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1 Neighborhood Forums Online Creating inclusive neighborhood forums – grant proposal update

2 Agenda 1. Meet and Greet 2. Quick Overview –Digital Justice Grant, securing community partners – Kris Nelson 3. Small Groups – What is your vision of inclusive neighborhood forums online? 4. Report Back –Creating “our” vision 5. Outreach Interviews to Diverse Communities – Mahi Palanisami 6. Presentation –Learning from the best forums, what’s next – Steven Clift

3 Quick Overview Digital Justice Grant Drafting in progress Gathering input Seeking commitments for community partners See:

4 Small Group Questions 1. What words come to mind when you hear “neighborhood forum online”? 2. How might you or those you know use such a forum? 3. What would make a neighborhood forum attractive or useful to immigrants, low income residents, or communities of color? 4. What is your small groups vision for a successful and inclusive neighborhood forum? –To present

5 Outreach Interviews Online survey ~45 responses Contact list developed, 40 people - emphasis on immigrant produced digital content and Internet access or training centers reaching low income –Invited to this meeting and … –Up to 10 in-person interviews on proposal/idea of neighborhood forums Interview highlights from diverse communities

6 Learning from leading online neighborhood forums?

7 What are neighborhood forums online? Based on geographic place where people live Source: Cleveland-Park, DC NHood Forum Source: Highland Park Community, Pittsburg

8 How do they work? E-mail discussion lists mostly Some web forums E-mail newsletters are not forums, good starting point Most failed forums lack participation, e-mail is key for success

9 Visualizing neighborhood forums City Hall “Secondary Networks” e-mail forwards NHood Org Personal Networks Local Media Coverage Librarian NHood Paper Arts Group City Councilor Neighbor #2 Local Biz Neighbor #1 City Staff Neighborhood Leader Renter Forum Manager Neighbor #200 Police NeighborsNeighbors NHood Forum GroupServer e-mails posts web view Subscribe once Commitment secured Post via e-mail/web New Resident

10 Examples Two major varieties –Neighborhood “life” - larger includes coffee shop bulletin board style announcements “who can recommend a good local plumber?” along with “my house was broken into last night” and local development/involvement discussions –Neighborhood organization agenda/politics “charter” restricted to more formal neighborhood planning and development issues –Our vision - Local “charters” can say what is in/out and blend models as desired

11 Cleveland Park, DC Format: YahooGroups Members: 4400+ Posts: ~20/day Recent topics (24 hours): –Coin sorting bank –Mover recommendations –Volunteer request –Tutors –New deli review –Local candidates –Road work update –Bus public safety incident –Mugging prevention –Curfew questions Notes: The largest and most active neighborhood forum in the world. Acts like a combination of Craigslist, Freecycle, and an E- Democracy style “Issues Forum”

12 Highland Park, Pittsburg Format: Mailman E-mail List Members: Not sure Posts: ~100 posts/month Recent topics: –Stuff for sale –Cleaning help –Burglary update –Plumber –Car windows smashed –Jazz event –Found keys –Looking for daycare –Suicide prevention speaker Notes: Good charter, “Messages must be about Highland Park, including its residents, organizations, businesses, and the park; or of specific interest to its residents, including issues relating to surrounding/connected communities such as the redevelopment in East Liberty.” –Explains volunteer forum management process

13 Dimond NHood, Oakland Format: Web Forum (PHPBB) Members: 107 registered Posts: Lower volume, can see “views” Recent topics: –Neighborhood events –NHood Meeting Agenda –NHood super clean-up –Earth Day photos –Local elementary schools Notes: Shows web forum format. They also host e-mail list. When registered can see what’s new to you.

14 Lessons from others Extremely local aspects of Craigslist, Freecyle –Nhoods are more green-friendly, local economy boosting –Donation/pledge idea to local community groups

15 Start One 1. You – A leader 2. Team – 2 – 5 people in the neighborhood to help promote 3. Charter – What’s in/out of scope 4. Technology – Set up on –“open source” GroupServer tool combines e-mail list and web forums

16 Start One 5. Partners – Formal/Informal –Diverse community groups, neighborhood associations, etc. 6. Promotion - Online 7. Recruitment – In-person, 1 by 1 8. Outreach – Group by group 9. OPEN with 100+ founding members 10. Facilitate - Seed, feed and weed

17 GroupServer – E-mail/web Easy to find –Next to Mpls Issues Forum, other Nhoods E-mail or web - your choice Technology enhancements –Share through open source –Proposal to add “Publicness” options

18 Sample Forum Entering reply here

19 Sample Forum – E-mail View

20 Grant Drafting - Edit this page We are using a wiki to collaboratively edit our grant proposal – join us.

21 What’s Next Secure community partner commitments Finalize “Digital Justice” ~30-40K grant proposal – Coming weeks Explore more grant opportunities Start forums now where volunteers step forward See:

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