Fair Haven is a Diverse Community with a Rich History and a Beautiful Waterfront
I had recently a great opportunity to present our Website as one of the examples of a NING based website to a surprisingly large group of people that gathered in The Grove, a co-working and collaborative space serving the social mission sector of New Haven. I am not an experienced public presenter and apparently my presentation drifted quickly from talking about technicalities of the NING as Web platform to "proselytizing" the value of neighborhood networks, showing that I am really more interested in the Social component than in technical component even as I am the developer and webmaster for the CSNA Website.
I am following for a certain time an initiative from Boston - Neighbors for Neighbors. They operate neighbor-centric online social networks to connect people to others who live, work, and serve in the same neighborhood. Their networks provide a mechanism that makes it possible for participants to connect, communicate, and collaborate around common interests. You can read more about their challenges, mission and visions HERE.
What is very interesting for me is how to transfer the experience from Boston to New Haven. After exchanging some thoughts with Joseph Porcelli (Chief Neighbor from Boston) I have realized that there are many similarities. At the end a success of any Web based solution is depending only on one factor - how many people will embrace the solution and will start using it. We have reached similar conclusions.
I strongly recommend to check the results of the Boston's Neighbors for Neighbors February 2011 Network Evaluation. The evaluation brings some answers to the questions what and how should be presented on the neighborhood websites.
Neighbors for Neighbors 2011 network evaluation report march