Yocee's office isn't tough to find, especially with its custom-made ‘No Parking' sign out on the front door. Go in and you'll find a small office with the website's banner and Revathi Ramaswamy typing away furiously on the computer.
“Updating the site with events for the coming week,” she's quick to explain, taking a minute to finish up and update her children's website.
Yocee.in is a portal that is by, of and for children. With over 20 student reporters prowling the streets for local stories, the website is colourful and has a generous dose of content.
“When I was living in Mumbai, we were in an apartment complex with 72 families. I started a kid's magazine that was made by them on our dining table and then taken to a stationery store to be printed. Then we moved here, and I wanted to do something similar. A website seemed ideal,” she says.
While the site has been up and running for the last four years, Revathi wanted to do more. This April, she launched a directory for kids, a database of coaching classes, tuition centres, learning centres, activities and everything else concerning children from every part of the city.
“I always listed engagements for kids on my website and many parents wrote in saying it would be nice to have something on paper so that they needn't keep checking the website for numbers and places. That gave me an idea to come up with a directory. It took me three months to compile it and I printed about 3,000 copies,” Revathi explains.
The directory was a sell-out, the entrepreneur says. “I had people coming in every day to buy copies and had to stay in office to receive them. The word spread and the copies just flew. I have only a few office copies left.”
Revathi further reveals that though the directory took some effort to make, it has to be constantly reprinted. “The life of such a directory is only until the place changes its telephone number and then it becomes outdated. I will be bringing out an updated edition every year and when the numbers change, people can still come online and get the latest information. I will be updating the website as and when numbers and venues change.”
The portal also has an online newsletter, highlighting important city stories. Though it was in print last year, a suggestion from a 13-year-old turned the newsletter online-only to reach people everywhere. “I want the children to be introduced to news reading in an interesting way. We are also redesigning the website to make it interactive. There will be space for the readers to express their views, file their reports as guest reporters and react to issues that interest or affect them. I love to do anything that's related to children. I aim at getting kids to read news and that can only happen when it is written by others like them. That's what makes it so interesting,” Revathi smiles.
The directory is priced at Rs. 20 and available on order with Revathi at 98405-44629.