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Roam is a website to posts reviews on unique volunteer opportunities around the world. Whether its users come to share their experiences or simply browse the directory, Roam is bound to make the search for volunteer opportunities abroad much more effective, connecting motivated people to committees in need and improving the outcomes of volunteering around the world.
The problem with many volunteering directories on the internet today is that they fail to address the opinions of experienced volunteers. Popular sites such as Idealist.org offer a convenient platform for organizations to advertise their volunteer openings, yet there is no emphasis on the feedback of people who actually go on these trips. Many volunteers blog their experiences already - Roam allows them to offer their story and advice to the public.
Prospective volunteers will be able to use Roam's search filters to find the opportunity that best suits their needs. In Roam's current prototype, there are multiple quantitative and qualitative categories for users to elaborate on their experience and offer specific advice. Reviews will consist of an affiliated organization and its contact information, so prospective volunteers will be connected directly to an organization, complete with a set of useful feedback from the reviewer. Each review will consist of a comments section, so even the organizations themselves may be able to offer a response to the reviewers.
As Roam is currently constructed, users search for an opportunity by location and type - not by organization. Roam's primary emphasis is on the experience of the individual, and in Roam's early stages we want to emphasize people's own stories, pictures, and opinions. As the quantity of Roam's reviews increase over time, organizations that have been reviewed multiple times will be granted their own page with a basic summary and links to all of its reviews.
Roam is about the exchange between people. It's not simply designed to advertise organizations and review them, much like one would review a restaruant on Yelp. Rather, it combines the more personal aspects of individual travel blogging with the practicality of a business directory. It allows prospective and motivated volunteers to be connected to the useful, shared experiences of others.
The prototype/demo site can be found at: