Have you built a community site before?
I’m working on a project at the moment building a community site for the town of Olney, in the UK, where I live. I’m building it on Ning, which is a read-write platform, like Facebook.
This platform, like so many others, is basically free to use and can also be make completely private so you can use it like an intranet.
There are three interdependent parts to this project
- Internet presence
Olney’s intriguing art gallery, IceTwice, championed the site from the outset and have contributed hugely to its vibrancy. On the day of our Pancake Race, they illustrated the proper use of a social network beautifully by offering a discount on recipe books should a customer bring in a receipt for a pancake.
The site itself can be time consuming to maintain. There are members to greet. Warnings that Olney may be flooded by the River Ouse to put up and take down. And the rich format of Ning to be explored.
And we need to build up our internet presence. Yesterday, I was disconcerted to see that chatter about our site, Olney100, had displaced the site from the number one position when we search for Olney100. Obviously something I don’t quite understand about SEO and prompting an important decision. Stick with the Olney100 or try to capture the keyword Olney?
So in a month, I’ve suddenly become pretty efficient about Flickr where I am joolney and in partner YouTube where I use the account name joolneyuk. I’ve linked up a Delicious account for Olney100 to the site. I’ve learned a fair bit of CSS and HTML. I read up Traffic Estimations and Analyse Keywords with aplomb.
And I’ve met a lot of people who’ve rapidly made the site their own integrating it with their blogs, their Twitter accounts, fundraising, and inevitably Facebook.
Will the community site help Olney to flourish?
The ultimate question though, is whether the site helps Olney to flourish and prosper. We should be able to do more, faster, and more profitably.
Would love any comments. You can read the site and if you want to leave a comment, you can login into the guest account using the email olney100 at gmail dot com with password olney100!
Love to see you there.