Alone, Together: A Virtual Community For Isolation
A new website launching today is aiming to help New Zealanders in isolation by entertaining them, educating them, giving them exercise to do, and giving them a sense of belonging and purpose.
Alone, Together lets people choose what support they want: from “I want to be entertained” to “I want to help others”.
Users are presented cards with suggestions of things to do, based on what they’ve asked for.
“I want to be entertained,” for example, suggests users have a "Meme-Off" during dinner, or take on a COVID-19 lockdown challenge, such as recreating a famous piece of art.
“I want to help others,” on the other hand, helps connect users to organisations and communities providing support to those who need it during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Alone, Together web app also connects users with very useful New Zealand-specific resources such as Click and Collect, Deliver Eat, and Flatten the Curve.
Alone, Together’s creator Steven Male says it’s all about using his skills to do whatever he can to help New Zealand in a time of need.
“I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse, so I can’t be on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis but I realised I can use my skills as a digital entrepreneur to help people cope with the effects of it,” Male says.
“I just wanted to create a platform that connects and inspires all of us who are in lockdown. We're trying to collect all the amazing things New Zealanders are already doing, building, and offering into one place.”
“This is a rough time for everyone, some more than others. So let's make an effort to focus on taking care of ourselves first, and extend that out to others where we can.”
The website is designed to be a collaborative project, with people encouraged to suggest their own COVID-19 isolation tips.
“Our goal is to create a community of Kiwis helping Kiwis throughout the country. We’re all in this situation together so it makes sense that we all help each other through it,” Male says.
For now, the key target market is New Zealanders, but Male says there’s no reason people overseas can’t use the web app, too. He’s also eager to build country-specific versions for other countries.
People interested in using or contributing to Alone, Together can visit the website at: https://www.alonetogether.co.nz/.