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phase one -- empowering nottingham independent stores in the high street with a way to connect with the social web.
60 backers pledged £2,298 to help bring this project to life.

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£2,298

60

*funded at 6:20am thursday 23rd*

we made it.  thank you so much for investing your money and effort to get us to this stage.  you can still donate however.  any additional funds above and beyond £1850 will buy more raspberry pi units at £35 each.  we will then aim to match a raspberry pi with a cheaper/donated monitor outside of the original ten units we are making.

at this stage with the two already out and the two additional ones we have we are on target to probably roll out 15/20 systems across the independents in the city for phase one.  you made this happen.  so thank you.

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what is it?

all new businesses use facebook, twitter and upload pictures and videos as a way of publicising their businesses. Independent companies are lucky if they get a press write up or an article which tells people about their business.

But what about the everyday things that these businesses do? Whether or not they get a write up, there is always tons of info that these little businesses are producing.... 

Is there a way to tell these stories and to let customers know what their local barbers, coffee shop or small business is up to?

Yes!

we have built on top of an open sourced system and have built the required equipment needed to put instore and be remotely uploaded too.. but even more than that, other local businesses can link together to let customers know about special offers, whether there is a queue to get a coffee or a cancelled appointment so you can get your hair cut last minute... But most of all pistreet creates a way for all the stories about how our local independents do what they do, to be available to their very customers in store and beyond... 

we love

our local nottingham independent stores -- we use them daily to eat and drink and have business meetings.  we love the way they run their businesses and their ethos of business and sharing the wealth.  the way they are dynamically trying new things.  for having the guts to put together a business in times of austerity. 

help our independents

we wanted to help them survive on the high street in the midst of high rents and other economic factors by helping them with their digital presence by assisting them in digital messaging using low cost computing (raspberry pi) and spare second hand monitors that we originally had.  oh and here is the real punch.  for FREE.

our mission statement

  • provide a free screen and raspberry pi to the independent
  • be as eco as possible (low power, upcycling old screens)
  • help them with their digital footprint via screens (engagement)
  • create a monthly gather event for independent owners to meet
  • share our work once we get funded with everyone (duplicate)

we already installed two (made with our own cash!)

we believe in this concept so much we actually just went ahead and made it happen.  we installed two already in two locations -- one in jack craggs and one in hartleys coffeebar here in nottingham, both in different areas of the city but both places we eat and drink at.  we did a little video with tom from jack craggs about the screen and idea.

who are we?

we are a collective of three -- myself, phil campbell (@philcampbell) caron lyon (@pcmcreative) and daniel rose (@danielroseart) we are a super nimble dynamic team of artists that believe in social good and doing the right thing to the service providers that we use around us.

mabel.  a stable feature of hartleys
mabel. a stable feature of hartleys

how you can help us?

how does your donation help?

money will go towards purchasing more raspberry pi units and second hand monitors. phase one is about getting the independents familiar too the system on their wall.  each screen will have custom graphics made by that fit the monitor sizing from small 15" monitors up to much bigger and HD screen resolutions. 

raspberry pi + usb wifi + monitor

we are not inventing anything here (yet!) that's phase two.  we have simply configured some raspberry pi boxes to use some open source to slideshow some pictures and videos for each location.  we have got them up and running and linked up to some second hand monitors we had in cellar54.  wanna see the process?

this is the start

this initial phase is only the beginning.  i believe in it so much that i paid for the first two proof of concept machines because i'm passionate about local independent stores and social message it sends to other would be business creators that want to build a business in the high street.

confused

imagine the signs and graphics you see near bus stops and train stations that you see on the way to work.  we are taking it a step further for the small independent business owner.  doing all the heavy lifting work of the social media they would normally need to do.  the first phase is to install the screens at NO COST to them.  we want to raise the funding from the internet US so we can share in this democratic roll out of help and support from the analog to digital world and assist these independents to thrive in the digital economy too.

installation FREE @ hartleys coffeebar, hockley
installation FREE @ hartleys coffeebar, hockley

we are doing this because we want to keep those independents who sell great products there on the high street and help them connect digitally with their customers outside of just providing the service in their usual hours.

most small businesses are stretched as it is both with monthly outgoing and spends that what we can do is give back to those stores that are helping our high street economy and assist them to have a bigger voice to get help with tax rates and other issues they encounter.

what does it do

our first version is very simple.

slideshow of images and videos.  they play while they work infront of their clients.  in the case of the barbers they have a reversed version while the client sits in the chair for instance -- each screen is custom to each business, eventually the unit will have the ability to post the final haircut to the facebook page of the shop for instance.

every build will be different.  we help with the heavy lifting of being digitally social when the shop owner simply does not have the time but also will become a guide to the area for those tourists and people travelling and passing by.  the scope of this project is massive.

nottingham - just one digital channel for the future.

this city has amazing culture, content and creators but we are all spread out across the city in different pockets.  the creative quarter was announced with fan-fair and pockets of money that the creatives have not really seen.  we could not wait any longer after getting back from sxsw this year and getting on CNN (can you spot cellar54?) as part of the rvsx.tv project.  we knew we had to turn our tinkering using the raspberry pi into something more solid.

futureproofing - exporting creativity globally.

we want to build a digital web channel for nottingham with a dedicated scheduling system to pull in all the content from around the city and to train students how to be advocates for the city they live in.  to connect the analog world with digital media and have people understand the benefits of using social media as a bridge for communications.  

we aim (if successful with this phase) to build on the first phase by applying for another series of funding for phase two and employ a number of developers in the nottingham area to build something that everyone can contribute towards via audio, video and blog posts.

we want to be a guide to all of the wonderful talent that nottingham has to offer and to export it globally for the rest of the world to see.  with your help we can make this a reality and ultimately build a blueprint of an idea that can be used anywhere.  

where to find us

if your local to nottingham we are between high pavement and stoney street at lace market house.  we would love to chat and have a coffee with you about this first phase and the bigger picture.  if your international you can find more information over on cellar54.tv but we are working on a dedicated site just about the screens and eventually the second phase will be hosted on creativequarter.tv

'positive disruption' presentation

on the 9th of april 2013 at the antenna business centre on beck street (nottingham) i was one of three speakers talking around the theme of positive disruption.  i took my slides and made a narrated version.  i know it's a little long at thirty minutes but it does explain three things that are important to what we are trying to achieve.

1. that austin has massive amounts of big data (social/checkins)
2. that we need to have advocates to export creativity globally
3. the digital signage concept we have already rolled out in two locations

i'm hoping that if you are interested in our signage package and if you have time that you will watch this presentation to see what we are trying to do with the signage element.

stretch goals and phase two

like we mentioned above this is phase one.  getting the hardware through the door and on the wall.  get them used to this new machine in their daily mix.  basic slideshow and video advertising.  phase two is to build a dedicated team of coders, security advisors for the platform and building our own rapid deployed base layer distro for the pi that connects to a backend scheduler manager of the content around us in nottingham. 

this is just the start but if we do blast past the initial ask we will look about purchasing as many pi and monitors that it will allow and roll out to a brand new raft of independents we had not even thought about.  imagine a system of fifty screens across the city centre and beyond.   that would be a very powerful network of shop owners that were getting updates on the rest of the network.

as part of this project we aim to put together monthly gathers for the shop owners at establishments around the city so they can talk to each other about their shops, businesses and what they did.  imagine it as a mini ted style event but about who they are as businesses.  exciting stuff.  reconnect a face with a business.

Risks and challenges

we have already made two proof of concepts that work differently in each venue. we understand that we are using computing platforms that are brand new and come with a set of new circumstances that we need to understand and review how to do better. we aim to make this process of learning a shared experience and as transparent as possible so we can share our findings with others so they can create a similar system in their own towns and cities.

building each system is super easy. we already have guidelines and processes in place for ordering parts, fixing parts together, installed SD card distros that we have made custom to each clients wifi and we can rapidly turnaround and install these units.

each venue has their own joiner for making sure the monitor is fixed safely and the computing unit is stored securely and safely out of harms way.

one of the challenges is improving over this first initial version. security is a big one for these platforms when your dealing with wifi and we will have to aim for a cached system for most media to be on the safe side with maybe a block of time when the wifi is actually active. almost like a sync time for all machines.

another challenge is additional 'internet of things' addons. getting developers, pi builders to help with the coding/api side of things to provide custom solutions for each store. for instance the upcoming webcam for the raspberry pi would be perfect for the hairdresser but we need a system to be able to take shots and upload them to facebook on a schedule. so many interesting paths we can take.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.26

    you care. that's awesome. we need more caring people in the world that can make a change. a difference. you seem to be one of them. that's kind of epic. nice one.

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    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    every ten pound counts. we know that times are tough and money is super tight. we believe that by bringing together the independents using these screens we can really help support our high street.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    your name, twitter handle or url on a dedicated slide with others who helped contribute towards the installation of the monitors as part of the first phase.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $126

    a tour de-force of all things independent. a super swanky pass to enjoy yourself and bathe in the delights of three of the independently run businesses in and around nottingham.

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    Pledge £100 or more About $126

    a sponsored screen with your website url underneath the screen for six months. we take your pledge and simply convert that into a raspberry pi and monitor for our cloud based system -- includes slide from £25 pledge.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $189

    your own pi built and you decided where to put it with your OWN monitor. connected to our cloud system so we can update YOU with what's happening around the city of nottingham

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $316

    everything from the previous rewards plus we will come and record a thirty second video why you love the independent shop you choose from one of our installations. we can even record it in the shop of choice! :)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £500 or more About $631

    everything from the previous rewards and a dedicated slide that runs for 30 seconds on all of the initial ten monitors across independents in nottingham (please keep it clean and relevant) for three months.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,262

    everything from the previous reward levels and the ability to have a custom 30 second video playing across all ten initial monitors for six months from april 2013. your video must be suitable for all audiences. we can help record it.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,500 or more About $3,156

    everything from previous awards including making of a video that can be used at ten locations across the city and that will run for one year on all monitors. perfect to promote your business/product across independents across nottingham city.

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Funding period

- (30 days)