May 6, 2019

Networking with Discussions

As we design and plan for our communities’ needs, it’s helpful for us to be informed about trends and challenges in our practices. It’s also important that we understand the many viewpoints that our fellow professionals bring to the table. Enter Ticco Discussions, a place where you can share your thoughts on issues facing your city and your profession with people who get it.

 

Categories

Within Discussions, we’ve created nine categories that offer a chance to explore current events and issues from an interdisciplinary angle. Our team created these categories with input from Ticco members, and while a category might relate to any profession, the Discussions you’ll find within them range from broad to specialized in order to provide a unique opportunity for Ticco members to connect with their peers.

Over the next several weeks, you’ll see new Discussions added in each category. You can view recently-added and active Discussions in all categories as a default by selecting ‘Discussions’ at the top of any page on Ticco. To switch between categories, select the category you’d like to view from below the Discussions header once you’ve accessed this main Discussions page.

Ticco Discussion Categories

Schedule

As we build the Ticco community, we plan to introduce 1-2 new Discussions each week on Monday. Keep an eye on the Discussions main page for an update, or make sure to catch your bi-weekly member recap sent by email to see what’s new in Discussions so you don’t miss out!

 

Keeping Track of Discussions

Did a Discussion pique your interest? Great! Keep up with its current activity and find fellow members who share your interests by bookmarking it. From the ‘All’ or category view in Discussion, click the green bookmark in the bottom right of the Discussion icon. Alternatively, you can click the bookmark link on the left-hand menu from within the Discussion itself.

By bookmarking a Discussion, you’ll see updates on all activity from within that Discussion on your Dashboard upon login. Discussions you follow are featured within a module in your Dashboard, accompanied by comment preview cards that you can click to jump directly to new comments.

Bookmark a Discussion

 

Networking from Within Discussions

Once you’ve found a Discussion that interests you, share your perspective! Below the prompt, you can respond with your own take on the topic, or (within the response box) select ‘Ask for Advice’ to seek insight from fellow members. Make sure to bookmark the Discussion to see when someone responds to your comment or another member’s comment on your Dashboard.

If a member’s response to you or another comment reveals a perspective you find interesting, click their photo to visit their profile. From their profile you can follow them, learn more about their work, or find them on social media. By following a member, you’ll see a summary of their recent activity on Ticco within your Dashboard.

If you’d like to send a member a message, you may do so by connecting with them on external social media or by looking them up in our members-only Slack channel. Later this summer you’ll be able to message members within the platform itself - we’re hard at work building out new features which will include integrated messaging!

Ticco Discussions

 

What do you want to see in Discussions?

Over the course of the past several months, we’ve been collecting suggestions from professionals as to what they’d like to discuss on Ticco. As we go forward, we’d love to hear your ideas! You can submit a suggestion anytime to let us know what you’d like to talk about with fellow Ticco members. You can also access the link to this form on the right hand side of the screen on the main Discussions page. We regularly review suggestions and use them to prepare prompts for you and your peers!

 

We hope you’re enjoying Ticco and its integrated Discussions so far! If you have ideas on how we can improve Discussions or any other aspects of the Ticco experience, please share your feedback with us. Have questions about how Ticco works, or just want to check in with us? Contact Erik Felix, our Director of Community Engagement, here on Ticco or send him an email at erik@go-ticco.co

April 25, 2019

Professional Networking – Simplified

We break down Ticco’s simple, low-pressure approach to professional networking.

 

A Straightforward Platform

Aren’t you tired of online platforms that are bogged down with excessive amounts of buttons and advertisements? We are, too. That’s why we went in a different direction with Ticco. Your Ticco Dashboard contains all of the links you need, and none that you don’t. Every button or link you see (including Discover People and Discussions) has meaning and will help you complete an action or access important information. Our simple interface also reduces lag and keeps your experience moving!

 

Professional Networking Without the Competitive Atmosphere

You may have noticed that in the Ticco community, there are no likes or follower counts. For some of us, it feels a little like uncharted territory after years of obsessive attention to these numbers. However, research has revealed that this type of activity tracking can be damaging to mental health (especially among younger individuals.)

Comments with a large number of likes are more likely to be liked by future viewers solely based on herd mentality, regardless of the content. The same goes for accounts with large numbers of followers. At Ticco however, we believe all our members carry their own merit and have ideas worth hearing, we didn’t want to create yet another system that rewards ideas based on popularity alone.

So when using Discussions, you’ll notice that you can “heart” comments, but no numbers appear. That’s because our system anonymously counts the number of hearts and pushes the community’s favorite comments through to the Discussion’s Community Picks section. This ensures that ideas are shared based on merit and members’ appreciation of an idea or point made, and not based on the popularity of a member or herd mentality.

We’ve taken a similar approach with followers. When conducting market research, early-career professionals told us that they felt pressured to share ideas and comment when they were hyper aware of who and how many people would receive notifications of their activity. As a Ticco member, you can follow other members and see a list of those you’re following in your profile. However, there is no follower count that shows you how many people are following your activity. We hope this will encourage members to share and participate more often and more authentically.

 

Because You Have Other Things To Do

Unlike popular social networks, we don’t track the number of seconds you spend on Ticco and use that data to make more money off of advertisers. Instead, we hope you’ll turn to Ticco when you feel compelled to explore a new idea, find a collaborator, access professional resources, or simply see what your peers in your area or other regions are working on.

In the meantime, we don’t plan to bombard you with notifications alerting you to every bit of activity on the platform. Though we are developing more complex notifications which will roll out with our official launch this fall, for now Ticco members will receive a simple bi-weekly e-newsletter with a recap of recent activity on the platform. Since we know you don’t have time to live on Ticco, we hope these insights will keep you up-to-speed and remind you to explore recently added Discussions and new activity every so often.

 

Have questions about how Ticco works, or just want to check in with us? Contact Erik Felix, our Director of Community Engagement, here on Ticco or send him an email at erik@go-ticco.co.

April 22, 2019

Why Are We Here?

The story of my work to-date, how Ticco came to be, and why this isn’t just any social network. Written by Katie Rispoli Keaotamai, Founder & CEO of Ticco.

 

My Work Prior to Ticco

In 2012 I was graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in Long Beach, California and went to work for a local construction company. I was tasked with checking in on job sites, assisting with bookkeeping, and obtaining permits for most of our projects. While some were smaller, I often obtained permits for multi-million dollar developments and adaptive reuse projects. After a year I was asked to begin managing projects myself, starting with the renovation of an Mid-Century Modern high rise in 2013.

Around this time I began working towards my Master of Heritage Conservation degree in the USC School of Architecture. As I became familiar with historic preservation and continued my work in construction, I was very aware of the lack of young people around me. It seemed so counter intuitive that we were building places for future generations, but not engaging them in the process.

While in my first year of grad school, I was assigned the relocation of a historic building at my job. I loved the project, but wanted to allocate my energy to engaging young people with our work. At 23 I left to start a nonprofit organization that used vacant and dilapidated buildings to teach youth about the built environment. I was lucky enough to receive a lot of help - first, my former boss encouraged me to transition the building relocation project to the nonprofit, and second, I was awarded a grant to help cover two years of organizational expenses.

Katie Rispoli Keaotamai at Numero Uno

In 2015 I received a phone call from Taco Bell corporate. The first Taco Bell, located in Downey, faced demolition and needed to be relocated. Since I had experience in relocations, they asked if I could help. I ended up landing the opportunity of a lifetime, and was hired by Taco Bell to document the building, plan its relocation, and oversee the saving of “Numero Uno,” the world’s first Taco Bell. Moving Numero Uno gave me a national platform to advocate for “unconventional” preservation efforts. I began to travel around the country and ask preservation groups of all sizes to step outside of their comfort zone by implementing youth programs, letting go of red tape, and saving cultural sites.

I knew my work in preservation did little good if it didn’t tie in with intersecting professions. To many who work with the built environment, preservationists are known as gate-keepers are who are against progress. Especially after I worked in the development world, I felt obligated to connect the profession with others so we could work together and grow beyond our differences.

 

Promoting Collaboration with Ticco

Collaboration is the backbone of Ticco. The idea came from a conversation I had in 2017 with Each + Every, a design studio in Kent, Ohio. They heard about a project of mine and asked if I could replicate it in their community. I knew that I would need a planner, a preservationist, and a construction crew who knew the community well and were up for a forward-thinking project.. but when I tried searching, I ended up with hundreds of results and no way to know if their perspective was a fit.

I started dreaming up a network where people were connected by philosophy as well as profession, and where we could bridge the gap between our fields by focusing on our common goals. After sharing the idea and listening to feedback from about 200 practitioners nationwide, I realized that it was feasible to pursue. Last May I dropped most everything else to begin working on Ticco full-time.. and here we are!

 

How We Do Things Differently

Ticco is a self-funded tech startup. Rather than seek Venture Capital or other investors, I started this company with my personal savings and loans. It wasn’t easy to do, but I felt it would be unethical to give ownership to outside groups who aren’t familiar with our work and don’t understand its impact on all residents’ quality of life.

Not accepting outside capital gives us the ability to take risk and pursue a vision that prioritizes our members over a financial return. Because Ticco is driven by social impact, I’ve often been asked, “Why isn’t it a nonprofit?”

My experience running a nonprofit taught me that philanthropy prioritizes the distribution of resources to white, well-connected, and wealthy nonprofit leaders. Although progress is being made, I’ve experienced this dynamic before and couldn’t risk it squandering the potential of Ticco. Additionally, I believe that successful businesses should be accountable to humankind by empowering others and practicing sustainability. We need more businesses showing that profitability and doing good are not mutually exclusive. Since Ticco does not need grant funds or donations to operate, there really isn’t a reason for us to be a nonprofit. Rather, we can illustrate how social innovation can and should creep into the for-profit sector in order to improve the lives of people everywhere.

To start, we’ve pledged to donate $25 for every member, every year to support educational initiatives and programs that diversify our members’ professions. I hope that by increasing the number of professionals who share experiences with those they serve, we can further embed equity, accessibility, and compassion into the way that we shape cities. We’re also taking steps to become a certified B-Corporation and join 1% for the Planet by the end of 2019.

 

As Ticco members, I hope that you’ll use this platform to expand your horizons, grow your understanding of other fields, and gain confidence in your perspective. As you do these things on Ticco, we promise to advocate for you as professionals, provide you with new tools that enhance your ability to do good work, and push our professional institutions away from the status quo.

Lindseying Photography Ticco Retreat

As we begin, we want our platform to evolve in order to meet your needs. I encourage you to share your feedback, suggestions, and thoughts on how we can improve Ticco. You, as members, are our primary stakeholders. Our team at Ticco works for you, and is here to accommodate your needs above anyone else’s.

I am so grateful and excited to have you here with us, and I encourage you to reach out anytime directly. Thank you for your passion, your work, and for becoming a Ticco member!

Sincerely,
Katie Rispoli Keaotamai
CEO

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