Monday, November 19, 2007

Keeping track of neighborhood events

Merry Oaks is definitely cool. A neighbor posted to the Google Group about several recent events involving artists in the neighborhood, and another neighbor responded by asking about calendar tools to keep track of all the cool stuff people are doing.

As online tools continue to improve, friends and neighbors struggle to keep up with the technology and choose the right tool. Newspapers and other media are in the same boat.

No matter the technology, the truth is the biggest hurdle is the inputting of data, just like keeping your own calendar at home.

Artists want to create and perform, not promote. And some like to live quietly in the neighborhood under the radar. And while we all like to keep up with political and community events nearby, as 2008 approaches, we don't just want inbox politician spam.

But sometimes you're just proud of your neighbors and want to share. And sometimes you want help from others to keep track of all the great stuff people are doing.

To reach everyone, we ought to use several tools in these days of fragmentation. And sometimes, word of mouth on a sidewalk or a low-tech flyer posted at Dish still work best. Or sometimes, forming partnerships with nearby neighborhoods like Commonwealth Park and Elizabeth and Noda would make sense. Or maybe we should use all those methods.

Some possible tools:
Facebook. Two "applications" would work: Events and the neighborhood page. (Yes, we have one. Laura Paynter, Marcus Williams and I are there so far). It's not just for teens and college students anymore.
Google calendar. I don't know much about this yet, and I wonder how it integrates with Google Groups. We need a neighborhood expert to explore.
Yahoo events. Also something I don't know much about yet.
Blogs linked to outside.in. Makes an automatic feed of news and blog postings geographically. The real estate blog Hip Hoods feeds to this, and it has stayed remarkably up to date over time because it's someone's actual job instead of a volunteer activity.

Have ideas? We can evolve faster if we share.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Andria, thanks for the shout out! We've really strived to make Hip Hoods as full of community information as possible, because Charlotte has a lot of interesting stuff going on for everyone, and many people who are invested in its future (like this blog!). Keep up the great work!