The purpose of this Kickstarter project is to convert the existing web resource ConstructionMentor.net to ConstructionWiki.net, giving it a better environment for success, growth, and outside content contribution.
The current website ConstructionMentor.net provides relevant construction knowledge and makes it on demand and more readily available to all. This online resource includes 335 construction related articles (and growing) organized by division, which aim to inform and educate. I currently average between 10-50 total hits per day. In order for this website to grow and become more viable, I need better visibility, a more palatable brand, and content contribution from other construction and engineering professionals. The best way to provide such an environment is by providing a 'Wiki' style web resource.
As a construction professional, I often found myself searching the web through numerous convoluted articles and encyclopedias looking for information on a certain construction topic, only to turn up fragments of the knowledge I was looking for. To add to my frustrations, I found that my colleagues and superiors were often reluctant or otherwise too busy to contribute to an environment where learning and mentoring were welcomed. Last but not least, I am a visual learner (as most of us are) and could rarely find the visual examples of a construction material or activity needed to fully grasp the concept.
In 2013 I decided I would start compiling the construction information I had learned in the classroom, office, and field to one day be used to create a knowledge database that I could share with others. My goal was to provide a resource where fundamental, theoretical, and practical construction information could be accessed to help others succeed and stand out in a crowd. As I began to build the information I realized what an ocean of knowledge existed within the construction trades.
The result is ConstructionMentor.net , a database of fundamentals, how-to's, trade knowledge, and visual aids intended to help the inquisitive apply context to construction tasks and standards in order to better understand the processes involved.
The last several months I have been building this website and I am happy with the progress so far, but there is so much more that needs to be done to take this idea to the next level. I need more quantity, better quality, and higher visibility. After long careful thought, I have decided to convert the website to a 'wiki' format where other professionals and experts can create new content and add to existing content.
The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to gather the funds needed to take ConstructionMentor.net from where it is now, restructure it, market it, and upgrade it to a level where it can be seen as viable and even critical to those who utilize it.
Below is a detailed description of the improvements to be made to the online knowledge database:
IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENTS WITH FUNDS
- Convert current brand and website to www.ConstructionWiki.net . Utilize software for a 'Wiki' style site where others can add, revise, and review content.
- Obtain www.ConstructionWiki.net domain name.
- Maximize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of website
- Web Development - Improve overall look, navigation, and organization of site.
FUTURE PLANS (After Kickstarter funded changes are made)
- Flesh out and fine tune existing article content
- Add new topics to existing divisions:
Supplement Division 2 - Auger (Casing) Bore, Full Depth Reclamation, Shotcrete, Fog Seal, Slurry Seals, Microsurfacing, Chip Seals, Micro-Milling, Lime Stabilization, Asphalt Pavement Removal, Concrete Pavement Removal, Sawcutting Concrete/Masonry Walls, Pavement Striping, Lawn Irrigation Systems, Chain Link Fencing, Controlled Density Fill, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, Playground Equipment, Sod, Landscape Plantings, Geotechnical Investigations, Sanitary Force Mains, Sanitary Pump/Lift Stations, Soil Types/Classifications - Excavation/Embankment.
- Increase number of divisions:
Division 9 - Finishes
Acoustical Wall Panels, Hard Tile, Laminate Flooring,
Terrazzo, Wood Flooring, Light Gauge Metal Framing, Structural Metal Framing, Drywall, Finishing Drywall, Plaster, Acoustical Drop Ceilings, Epoxy Flooring, Carpet, Vinyl Composition Tile, Sheet Flooring, Wall Protection, Fiber Reinforced Paneling, Painting, Vinyl Wall Covering, Wallpaper.
Division 10 - Specialties
Division 15 - Mechanical
Division 16 - Electrical
- Improve 'visual learning' aspect by:
-Fine tuning quality & relevancy of existing photos
- Explore option to hover over keywords within an article
triggering a visual aid to pop up to aid in understanding of the item.
- Adding 'Photo Album' sections with captioned photos allowing
users to visualize different construction activities relating to
the construction item
- Appeal to Advanced Users and Professionals:
New Subcategories to applicable articles introducing the
- Major Industry Players: Key small businesses, national, or global companies holding reputation or high market share in
manufacturing, sales, or proprietary products.
- Foreman and Field Notes: Means and methods, notes on
interaction with other trades, installation tips, scheduling
and planning issues, and tricks of the trade.
- Equipment and Toolbox Talk: Standard specifications and
sales/rental of common trade tools and equipment
applicable to each topic.
- - Caveats: things to be cautious of and problems to avoid with regards to the construction item
EXAMPLES OF ADVANCED SECTIONS:
- Aggressively court members and visitors through social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- Pursue interest from construction professionals:
-General Contractors, Subcontractors
- Colleges: Construction Management Programs, Civil
Engineering Programs, Architectural Programs, Trade School
- Construction Groups and Associations: Construction
Inspection Associations, Construction Standards
Associations, Public Localities and Municipalities, Student
FINANCIAL SUSTENANCE EFFORTS
- I want to keep ConstructionMentor.net and ultimately ConstructionWiki.net free to the public, in order to do so efforts must be made for sustenance. However, I will never bog down the site with excessive advertising.
- Consider making first half of each article visible by individuals not signed up or signed in. In order to view entire article, the browser must register with the site where basic information is obtained from them: Name (required), Address (optional), State and Zip (optional), occupation (required), professional trade (if applicable), desire to be included in promotional emails and newsletters.
- Advertising tailored to each page, its construction item, keywords, and products discussed
- Affiliate links specific to construction topic pages
- Donation link for those willing to give back if the site helped them in some way financially or otherwise
- Tool Marketplace - Provide users a link to a 'Tool Marketplace' where they are provided with a list of and option to buy tools needed to complete whatever construction task they are browsing
- Equipment Marketplace - Provide users a link to an 'Equipment Marketplace' where they are provided with a list of and option to buy small equipment needed to complete whatever construction task they are browsing
POTENTIAL FUTURE PLANS
- Multiple Choice Quiz Sections
- Related sections (bottom of each article)
- Estimating Assistant - Provide information and assistance on how to itemize labor tasks on a given item
- Provide information on labor productivity for a given item
- Provide information on typical material costs for a given region
- Information on important aspects that influence productivity and labor costs.
- Association lists and links for each applicable article.
- Testing and Recognized Standard Lists for each applicable article.
- Embedded Video