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Sean Wheller
Dec 19 2007
Connecting Communities
Wednesday, 19 December 2007

It's been awhile. I've not blogged anything for a few months now. Not that I forgot that I have a blog site, just been to busy. So what have I been up to?

While I have a ton of stuff I can talk about, there's one thing that is grabbing all my attention at the moment. It's called NeighbourPoint.

It's a community support website platform that I plan to launch in 2008. Things are still developing, but today I went live with the platform. The aim of NeighbourPoint is to get residents in neighbourhood communities around South African connected and informed about where they live.

The idea is simple and not something new, it's just an old concept, elevated to a new level. What NeighbourPoint does is it takes the simple concept of "a website for a neighborhood" and elevates it into an interactive platform for "community support" that connects residents so that they can communicate more regularly on issues in their area and thereby mobilize in a more efficient and cost-effective way. The idea is that each area will get a website complete with features such as groups, forums, private messaging, polls, events, business directory, etc. is community support enabled by web 2.0.

Let's face it. People don't have much time these days. While most people would like to have a voice when it comes to issues relating to the environment where they live, taking an active part in community meetings in not always possible. It would be much easier if people could use an interactive website. Firstly, communications could be more of a continuous dialog that an intermittent interlude once every few weeks. Second, more issues and more resident opinions can be gathered when meetings are online. There's no need to take notes, as everything is self documenting online.

Most people have internet access in one way or another, at home, work, internet cafe. If one could get all the residents in an area, or the majority of them, to take part in a website that is focused on community issues, it could would make for a great way to bridge between various players such as the residents, businesses that live and work in an area and the ward councilors at a municipal level. The abilities for reach in and reach out programs are easily at hand and residents associations can get a lot more done in less time and get more done with their budgets.

I plan to setup as many NeighbourPoint sites as I can get people willing to contribute during 2008. I'll be setting them up free of charge for neighbourhoods. All I need is a person or two from each neighbourhood that is willing to contribute time and effort to encouraging area residents and businesses to take part in their NeighbourPoint.

So, if you think you are such a person or you have contacts in your local residents association or even contact with your ward councilor, then let them know about NeighbourPoint .

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

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