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We asked. The Chainlink answered. Here’s how you can help.
The Chainlink was launched in 2008 to provide Chicago’s diverse bicycle scene with a cohesive online meeting space. In just four years we’ve grown to more than 8,000 members and tens of thousands of unique monthly visitors. Today The Chainlink serves as the region’s premier cycling platform: a forum to organize, learn, and share ideas and experiences.
I reached out to the community with a survey, seeking to understand what The Chainlink can do to better serve its growing membership. The results, shared below, paint a clear picture of ways we can improve. Knowing the “what” and “how” are critical parts of any change - no guided effort is possible without these pieces of information.
Having seen the community’s response, I am pleased to announce The Chainlink Indigogo fundraising campaign.
Like many of our members, I want to make our content easier to access and more visually appealing. I’d like the site to work better on mobile, provide the most current routes, weather, and road conditions, deliver improved event and search functionality, and improve our social network integration.
I want to be sure The Chainlink is on firm footing to undertake these changes. The Chainlink is a business, but it is a breathtakingly efficient one. With no paid staff, we’ve managed to cover 100% of our operating needs and expenses from sidebar advertising, fundraising events, volunteer efforts, and personal contributions.
With nine contribution levels, everyone who wishes can play a role in supporting the community’s vision.
Thanks for being a part of The Chainlink!
The Chainlink Community, LLC
Join the Fundraising Campaign.
To improve The Chainlink, we have launched a fundraising campaign on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo. We’re asking Chainlink members near and far -- and everyone who believes in the power of community -- to contribute what they are able. There are heaps of unique incentives for contributors at any level. Check out the rewards on the right. Additional details and pictures here.
Imagine The Chainlink of the future – What do you want to see next? What is possible? What do you envision? Together, we can make it happen!
Dates & Details
Nov, Dec, Jan – Indiegogo campaign and community input
Feb, March, April – Build and test
May 15, 2013 – Launch deadline
I have set our initial goal at $15,000 to cover the costs of updating key features and design elements of The Chainlink.
The site is a community resource, so this project will leverage our diverse resources as much as possible. Watch for public input meetings, additional surveys and focus groups. We want everyone's input both to the community at large, and those who support us, including our awesome bike industry and shop owners.
The community’s support will dictate how much good work we can pursue. It’s your site!
The Road Ahead
We are responding to a great diversity of needs expressed by our members. Your survey responses are our “Route Map”.
To view select survey responses, click here.
First and foremost: A better, more diverse one-stop shop website that incorporates the features and design changes requested by YOU, the community. In addition, great incentives are available that correspond to each contribution level, including sweet, hand-made stuff, celebrity bike tours, gear and more.
For a full list of contribution levels and incentives, click here.
Let’s Do This Together.
From conversations with countless members, I am awed at how the power of this great community has changed lives, in ways large and small.
Our members have met friends here (even entire groups of friends), fallen in love, and even started families. They have recovered stolen bikes, learned what the city is doing to make our streets safer and more accessible, received advice on the best bike to buy and where to buy it - and then how to fix it when it needs fixing. We’ve shared our favorite routes, and how to ride farther, faster and in all types of weather.
We’ve shared our lives.
We want to improve how we relate to all the big and small things that matter, keep our community inclusive, and continue to run it bottom-up. Working together, we can realize that vision.