Think for a minute. What kind of amazing things could you accomplish if you always had the power of a community just a mouse click away?
Such is the premise behind Backscratcher, an online community/classifieds section for Boston-area college students. Founded by Christian-Grover Flores Derupe of Lesley University and Sean Cremins of BC, Backscratcher demonstrates the good that can happen when people “choose to collaborate” by having the community available at the click of a button.
Backscratcher works by reversing the current process of sharing real-life ideas via social networking. It is a safe online forum where users can generate ideas, collaborations, community events and exchanges, similar to existing sites like Craigslist, eBay or Amazon with a social-networking twist.
College-age users can sign up using a .edu email address and list goods and services that they need or are willing to offer, using categories such as “housing” or “textbooks” and a matching algorithm to facilitate a successful exchange between users. The website will also advertise community events or collaborations going on in the Boston area and moderate posts to avoid illegal online solicitation.
Bearing in mind that college students may be strapped for cash, Backscratcher’s transactions function on what its founders call an “alternative economy”. It is up to the users to decide the terms of their exchanges, perhaps trading goods for services rather than for money. In this way, even students who are low on money can participate in the Backscratcher community.
As Backscratcher is still in its early stages, its online presence is still under construction, but those who are interested can follow Backscratcher on Facebook or Twitter or check out their website for updates on the startup’s progress.