Pic-Nic Village launches with lofty crowdfunding ambitions

Does the world really need another social network? Pete Lawrence, a social entrepreneur and the guy behind The Big Chill Festival, apparently thinks so with the pending launch of Pic-Nic Village. Although, perhaps tellingly, he expects to finance it through crowdfunding, hoping to raise as much as £750,000.

Described as a “modern day co-operative”, the social network aims to connect “like-minded creative thinkers who want to share, enjoy and benefit from each other’s talents, ideas and thoughts of a personal, business or social nature”. Pic-Nic Village will also be “owned and shaped by members”, with the site shunning advertising in favour of a subscription-based model planned to be in the region of £10 per-month.

Good luck with that.

In return, members will get access to the social networking site, obviously, as well as have the opportunity to be featured in the site’s “media centre”, which will showcase members’ projects, hobbies and passions. They’ll also be an offline component to the Pic-Nic Village concept through networking events, conferences and gatherings for the community.

Lawrence is said to be an early pioneer of social media in reference to the fact that The Big Chill Festival, started in the mid 90s, had a lively and active web forum. Although there doesn’t appear to be much new, if anything, about Pic-Nic Village.

Feature-wise, the site, which won’t launch until sometime in 2011, will offer the usual social networking functionality, such as messaging, blogs, images and video, events etc. Additionally, Pic-Nic Village will be organised around “specific guilds” – art, architecture, design, film making, fashion, gardening, music and walking, for example.

And as for shunning ads in favour of a pay-wall, that’s a leaf out of Friends Reunited’s book (and many others) and we all know how that turned out.

That said, if you want in on the burgeoning project as a Founding Member, here’s how the crowdfunding will work:

  • Two-year membership package: £100 buys one share in the company and two years of full membership of the Pic-Nic Village web community [following its launch in 2011].
  • Lifetime membership package: £300 buys lifetime membership of Pic-Nic Village plus three shares in the company.

In conclusion, I’ll leave you with the following quote from Lawrence himself:

“Pic-Nic Village will be a catalyst for unearthing and nurturing each member’s unique qualities. It will help them fulfill their potential personally, spiritually and financially.”

As I said, good luck with that.