I am working on a proposal for a Social Software Approach to Accessibility. I have come to the conclusion that the software is the easy bit. The big challenge is to build up the community of users to exceed the critical mass needed to yield sufficient benefit to all members of the community. Now social networks can be harnessed to build such a community; Facebook and Twitter are good at circulating the existence of another social network and advertising its benefits. The challenge then becomes how to offer sufficient benefits at the new network begins to grow.
In the case of the planned Social Software Approach to Accessibility it depends on numerous users with diverse access needs to quickly report on how accessible a site or resource was for them. This report is held against a profile of their access needs so that relevant reports can be made available to other users with similar profiles looking for such resources. If the network only numbers 10s or 100s of users then the benefits of it are unlikely to accrue. It is estimated that a critical mass of over a 1000 users will be needed. So the challenge is a marketing one: how to build the network from zero to 1000+ members quickly before interest is lost.
Any ideas on seeding such a network would be most welcome. If anyone wants to know further details of the proposed Social Software Approach to Accessibility please ask but I am only giving out minimal information at this stage until we have had the time to build a working prototype and start building a user community.