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# Question: What is the best way to formalize connecting needs with offers?

by bsugar |

After reading some of the conversations from the updates, I have some things I can provide. Currently however, there doesn't appear to be a formal mechanism for the process.

Seems to me a work flow might be required along the following lines:

1. Needs described in meetings have to be translated to a posting.
2. People need to be notified of needs postings.
3. The 'needs posters" need to be notified that there is an offer to meet the need.
4. Directions need to be given regarding how to actually meet the need (where to send, for example).

Ideas:

1. Perhaps a needs/offers wiki page with instructions that people can subscribe to? However, this could really dissipate the centralization of the information.
2. Have each "ask" as a question which we can list on the main wikipage?
3. Have a tag to subscribe to specifically for needs so people can be notified as they come in?
4. Should people add questions as they find them about the wiki (Issue, the askers won't know it's been asked, the "wiki gardeners" won't know the details)

Proposal: Keep questions about needs embedded on the main response wiki page. Add instructions to the requests/offers area on wiki page indicating that people should make requests through the question function and be sure to include the best way to connect the need with the offer (e.g. contact person), and that people use a given tag. Indicate that interested parties can subscribe to the tag.

Outstanding question: How can asks that come up during meetings be translated from ad hoc documentation to something that people can be notified about?

Hi, @bsugar -- thanks! We are working on this, and love your ideas. The current workflow we're trying is to encourage people to phrase their offers as questions, i.e. Does anyone need X? and requests also naturally make for questions.

We are also digging out offers and asks from the call transcripts and mailing lists (the Gulf Coast list and others) and reposting as questions on the Harvey page This could be more clearly articulated as a task itself.

Finally, we're "staging" draft offers and trying to get them queued up on the Harvey talk page: https://publiclab.org/talk/harvey

Then we are starting to do social media and list outreach as well as individual email connects to matchmake.

We are also @mentioning usernames to bring in more capacity that way.

We could /definitely/ use support/input/refinement of this process, as we have just put it together using available systems this week. It has similarities to slower coordination efforts we've attempted on PublicLab.org but is faster paced and more involved. We also have to exercise some judgement about what is appropriate and truly supportive of the groups we're hoping to help.

Would you be able to join the next Open Call or discuss further - your ideas jive well with the first steps we've taken. Also happy to talk in the chatroom or here.

Is this a question? Click here to post it to the Questions page.

Also there is a lot of great organizing and workflow prototyping going on at the Irmastart document by Sketch City here: http://bit.do/irmastart that we're looking at for inspiration.