Well, PlateWire has survived its first year of existence and what a year it has been! It is interesting to note that shortly after launching, I received several comments from the general public claiming that I would have at least one lawsuit filed against the site in less than a years’ time; boy, am I glad they were wrong! Not only has PlateWire been widely publicized by the media, it has developed a unique community dynamic primarily compromised by forward thinking individuals that share a similar goal of a decidedly safer and enjoyable driving experience, far exceeding my initial expectations.
As the Internet continues to evolve, we are experiencing an overwhelming exposure to new concepts that revolve around the Internets’ powerful capacity to reach anyone, anywhere. This effect has in turn caused an “Information Revolution”; Information which was once owned and controlled by government and large corporations and only accessible through the proper channels, is now free to be created, modified, and shared across the world in the blink of an eye. Although we have already begun to experience some of the negative effects of this Information Revolution, such as private data being lost, leaked, or stolen due to negligent handling, the positive aspects have only begun to surface. It is my opinion that PlateWire is a prime example of how this new paradigm can be harnessed and applied towards real world situations, offering services and information access that would have previously been impossible. With that said, I am of the belief that PlateWire is here to stay and I am committing myself to developing the best possible tool, service, community that PlateWire can and will be.
Without delving too much into the new functionality, I’d like to point out some of the focus for the next version of PlateWire (V4); I believe that a dash of social networking will assist PlateWire’s community in getting to know each other better and collaborate. V4 will allow users who choose, to have public profiles, which will include pictures, links, registered plates, and anything else they would like to share with other members.
Wires: wires will no longer be anonymous. In order to begin building reliability and validity rules, I have arrived at the conclusion that your username should be attached to wires that you have filed. Of course, private information will always remain just that, private. No information will be given to third parties with anything short of a subpoena. Wires will also have a “Validity Score” which will be determined using several factors, including votes from the community.
Verification of identity: there will be 3 levels of identity verification, with email verification being the only mandatory one for participation. Mobile phone verification will act as the secondary method of identification. Users with higher levels of identity verification will receive a higher validity score on wires that they file. The highest level of validity will be given to users who have verified a home address through a PayPal process (~$5-$10).
Plate Registration: V4 will allow individuals, families, and businesses to register as many plates as they wish, and setup notifications via email or SMS at no cost. Although the site will recommend users with multiple plates to complete level 3 identity verification, it will not be required.
That covers a top level view of some of the major functionality changes, the design will also be updated to match, focusing on a clear and easy to use interface.
Although I was hoping to launch the beta of V4 before May 11th, time has been on short supply so this date has been pushed to mid-to late June.
I look forward to thoughts and comments from all of you!