Power to the People

Written by Mindy Wood in the August 2010 Issue

What if there was a place where you could make your voice heard? Imagine the power of your words reaching an audience and as one conversation leads to another, the change you want to see transforms from idea to reality.

That’s exactly the idea behind WhatIdChange.com. Founder, Justin Briggs was jotting down ideas for his blog page when he realized the things he was writing about all had one thing in common. “All my blog post ideas were things I’d change,” said Briggs. “Then I thought, ‘why is my voice so important that people would listen? Why don’t I create a place where anyone can talk about anything they would change?’”

Suddenly the wheels started turning. If people had a website, a platform to discuss problems they’re passionate about, others who felt the same way would join that conversation and maybe they would affect the world around them.

Briggs partnered with Edmond resident, Tyler Smith to create WhatIdChange.com. From politics to potholes, the nationwide posts vary from serious to hilarious. “There are multiple subjects like, what people would change about their iPhone to what people would change about a huge world issue that matters to everyone. I’m waiting to see a post about what people would change about their boss or their wife,” laughed Briggs.

All joking aside, both entrepreneurs foresee real action behind some of these discussions. “I immediately tie this website with everyone’s passion to see change,” said Smith.

As to their own ideas about things they would change, Smith offered his thoughts. “I would change people’s perception of Edmond and north Oklahoma City. A lot of people think Edmond is a stuffy, snobby place. I see good schools and a great place to live. Then of course, I’d change potholes and roads but that’s the whole state,” Smith laughed.

The most popular discussions are determined by users who vote on posts they think are noteworthy and demand attention. Briggs plans to network with people who propose executable solutions to the posted problems.

“We’re working to promote ideas that are actionable like changing things in a community or in politics,” says Briggs. “As the site grows, we will focus on showcasing those ideas that are really gaining a lot of traction. We want to empower these ideas in the real world and start conversations that could affect change in the long run and be groundbreaking for the person who writes that post,” said Briggs.

While social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter have grown in popularity in recent years, Smith says his site creates a forum with direction. “Compared to other networks or blogs, there’s a definitive directive behind this. We have an inspirational quote by Ghandi on our home page. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’”

While there’s a fair share of people who simply “rant” Briggs says that doesn’t bother him. “If someone wants to get on there and rant, we’re certainly not going to take it down or censor them. They’re welcome to do that. In the grand scheme of things, when there are four or five comments under a post, someone might rant, but someone else is going to offer good ideas to promote change.”

Briggs and Smith invite users to post topics on anything they like, but encourage them to keep it positive, clean and something to inspire change. “I love that people are posting things about term limits for politicians, but funny things too. People even post what they’d change about themselves,” said Briggs.

 “The laundry list is endless of things we can work on both internally and externally,” said Briggs. “We’re all trying to change things about ourselves and make the world around us a better place. That’s why we started this.”

Make yourself heard and share ideas at www.WhatIdChange.com.

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