Tech expert, Paul Harding, has teamed up with author and blogger, Angela Atkinson, to bring her latest book on Swindon to life online.
Using his new tech platform Zapp Active, which is in development as an interactive community portal, Angela’s latest book ‘Swindon In 50 Buildings’ is one of the first books celebrating community on the site.
The aim is that over time, that those who sign up to the platform can share their news, share links to their own businesses, projects or charities and also take event bookings through the site – with Zapp Active taking a small fee with each booking.
Angela said: “This project has perfect synergy with me. It’s all about showcasing community with tech, and will, over time, become an effective portal to what is going on in and around communities in Wiltshire and beyond.
“I joined forces with Paul because I truly believe Swindon is under-appreciated, and it can be difficult to find out what’s going on at any one time. So this platform creates a mutual symbiosis. I want people to know about our town and this area and discover it online and offline.”
Paul Harding, who lives in Lechlade yet runs his apps business from Swindon, has already won a major award for his innovative app for childminders and parents Kids Covered. This app runs on the Zapp Active platform.
He’s now continuing to develop Zapp Active as a platform for communities to promote local events, activities, points of interest, the High Street and independent traders. In the initial months, it will be free for any charity or organisation to sign up and for businesses too. Low cost charges will apply for add-ons such as events (50p plus 1.4 per cent for event tickets) and charges for organisations which represent multiple businesses or organisations (local authorities, business networking groups etc).
Currently the platform is being built to cover an area between Cirencester and Swindon taking in towns of Fairford, Malmesbury, Lechlade, Royal Wootton Bassett, Highworth and Cricklade. Over time, the platform will reach out to other areas in the South West and beyond.
However in the long term, Paul hopes any organisation which brings something positive to the community can participate for either no cost or very low cost.
“I’m currently offering free exposure to businesses, charities, individuals, community groups, schools, committees, clubs in these towns to kick start the platform. The only time a fee will be applicable is if an event booking is made or you choose to use other functions as they come on stream.
“The potential for this is huge – it drives traffics and backlinks online, it will allow for groups to take bookings through the site – as well as search the site to find out what’s going on in their area.
“We can live stream events and get out instant news and views – with the ability to link straight back to for example, an organisation’s own website in real time.”
Paul’s innovative apps have already won him attention – his app Kids Covered which provides a news and booking system for childminders was named the Most Innovative Tech Solution at the Swindon & Wiltshire Techies 2019.
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