their Facebook profile walls - with the hope that this also serves as a driving force for migration to this exclusive social network for Trinbagonians.
Review Community for T&T
EverybodyPeeping.comAfter the T&T General Elections in May 2010, and given how vocal Trinbagonians were on the social media platforms - specifically Facebook - I felt a review community would have been ideal for the people of T&T to express themselves by reviewing the service industries in both public and private sectors. Because 380,000 (almost 29% of our entire population) was accessing Facebook from T&T, I decided to incorporate the use of FaceBook Connect to make the sign up process easy for those who were motivated to review... Everybodypeeping.com can become a place where Trinbagonians (living locally or abroad) can first go to see what is going on in T&T from the people's perspective. The government of T&T can use this community to get a feel for what the T&T people want, feel, need, expect, etc. etc. etc.
- Technologies employed: Php, Ajax, HTML, CSS, MySQL,FBML
- Created a FaceBook application for this review community in order integrate Facebook Connect with the Review Community
- Linked this application to Twitter so that updates can be posted to one specific T&T twitter account
Micropay Model for Caribbean
HustleWuk.comI took a look at the state of the economy not just in the USA but globally and assessed the web business models that are currently successful. The successful business models seem to have one thing in common and that is to help people either earn money or benefit from savings. HustleWuk was designed to link buyer and seller in a marketplace which can for the most part become recession proof. The goal is to challenge people to go into survival mode and get very creative about the various things that can be traded through the Internet. It is one of those WIN WIN WIN situations where the seller earns money through the site without having to suffer the expense of a merchant account; the buyer can acquire various services at competitive rates and can chose a seller based on their ratings; the site owner earns a percentage of each sale.
- Technologies employed: Php, Ajax, HTML, CSS, MySQL,FBML, PayPal
- Created a FaceBook application in order to integrate Facebook Connect with the MicroPay site
- Linked this application to Twitter so that updates can be posted to one specific T&T twitter account
Collaborative Buying Model for T&T
MacoDeals.comThe idea to build a collaborative buying site, was born from the struggles of Tobago hoteliers who were losing business daily because of America's recession - since Tobago's tourism industry depends on the US dollar mainly. I came up with a way to save Americans dollars and give them incentive to travel to Tobago again. This evolved into a site that would lend this type of solution to the whole of T&T, and at a later point to other tourist islands in the Caribbean. Each day a new DEAL will be available (per city) to all subscribers. Each time, a new business will be featured. This is based on the Groupon Business Model - one I feel is quite applicable for the Caribbean - particularly Tobago and other tourist isles.
- I decided in this instance to use a hosted application that I lease monthly for a nominal fee + a percentage of each sale. The hosted application was created using CakePhp and is served from a MySql backend. Once it becomes feasible, I will invest in a turnkey application that is already available to me - but there is no need to make such a big investment yet. A hosted version would suffice for the time being.
- I created a Facebook application in order to integrate Facebook connect with this collaborative buying site and then linked this to twiiter so that any posts made will be ported over to one main twitter page.
Data Mining through Enthropy
Famous Trini Sayings - Facebook Group Page (5,500 members)I was approached by a friend (Nicole Quami) who felt that we should create a page for Trinidad Sayings. She recommended that we call it Famous Trini Sayings. She asked me to "run with it" (so to speak) and that I did. I created the group and together with Nicole and her God-Sister Sandra Evans, we published a multitude of sayings in order to populate the wall and set the tone for what we wanted for the group content. then launched a massive campaign to grow this group by asking a few of my facebook peers who had large networks to share their entire friend list in exchange for showing them how to select all friends at once. Within a month I had 4500 members.
Migration from Facebook Group to Page
Famous Trinibagonian Sayings - Facebook Group Page (3,500 members)I felt as though we excluding Tobagonian sayings and decided to create a page instead with a new name and challenge myself to migrate the users from the group to the page - since the page came with more applicable features that I wanted to explore. I launched a massive migration campaign and within two weeks migrated almost 2500 fans over to the page. This page has evolved into something interactive which has become very addictive for its members who simply miss their country of birth and are attracted to the eloquence of their native tongues.
No Texting and Driving Campaign
Arrive Alive, Don't Text and DriveAfter the T&T General Elections in May 2010, and given how vocal Trinbagonians were on the social media platforms - specifically Facebook
Fundraiser for Interactive Classroom
Modsec Alumni International, (2009)I formed an non-profit organization designed to raise funds for the implementation of Interactive classrooms at under developed academic institutions in the Caribbean. The first school that I targeted was my past high school: ModSec. I decided that the best way to implement this initiative was to make it meaningful to all involved and solicited the support of fellow Modsec Past Students. I decided to launch a High School Reunion and use any proceeds towards the purchase of the Interactive Classroom for the school.
- I branded Modsec Alumni International by designing the LOGO, event fliers, banner and tickets. I built a website for the purpose of selling Electronic tickets and a Facebook presences for promoting the initiative
- Given my Hospitality Management background, I was able to coordinate the entire event using strictly Past Students as the contractors for Sound System, Disk Jockeys, Caterer, Security, Bar Services, Event Planning.
- Given my Marketing and Web Development background I was able to implement a massive Marketing campaign using the social media platform thus reaching past students who lived in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and other Caribbean Islands
- I negotiated with radio stations and TV stations for airtime so that I could promote the applicability of this Interactive Classroom that my organization was raising funds to purchase for the school using the Reunion as the fund raising point. I represented the organization on various television shows accordingly.
- I designed a line of T-Shirts for the organization and passed on the entire branding - including a website for the school and one for the alumni association in T&T, to that alumni association in T&T.
- We broke even and did not make enough money for purchasing the equipment. I donated one set of Interactive Response Pads to the school nonetheless which the Acting Principal returned to me.
Change in the Delivery of Course Material
Interactive Classroom at Modsec, Trinidad & Tobago (2009)After visiting the High School that I attended and realizing that they classrooms still had chalkboards and the use of technology in the classrooms were not employed, I launched an initiative to raise funds in order to purchase an Interactive and Multimedia classroom that I had designed specifically to enhance learning and engaged students.
- I visited the school and consulted with the Principal and Vice Principal to explain the technology to them. I then loaned them the equipment that I wanted to purchase for the school once my fund raising initiative was fruitful. I presented the technology to the Principals and Staff in terms of the applicability of this type of technology in the classroom and how it can save teachers time, organize class lectures, manage attendance and engage students - especially those who are otherwise bored during class sessions or who do not fell comfortable participating.
- I gave a class of their choosing, a makeover in preparation for the introduction of the interactive technology to the students. Along with the Dean for that class, we used the technology in the classroom and it was well received by the students. The teachers on the other hand were for the most part able but not 100% willing to change the way they taught classes so as to include the use of this type of technology in the classroom. I was still encouraged to raise funds to furnish one classroom with this technology for interested teachers to use at will.
Technology Training Tool for persons with ADHD
Edufeedback Lab - The first of its kind in the Caribbean (2008)After doing thorough research on the Technology and consulting with the founder Peter Freer on the effectiveness of Edufeedback technology as a training tool for persons with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), I felt strongly that this technology would be well applied in Trinidad and Tobago as warranted.
- After implementing a station for the NCPD, I was approached by the General Manager of the St. Mary's Children's Home (SMCH) to implement a similar station at the home. I then proposed to her that she implement an entire Edufeedback LAB with 10 stations in order to meet the learning needs of her children who were diagnosed as having any deficits in attention and focus. Had she implemented this, it would have been the first lab of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. After consultations with a Psychologist, she made a decision not to invest in that type of solution at that point in time.
Classroom Managment for High Schools
Ministry of Education (MOE), Trinidad & Tobago (2007)The reason for endorsing eInstructions Interactive Technology product line was because after extensive research and assessment, I saw clearly how the use of this type of technology in academic institutions can enhance learning and ensure that no child is left behind in the classroom setting.
- Wrote a proposal and presented to the MOE to conduct a pilot study over a period of nine months wherein 10 government run schools would participate. I negotiated with eInstruction to loan the MOE ten 32-piece interactive response pad sets. In essence I proposed that for each participating school, one group of fifth form students would use these clickers for specific subjects 9 months prior to taking the practice entrance exam into high school (Mock exams for SEA). Their performance would have been compared to those who did not use these clickers in preparation for the exam, to see if the students privy to the clickers performed better and if the teachers were better able to engage students, take attendance and control the delivery of course material more efficiently. The government was not interested in conducting this type of pilot study at that point in time.