Grosspool.com is a portal recently created to promote arts in Kenya by linking them to like-minded professionals and exposing their talent to industry heavyweights.
Developed by Phillip Nyalenda, a Kenyatta University civil engineering student third year, Grasspool will also promote up coming bloggers by allowing them to post their links to the site.
Though it is in the public domain, Nyalenda says Grosspool is yet to be launched officially.
“It started operations sometimes in February this year. I always had the passion to improve performing arts in the country and even though I don’t study arts I believed I could do something to help.”
Nyalenda says that Grosspool.com is there to help artists from all walks of life from musicians,models,producers,DJ’s,actors among others. One has to search for services they want on the site then follow a few instructions.
“If you want the services of a producer,for example,you just search the phrase “producer” then you will get a dozen of results and click the link or just call the number that is among the results,” he says. “Also those who want their blogs promoted just submit their url and then we post them in a section of our home page,”added Nyalenda.
He says that the portal has already signed up 50 professionals in its database in the first weeks of going online but aiming at 1000 in the next few months.
Grosspool aim to get revenue from search rankings, those who want to appear at the top will have to pay. The portal also aim to make money from advertising on its site but every other service on the portal is free and open to all.
Though Grospool say they have no direct competitors running a professional network is not so easy. The site also needs a lot of work to be attractive for users to sign up. Facebook pages are a great competition to them, so is LinkedIn and even Google Groups which are popular. Most of these know each other and have their own groups too. Actors in Kenya also already have their professional site, Actors.co.ke, complete with profiles and niche news. But if Nyalenda built something as professional as amSTATZ, thousands will sign up in days. However, this is just a start and Nyalenda says the portal will be as fresh as users want it when it comes out of beta. User feedback is also appreciated.
Another challenge Grosspool has is the name. People might not want to associate with a gross pool. Nyalenda is at the moment using his own funds and social media to promote the site. Most of the work is done by him and his friends who volunteer to help build a network which might be profitable in future.
He told TechMoran, “We have not been funded and all the money has been from my personal savings and what helps me is the fact that i don’t have to pay someone to run the site as I am the one who designed it from scratch.
He cites lack of an office as another challenge, “The other problem is that I don’t have an office for operations and can’t easily market the website and currently we only use social media to promote it. However,we have ambitious plans of increase the number of users,’ he said.
Grosspool plans to have a section where artists can manage their projects and do collaborated projects even when miles away. Artists can also use the platform to monetize from their projects.