Talent Bank Task Force

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Postby Fastalaskan » Fri Aug 05, 2005 9:31 pm

docsue wrote: Perhaps the first question is what the opertating costs will be. If some of our technical members can put dollar figures on some of the administrative costs of creating and maintaining the database, assuming a separate domain name and hosting fee plus continuous updating and probably monitoring/approvals, then it would be easier to discuss charges. How much do we need?
Where are they? Those of you who have built databases, what is the cost? Up-front to build, and then to maintain, both in time and dollars? We haven't heard from Jennifer (helperham) in awhile. Findthejoy, what is your experience of this? Thanks. Don't feel like you have to answer a "right" answer (you couldn't without exact criteria), we're just in the planning stages, and your opinion would be valuable. While we're on the subject, Tricia, someone should let Jennifer know we won't meet her August deadline.
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Postby DreamThief » Sun Aug 07, 2005 7:29 pm

I've sent an e-mail to Jennifer (helper_ham) asking her to stop in and asking if she knows about the offers of help from other programmers. Fastalaskan, what unanswered question can we work on that doesn't need the financing question answered? Thanks. Tricia / DreamThief
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Postby Fastalaskan » Mon Aug 08, 2005 10:48 pm

Hi Tricia, Guess what? Go back over my summary, and see that we've done a lot since then. We've answered a lot of the summary questions. In fact, the only unanswered questions are the mission statement and financing issues. The mission statement may have taken care of itself, and we'll need to know more info about the size of the database, what will be included, and info from Barbara before deciding on financing. So we're doing allright, thanks to you all Docsue, creative sage, just tri it, dreamtheif. We're taking shape here. What a surprise to me, I was wondering why people asked me to post all the summaries and didn't answer them. But you all did answer them! Just not directly and an accountant type like me is literal, so I didn't realize. WooHoo! Something fun to keep working on would be how to keep the database/website "Sher style". We've already gone over it, but I think it's what differentiates our database from others. Here's a few comments we've already posted.
Tricia wrote:Quote: I haven't been thinking of this as a money making business venture either, but rather as a service to the members and to the community at large which will need some cash to keep itself going. I did not intend to limit the database's usefulness to the US, and errors like referring to City and State will be (and have been) caught through group review. (Thanks Ana.) Currently the way a large majority of job placement happens is the jobs are posted and everyone looking for a job compares themself to the posting and tries to make their resume fit the jobs available. The database idea turns that upside down so that the job seekers are on display and the people hiring can search for the person they want or, better, can adapt what they're looking for to the talent they find in the database. (Read as : WOW! I didn't know I could find all that in one employee!) We're not the first to do this and employers do make use of resume banks when they can, but it's not widespread. We're also trying to reach the people who don't currently employ anyone but would like to hire one or two people and don't know where or how to begin. I guess my vision of this is a combination of many of Barbara's goals for her website, not just the original thread this was started in. Barbara works very hard to help people discover their dreams and then find ways to accomplish them that are within their financial grasp. Part of that is securing income of some kind, regardless of its relation to your dreams. This part relates best to the thread "Overcoming age discrimination". Another part is going out and doing the best parts of your dream and hiring out the parts which don't rank high enough in your H-levels. This does not necessarily relate to the original thread but I think it's just as important for the database project. My first swing at a mission statement would then be: 1: to help the members secure a sufficient source of income and 2: to help the members locate human resources to achieve their dreams. As to the question "who will the customers be?" they would be anyone looking for employees with qualifications. If someone has no skills to offer it will be difficult to list them in this database project, we'll have to think other ways to help them. There is the complementary partnership theme again. I like the way it differentiates us from a regular database Docsue wrote:Quote: We will do this by creating a database of screened individuals, organized by skill sets, that can be accessed by those needing services. Support services might include mentoring, coaching and training by skilled volunteers as a donation or barter. Yup. there it is again. Partnerships, mentoring, complementary partnerships
Those were quotes already posted, but let's keep the Sher style going. What would a Sher database look like? What would it include as a homepage before people click on the database? Info about wishcraft? Info about H-levels?
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." -- John Lubbock
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Postby DreamThief » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:51 am

I received this from Jennifer (helper_ham) via e-mail and am posting it here for her.
Hi. I tried to reply to the thread, but it had me marked as inactive. I'm using the office computer at the marina in Canada where my husband and I will be for the next month - can't monopolize it long enough to debug / re-register, etc. As far as the creation of a database - I can volunteer to do that for free. I have six computers in my home office and five of them have Oracle on them. So the database design and maintenance is yours for the asking. As far as handling a web site or domain - that is outside my area of expertise. Someone else is welcome to handle that part. I'm 'on vacation' for the next 4 - 6 weeks. My husband says I'm retired, but I think I'm "semi-retired" - which means occasional consulting work if I feel like it. So I have the time, experience and resources to volunteer to help. Staying in touch appears to be a barrier at the moment, however. Something we'll have to work around for the immediate future. Anyhoo, that's it from this end. Time to go sailing. Please stay in touch. jennifer helperham
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Postby DreamThief » Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:57 am

TalentBank.com, -.net, and -.org are all taken and 2 of them are being used. We need to brainstorm about another name for our venture and make sure our new choice is available as a domain name. Any ideas? Tricia / DreamThief
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Postby Just Tri It » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:54 am

Random thoughts: We have to figure out where this will be hosted before we decide on the database tools. Some ISPs don't support Oracle. We may have to use SQL Server, mySQL, or some other product. However, the DESIGN of the database in the early stages can be done on any platform, as long as we have a process in place for porting it to its permanent home in the future. Also, requiring database access will affect our hosting options, as well as the cost associated with the hosting package. Can we create a non-profit organization for this project? We might then be eligible for grants and other funding, as well as reduced costs on the technical side. I also have a comment related to content: Say someone searches for \"life coach\" and gets 28 hits from our database, consisting of 28 different people who can provide that service. How are those 28 people to be listed in the search results? Alphabetically? By years of experience? Location? Random (which is never REALLY random with computers)? It doesn't matter, for the purposes of my example, because no matter which criteria is used for sorting, someone will be at the top, and will then benefit from the higher visibility. This is the same reason you can browse the Yellow Pages and find plenty of \"AAA\" this and \"A-1\" that, but rarely will you find \"ZZZ\". This is also the reason your Google search results have the paid listings at the top, and regular listings at the bottom. How do we handle that? Also, I would be glad to handle the hosting/domain/web site issues (perhaps with some help from merk). However, I work better off of a plan, so if somebody can help me make a to-do list, I would feel a lot better. :) I'm still working through this thread (and the other 3 associated threads) trying to catch up with the background of the project before I found it.
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Postby Just Tri It » Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:01 am

TalentBankTaskForce - all extensions available
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Postby Just Tri It » Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:00 am

I've finally read through and taken notes on all the threads associated with this project. Whew! After reading through all the posts, I don't get the sense that anything has been decided on, for absolute certainty. Is this true? If I post thoughts and questions related to discussions from the early part of the project, will it throw things too far off track? PURPOSE - What is the purpose of this database? As one example, has a definitive mission statement been agreed upon? USERS - Who are the users of this database? From my reading, I get the sense that our users are: 1) work seekers of any age, who are looking for ft, pt, project, piecemeal or bartering work; 2) people seekers who are looking for employees, consultants or someone with a specific skill they wish to pay or barter for; 3) information seekers who are looking for information, a mentor or advice; 4) alliance seekers who are looking to form partnerships, both formal and informal; 5) information providers who agree to provide information, mentoring or advice (free or at a cost?) - might be same as work seekers? Once our purpose and users have been defined definitively, I think it will be much easier to go forward. I have not heard from Jennifer or from Barbara regarding my involvement in this project, but I know both have been busy or out of town or country. I just want to make sure that the powers that be know I'm here and ready to get to work! :) I have more notes and questions and thoughts that I will post as time permits. BTW, my real name is Pam, and if anyone needs more contact info for me, feel free to send me a PM.
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Postby Creative Sage » Thu Aug 11, 2005 1:40 pm

Just Tri It wrote:I've finally read through and taken notes on all the threads associated with this project. Whew! After reading through all the posts, I don't get the sense that anything has been decided on, for absolute certainty. Is this true? If I post thoughts and questions related to discussions from the early part of the project, will it throw things too far off track? PURPOSE - What is the purpose of this database? As one example, has a definitive mission statement been agreed upon?
Pam, you've written a very good summary here and have raised some excellent points. My feeling is that we need clear input from Barbara before we can really go on from this point. There were other points in this thread about funding, marketing and staffing for the project, and whether or not we want to limit the scope of the database to fewer categories, or specific age groups. We discussed for-profit vs. nonprofit models. It seems that we need Barbara's decisions and leadership before proceeding much further. We could try writing a mission or vision statement, but first it would help to know what her original vision was for this project. We can talk about the web site design, but we don't know yet whether she wants the database to be part of her web site, or have its own domain--then we could decide on a name for it. We don't know if she envisioned offering adjunct services and products as part of the database project, which would make business sense. It's hard to design a web site, especially the information architecture, without having all the information on the table. Otherwise we'll continue to go in circles. We may have a lot of good ideas, but I think we've reached a crucial point of needing direction before we can go forward to implement our ideas. Thanks for your summary--I'm sure it, and the other summaries in this thread, will help when Barbara has time to read them. Since I wasn't here at the beginning of this project, I'm not sure how high a priority it is for Barbara, although it does seem like a logical extension of her work. She may have wanted to get as much input from us as possible, and now she'll have to decide if the project should proceed as part of her "umbrella" or not. 8) Cathryn/Creative Sage TM
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Postby DreamThief » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:58 pm

Well said Creative Sage. Just Tri It, You are fully up to speed and suffering the same frustrations as the rest of the team now. Fastalaskan has suggested several times that we just make decisions and present our final plan to Barbara, but there are several things (like where to host the site) that we simply cannot decide for Barbara and those missing pieces to our puzzle are causing trouble trying to fit the rest of the puzzle together. We also cannot rush Barbara on this. She has real world deadlines that she is required to meet and this database is still in the dream phase, so it's one of the easiest things for her to set aside for long periods of time. I believe she still wants this database to become a reality, and once she has time to dedicate to this project things will probably move ahead very fast. Once we get to the point of going completely in circles without Barbara's input, (which we're getting close to now,) this team may need to take a \"vacation\". Hopefully all will be able and willing to return to the project when Barbara's ready for us. I think if we keep trying to hold conversations about the project once we're truly stuck we'll only frustrate ourselves, and who needs that. :P Best wishes, Tricia / DreamThief
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Postby Fastalaskan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:29 pm

DreamThief wrote:Fastalaskan has suggested several times that we just make decisions and present our final plan to Barbara, but there are several things (like where to host the site) that we simply cannot decide for Barbara and those missing pieces to our puzzle are causing trouble trying to fit the rest of the puzzle together.
I meant to decide on which ideas we think will work best and present pros and cons of each in summary form, not as final form. For example, we have pondered the question of keeping it separate from the boards and have decided that yes, separate is a good idea. When we send Barbara a summary, we will state points about the database and why things were decided in such a way and possibly list pros and cons of each. No, I didn't mean decide. I meant don't let the lack of input thus far stop us from making progress. I meant it's ok to outline the database, set criteria for the model, etc. Because there are experienced database builders, and experienced project managers, etc. that it's ok to say this should be this way and this is why. Another example is the point Just tri it brought up about the non-profit question. No, we can't decide, but Creative Sage has enough experience to answer and she suggested that forming a non-profit might be a longer road and that affiliating is a good strategy. We all know the decision is ultimately up to Barbara, but we have something to add to our summary with comments about it so that Barbara only has to read it and say yes or no. That's what I meant by decide. Using our collective experience to arrive at what we think is the best conclusion-to present to Barbara in a logical manner after it's been filtered through all of our brains. But, yes, Trica. You're right there are only so many points we can do this on without having a better picture. But I don't think we're there yet. I think there's still refining to do, as Just tri it found in trying to do a summary.
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Postby Just Tri It » Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:59 pm

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. So, I guess the consensus is to hurry up and wait? :) Would anyone enjoy just talking about this project in a more abstract way? Maybe toss \"outrageous\" ideas around just to see what we come up with, not necessarily in a way that leads us to concrete conclusions, but just for fun... For example, wouldn't it be cool if each person in the database could upload a video of themselves telling potential employers what great job they could do? Almost like a video dating service! :) Anyway, I can understand if you all are a bit burned out on this, and would prefer to lay low and recharge.
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Postby DreamThief » Sun Aug 14, 2005 7:44 pm

Hi Just Tri It, I appreciate your enthusiasm, we could use some at the moment. We've been working on this project for 4 months and can't see the finish line yet, which is probably why I'm willing to settle for a simpler design. It's also difficult to try to plan anything fancy when we don't know where it will be hosted and how much space it will have available to it. We've put those issues off as long as we can. One thing we can do is come up with a new name since "Talent Bank" is already taken. - - - - - - - - - I've just spent 20 minutes at networksolutions.com trying everything I could come up with. No luck. Everything I thought of was taken in at least one of the 3 major extensions, .com .net and .org . Solving this problem could hold our attention for awhile. (PS the Talent Bank Task Force is the name of this committee trying to create the Talent Bank, that's why I didn't jump for joy at the availability of that name.) Tricia / DreamThief
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Postby Creative Sage » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:37 pm

DreamThief wrote: One thing we can do is come up with a new name since "Talent Bank" is already taken. - - - - - - - - - I've just spent 20 minutes at networksolutions.com trying everything I could come up with. No luck. Everything I thought of was taken in at least one of the 3 major extensions, .com .net and .org . Tricia / DreamThief
How about a poetic name that says something about what we're really doing, like "DreamCatchers __.com"? Maybe we can think of another word that goes before or after "Dream Catchers," if that URL is taken. It should be a name that sounds like it goes with Barbara's books and ideas. Dream catchers are the lovely objects that some Native American tribes hang in windows to make dreams come true. I haven't done the Network Solutions Search, but "Talent Bank" is pretty boring (yawn). Tricia, what names did you search, just so the rest of us can eliminate those from our brainstorming lists? We can brainstorm here... :idea: Cathryn/Creative Sage TM
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Postby Fastalaskan » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:24 pm

Cathryn, Great idea, creative sage. Dreamhelpers shertalentbank internationaltalentbank (too long?) talentzone I haven't checked any yet. Lazy. I'll do it later, I first want to know if you all like any of them. These are what Tricia checked: TalentBank.com, -.net, and -.org are all taken and 2 of them are being used.
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