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(25 Posts)
MEDIA: ninakumari Tue 03-Apr-18 15:53:30

Hello I am a doctor building a new online social community for individuals to access right from the home.

We are building a new type of technology service that enables individuals to connect with others who share similar interest through regular hosted live (voice-based) conversations/ discussions accessed through an Amazon Echo/ Alexa.

We are currently piloting a prototype of the service and looking for willing volunteers to help us build a voice-based community that works for our potential customers.

We are looking for individuals who would be willing to join/ host conversations via an Amazon Alexa [ provided to you for free]. The pilot study will run over April/May.

Please get in contact to find out more. Any direct feedback would also be appreciated. Please email or phone .

Charleygirl Tue 03-Apr-18 15:57:00

Thank you but you have not given either a phone number or am email address.

Nonnie Tue 03-Apr-18 16:17:20

Charley you can PM them if you are interested.

I wonder if they got permission from HQ for this?

Marydoll Tue 03-Apr-18 16:19:29

I wondered the same and will contact GNHQ just to make sure.
I wouldn't touch it. (That is with data protection hat on. I'm always suspicious.)

Marydoll Tue 03-Apr-18 16:59:58

GNHQ say it is fine. Good to have it confirmed.

Charleygirl Tue 03-Apr-18 18:12:20

Thanks Nonnie my brain is not in gear today.

annodomini Tue 03-Apr-18 19:04:32

If I didn't already have an Echo, I might be interested - or would I?

BlueBelle Tue 03-Apr-18 19:18:15

I don’t really understand what this is about’ a prototype for potential customers’ customers of what ?

trisher Tue 03-Apr-18 19:58:57

What on earth's a "hosted live (voice based) conversation? And can you have a hosted dead (non voice based) conversation? Does it mean a chat like on, say Skype?

Grannyknot Tue 03-Apr-18 21:26:56

I should imagine that a voice based conversation will involve talking to someone using technology and the speakers on the device, as opposed to "chatting" or having a discussion like we do right here on Gransnet, or, for example in a chat room and whatever you want to say is typed out.

Marydoll Tue 03-Apr-18 22:01:28

I wondered if it was a bit like a conference call, where everyone can join in a conversation.

hildajenniJ Tue 03-Apr-18 22:21:57

Customers would indicate charges. Alexa calling is free if your friends and family have the device. I don't think I'd want to pay to chat to strangers. I can walk out into town and do that.

ninakumari Tue 03-Apr-18 23:24:29

Hi Thanks for your messages. I apologise if it is not clear and I appreciate many of you may find the concept odd ( that is equally valuable to know! )

It is still in its an early stage and so we will be testing different versions of the concept to people enjoy engaging in live discussions or classes from their home.

In general, a conference call is the closest equivalent.

We are looking to build a community of members who can create and join groups/ events around their interests and chat with other members ( through a live voice conversation as opposed to messaging on a forum).

Examples of some of the scheduled talks will include:
Educational talks ( ie joining a live discussion about health topics hosted by an expert)
Hosted Book club
Chatting about a sports match

You don't have to join all of the talks, but ideally we would like you to join at least one and provide us with feedback.

We would really appreciate anyone who may be up for giving this a go!

Email: [email protected]

Mamissimo Tue 03-Apr-18 23:57:38

Hello - I would be interested in helping. I could host a chat for you - I was in education for years and am used to running group discussions. I’m used to social media but I don’t currently have an Alexa.

MawBroon Wed 04-Apr-18 00:00:53

What a ghastly thought 😱😱😱

BlueBelle Wed 04-Apr-18 04:41:21

Customers ? This hasn’t been answered do I get the feeling this is a trial for a future business
Can you be clear about this please

cornergran Wed 04-Apr-18 06:26:12

Having nothing better to do when I should be asleep hmm I had a look at their web site.

If I’ve understood it’s a startup organisation, part of the Zinc initiative and is aimed at easing social isolation in older people. I hadn’t heard of the Zinc initiative, this is the BBC report

I’m left with mixed reactions. Initially negative I then thought of neighbours unable to leave their homes. A very different situation to those of us able to be out and about. Could see no details of cost so a question mark there.

trisher Wed 04-Apr-18 10:20:46

I believe the U3A have a Virtual U3A for people who are housebound.

Luckygirl Wed 04-Apr-18 10:43:42

Thanks for the research corner - why does the original message not say that it is about relieving social isolation?

ninakumari Wed 04-Apr-18 16:57:42

Hi, in answer to your question, yes - the intention is that this product is part of a startup I have co-founded focused on delivering a social impact.

Whilst the initial intention was to create something to help people who may be isolated at home, we are also experimenting to see whether other people may be interested in engaging with the concept. The aim is not to replace socializing outside with others but more to supplement learning and chatting with people from home.

At this stage, we are still researching and refining this particular part of the product.

Mamissimo Thu 05-Apr-18 17:21:37

Having offered to help I have now engaged reverse with alacrity! Basically, wrapped up in fluffy language, is a business based on the concept that, once it is fully operational,you join for £120 A Month, someone comes to see you once a month to keep you interested and you are encouraged to make it your own by getting your own network going on it.

I have given them some feedback because Gransnet already offers friendship, help, support, learning and debate for free, gratis, diddlysquat.

Sorry, I hate ripoffs and the very people who need this kind of interaction most will be those least able to afford it. Shame.

ninakumari Thu 05-Apr-18 17:42:08

Hello - thanks for your feedback.

The pilot study is not specifically tied to the business and largely the focus of the post.

I did indicate a £60 monthly fee on the email for the complete offer, which I respect may not be affordable for everyone) and so did not want to impose that on you when my primary aim is to find some willing volunteers who would be happy to try out whether you can have interesting scheduled conversations with other individuals around things that interest you using an Amazon Alexa.

We may consider offering the social community as a separate service, for a small fee ( after gaining feedback from the pilot service).

Wheniwasyourage Thu 05-Apr-18 17:55:58

Think I'd rather stick to Silverline if I wanted to talk to someone. I don't know much about it apart from what I've read very recently, but it sounds more interesting than having to have an Alexa, not to mention that it's free for the users!

BlueBelle Thu 05-Apr-18 19:01:53

I was concerned there would be some payment by the word customer it sounds a bit pyramid like to me so no thanks I won’t take up the offer

Primrose65 Thu 05-Apr-18 19:20:22

It doesn't work for me. The concept of talking in real time on a curated Alexa chat doesn't appeal for a few reasons. A conversation is so much more than just the words - you're losing the facial expressions and body language. Conference calls are not a good way to communicate - you never know who's going to speak next, you end up with a long silence and then 4 people start talking at once ...... everyone at work hated them and that's when you have an established relationship with people on the call. I'd imagine it would be easy for some people to dominate too. Not my idea of fun. Sorry!