Commendable Kids

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CommendableKids.com Receives an Update!

Sep 17, 2012

After a year's worth of work, I'm happy to announce that we've finally relaunched Commendable Kids. This update has some important changes that I believe make it an even better service for families and school organizations to encourage their kids. As well, it moves CommendableKids.com to the excellent hosting service Heroku.

Here is a summary of the changes that are now available as of last week's update:

New Slogan. Expanded Mission.

While a new slogan might not directly impact users, we believe it's the foundation of a stronger direction behind the Commendable Kids mission.

The previous slogan was, 'Has your child or child you know done something commendable?'. With this slogan the Commendable Kids (CK) mission appeared to begin and end with motivating children by congratulating them upon achievement. However, the true mission of CK is to help parents, teachers and children learn those new skills, and to reach those milestones and goals. We want to be there from the beginning, suggesting things to work on, encouraging along the way, and helping reward and congratulate upon success.

Right now, CK is there to help with the latter, but with our new mission we intend to continue developing the site to address all phases of the process. That is why we've changed our slogan to be:

"Encouraging and challenging children to learn new skills, reach new milestones, and become truly Commendable Kids."

As the home page now says, we are proudly, "Supporting 121 goals, skills, and milestones!"

No cost. The service is 100% free.

The more feedback I received from parents about the helpfulness of CK, the more I wanted to ensure the service was there and available for all to use without cost. That's why I'm happy to announce that Commendable Kids is now completely free.

With this change all parents can now create and print their own custom full color certificates for printing, to provide a tangible token to their children when they reach their goals.

As well, parents can now choose a profile name for their child so they can have their own more custom URL on the site. For example instead of:

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/6/badges

your child can have:

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/brandonburridge/badges

If we aren't charging how will we pay our bills?

This is definitely a challenge and we are looking at the combination of two options:

  1. Become a non profit and be able to accept donations
  2. Sell mission supporting merchandise on the site

I've been experimenting with some exciting merchandise and my kids even have some proudly on display in their rooms. There are still some obstacles to overcome in order to provide them to you, but I will continue to pursue this.

As for the non-profit, we'll need to see if we can find the help of someone who knows how to go about this and can donate their time to make it happen.

Improved UI

Because CK was produced during a 48 hour hackathon there were some sacrifices that had to be made in order to meet the deadline. We've spent quite a bit of time working on these tiny details that to many may go unnoticed, but that we think will improve the overall experience.

One such example is the page showing a specific awarded badge.

http://www.commendablekids.com/children/brandonburridge/badges/261

It's cleaner and easier to read and far more pleasing to the eye. You can also share your child's accomplishments on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

The award a badge process has also been improved and streamlined.

Invitations now work!

Inviting others had never worked well, and while it looks the same, it now actually works! So feel free to invite all your friends and family to become supporters of your children. They can "high-five" them and leave encouraging comments. As well, whenever your child earns a new badge, supporters will be automatically notified.

Easier support and contact form

Finally, because the site is all about supporting you, we've implemented an easier way to get in touch with us. Once you are logged in, simply click on the 'Need Help' button and you'll be presented with the ability to contact us. We'll do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

That's all for now, but we will continue to work toward improving Commendable Kids and doing all that we can to help encourage and challenge your children to learn new skills, reach new milestones, and become truly Commendable Kids.

We need your help!

If you find the service helpful, please help us by liking us on Facebook, sharing badges online with Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, and telling all your friends.

We love the Commendable Kids community and thank you for your support!

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