How does your neighborhood organization communicate?

Midtown is leaving the forums to NextDoor for day-to-day chatter, MailChimp for email and Facebook/Twitter on social media. Crestview has NextDoor which is unloved by a vocal chunk of CNA, but it gets significantly more participation and engagement than the Yahoo listserv. I know FOHP has a forum similar to this one.

I’m interested to hear for two reasons: (1) As new organizations join or form, maybe they can learn from our experiences or we can learn from theirs; (2) I’m thinking about the opportunities & limitations of spreading the FAN message & events through existing channels.

As I am setting up the Friends of Riverside forum I struggle with the clutter and distraction that Next Door invites. As Pete suggested I am using Muut as a start. We will limit the conversation to our members and to our neighborhood issues and let Next Door do the cat sitting referrals. Want to keep the focus on our neighborhood and if we are going to have business owners, and property owners I think we have to make it something that the feel is relevant and informative. I will link to the FAN Forum and make it easy for those that choose to engage on a larger community level. We will start a Facebook Page to engage those beyond our neighborhood and probably Twitter for those that dig that. Grateful for FAN, its forum, and Facebook Page to direct community wide energies.
We will see. As I always say “embrace the mystery”.
Will report back once we launch and get rolling.

@tcb @Larry_Sunderland
I just noticed this post and of course I have to put in my 2 cents about Nextdoor:

Avoid like the plague. This is not the neighborhood forum you are looking for.

So to be on topic, Dawson Neighborhood has:

  1. word of mouth,
  2. DNA’s 6x a year single sheet newsletter, (875 printed, hand-delivered to freestanding homes - the day before meetings. We have a population of around 3k, and around 1500 households)
  3. DNA’s dead Yahoo group, (269 members after 15 years, less than 20 active)
  4. DNA’s dead Nextdoor group, (258 members after 18 months, around 4 posts a month after DNA’s coup, though the 2-year average is still twice as many posts as appeared in the YG. It had been 11x.)
  5. our DNO neighborhood website
  6. our DNO mailing list of around ###
  7. our DNO sponsored meeting announcement signs which get stolen and vandalized
  8. our DNO replacement forum which is still being prepped
  9. DNO’s Twitter, G+, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Groups, Stumbleupon, Myspace and Reddit. And Facebook.

What works?

The newsletter clearly reaches the most people. However, it would be more useful if it wasn’t just a propaganda sheet. DNA’s used it to lamblast their own Secretary (my ex-landlord) and broadcast a host of other un-neighborly personal attacks. There’s “no room” for fellowship events on it.

I’ve determined that most people delete mailing list mails unread, such as this post when it goes out as email (lol).

People find their way into the legacy YG by word of mouth. It’s old-school social media and turns today’s generation off.

The Nextdoor forum, being nationally advertised, was a soaring success. However, NEXTDOOR CAN NOT BE TRUSTED. They knew we were a “refugee” forum, and promised to protect us. They lied. They have thousands of “grass roots” vs HOA forums, and they’re all in peril. ND aims to let them blossom, and then hand them over to “official” groups to improve penetration. Imagine your Facebook page about healthy cooking was handed over to McDonald’s because they predicted more ad revenue using your writing and the community members you gathered together!

The other social media networks haven’t improved our audience engagement, AFAIK.

The funny thing is, other than Nextdoor, the Internet has failed us. I think our neighbors simply don’t know we exist as a resource for them. We’re looking at physical delivery of leaflets in the future. I worked it out to about exactly 10 miles of walking; could be done by one person in half a day…