A month or so ago I spoke about creating hyperlocal community websites at the Cleveland Westside Leadership Training Collaborative. This is a three session course offered by a group of Cleveland CDCs to assist in training up-and-coming neighborhood activists/leaders. I was part of their guinea pig group the first year of the program.
I was asked to speak because in a previous life I spent four years running a hyperlocal community weblog for my Tremont neighborhood. I spent around a half hour or so giving an overview of the possibilities and answering quite a few questions about implementation. I was asked to put together a quick start guide with some links to the options I was talking about.
I’ve finally finished a first draft of the the guide, which I’ve called Waterwings: A Quick Start to Online Communities. This guide is deliberately targeted to folks who don’t have a strong technical background, and is meant more to help get them online doing anything at all than teach them how to be an award-winning A-list blogger.
It is deliberately simple and sparse. I don’t want to overwhelm these people with facts, figures and options. I’d rather help them get their feet wet online in the first place, and they can learn to do the butterfly or backstroke later.
I recognize, however, that my guide is still quite rough around the edges, and that I might be missing some good sources for these folks to utilize. I’ve deliberately left out social media sources like Twitter and Facebook, because I feel they might be initially too intimidating for users to adequately direct and form an online community. So please, if you disagree with anything in the guide, think I’ve left out something important, or have a question, comment, or point to make about it, let me know.