Neighborhood Link

Neighborhood Link™ FAQ

Basic Questions

  1. What is the mission of Neighborhood Link?
  2. What can a Neighborhood Link website do for my neighborhood?
  3. Can I post commercial information on Neighborhood Link sites?
  4. What is the difference between Neighborhood Web sites and Club & Organization Web sites?
  5. Can we create a password protected site with private areas for members only?
  6. How do I contact Neighborhood Link?

Getting Started

  1. How do I register as a Neighborhood Link Community Member?
  2. Why do I need to register?
  3. Is there a site already up for my neighborhood?
  4. How do I market our Web site to my neighbors?
  5. Can our domain name be used with our Neighborhood Link website?
  6. How do I start up my free Neighborhood Web site?

How To Questions

  1. How do I make changes to the site? How do the Edit and Add links work?
  2. Can I control who makes changes to the site?
  3. How do I organize items listed in the Pages & Links area?
  4. How do I fix the Map?
  5. How do I add photos? Can we create a photo album?
  6. How do I update my email address with Neighborhood Link?
  7. Can we email all our members from the website?
  8. I'm the moderator for a Mailing List. Where do I go to send an email or add subscribers?
  9. Is there a way to remove all the ads from our site?

Discussion Forum Questions

  1. Why are there topics from other places showing in my Discussion Forum?
  2. What is the Respect-o-Meter and how does it function?
  3. How is the Discussion Monitored?
  4. Can I view only topics posted on my location?
  5. How can I make the text size larger in the Discussion Forum?
  6. How do I put up a picture next to my username?
  7. How are Discussion Topics ordered? Do I have to wade through all the pages so I don't miss anything?
  8. Where can I find the most recent reply to a topic?
  9. Can we remove old Discussion topics or turn off the Discussion completely on our site?

Technical Questions

  1. What are the system requirements for using Neighborhood Link?
  2. Why do I get "cookie" errors on Neighborhood Link sites?

Basic Questions

1. What is the mission of Neighborhood Link?

Neighborhood Link’s mission is to encourage communication, provide resources, and enable connections – on a neighborhood to national scale. We will achieve these goals by creating a network of websites and related services that empower neighbors to organize information, build relationships and solve problems.

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2. What can a Neighborhood Link website do for my neighborhood?

Neighborhood Link makes it quick and easy for you to create your free website. In minutes we can help you create a comprehensive communication tool for your neighborhood that includes:

  • Your neighborhood's contact information
  • Your newsletter and history
  • Local school information
  • Community calendar
  • Discussion forum
  • Pages containing information and photos you choose
  • Links to your city council members, mayor's office and community police

Neighborhood Link is very simple and fast! The neighborhood sites are created using simple Web forms. Passing on the upkeep duties to the next volunteer can happen with no effort at all!

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3. Can I post commercial information on Neighborhood Link sites?

Ad space can be purchased on specific neighborhoods. Click the 'Advertise Here' box on the right side of the page.

You are also welcome to post information about your business on your personal Profile page. Please do not post commercial advertisements anywhere else on Neighborhood Link. They will be deleted. Thank you.

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4. What is the difference between Neighborhood Web sites and Club & Organization Web sites?

Neighborhood Link provides two kinds of free Web sites: Neighborhood Web sites and Club & Organization Web sites.

Neighborhood Web sites are provided to neighborhood associations that have specific geographical boundaries. These sites can be created by the association's board of directors or they can be created by a group of neighbors interested in utilizing our Web site to improve communication. Neighborhood Web sites have some content provided by Neighborhood Link, including government links and civic resources. Additional content is created by the Neighborhood Web site coordinator(s) and neighbors.

Club & Organization Web sites are provided to not-for-profit groups, such as Cub Scout packs, churches, parent/teacher groups, service groups, book clubs, etc. Your group does not have to be 501(c)3 to participate. All content for Club & Organization sites is created by the site's coordinator.

For more information on Clubs & Organization Web sites, click here.

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5. Can we create a password protected site with private areas for members only?

Yes, our premium model provides you the ability to create both public and private areas. Find out more here.

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Getting Started

1. How do I register as a Neighborhood Link Community Member?

1) Go to: www.neighborhoodlink.com

2) Click “Sign in here”

3) Under the “No I don’t have an account yet” heading, click to register.

4) Fill in the registration form. You will be emailed a confirmation number. Please be sure to check your Spam or Junk folder for this message.

5) Sign in with the username and password you created.

6) When prompted, enter your confirmation number. You will only need this number the first time you sign in.

The video below will walk you through this process.





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2. Why do I need to register?

To ensure the security of your neighborhood website, we only allow registered users to add content to the site. To that end, during the initial Sign In process your email address is verified.

Privacy of all Neighborhood Link users is very important to us. Your information will never be sold or given out except in the case of a court-ordered subpoena.

Read our Privacy Policy

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3. Is there a site already up for my neighborhood?

Neighborhood Link has many neighborhoods, HOA's, towns and cities up already. To see if your group already has a site, you can search by zip code, or state and city and then key words from www.neighborhoodlink.com.

If you don't find your city or neighborhood, email us and we'll set it up for you.

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4. How do I market our Web site to my neighbors?

We want to help you promote your neighborhood Web site! Here are a few ways to publicize your site and get the word out to your neighborhood.

1) Place an article in your printed neighborhood newsletter. There is a sample article included below.

2) Post fliers in public areas of your neighborhood, pass out fliers at neighborhood meetings or drop them off door-to-door.

3) Talk! Talk! Talk! Talk about the Web site at meetings and other neighborhood events. Tell your neighbors and your friends. If you don't tell people, no one will know about it! Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement!

4) Before your neighbors know about the Web site, it's a good idea to make the site fun, informative, and intriguing. We suggest:

  • Start several discussions about topics relating to your neighborhood. For example: "Is anyone else concerned about the zoning decisions being made?" OR "What do YOU think about the new grocery store they're building on the corner?"
  • Create Add-a-Pages with useful information.
  • Create an Add-a-Fax to your local councilperson or City Hall.
  • Add a few upcoming events in the Community Calendar.
  • Be sure to choose the schools in your area and choose the appropriate councilperson so your Web site links to them!

All of this will take you only a few minutes, and it will make the site an interesting place for your neighbors to visit the first time.

5) Talk to people about the specific features of Neighborhood Link. Remind your neighbors that the "Talk About It" area can be a powerful tool to organize around a specific topic of interest. Promote the "Community Calendar" by encouraging people to post upcoming events and to check the calendar regularly. Remind neighbors that there is a free classified section to buy and sell items, and promote their business. Tell people that anyone can post a page in the "Meet your Neighbors" section. Let them know about the abundant information that is provided about the neighborhood, local government, schools, and other civic resources.

Sample Newsletter Article

Here is an article for you to use in the next issue of your newsletter. You can also use this template for a flier announcing your new neighborhood Web site. Simply replace the words in brackets [ ] with your neighborhood name and don't forget to fill in your Web address at the end of the article.

[OUR NEIGHBORHOOD] Is Now Online!

Our neighborhood now has a Web site! Our new Web site includes information about [OUR NEIGHBORHOOD], an online newsletter, a list of the local schools in our neighborhood, and community pages about issues and events that affect our neighborhood. Links to city government officials and services, including the police, make it a great communication channel.

Our new Web site is not just an information source, but also a place for all neighbors to be connected on the Internet. Want to tell people about an upcoming meeting, garage sale, or lost pet? Then post a notice in the "Community Calendar". Want your own personal Web page? Then create one in the "Meet Your Neighbors" section - tell people about yourself, your family, your hobbies, or your interests. Concerned about a neighborhood issue? Talk to your neighbors - solicit new viewpoints. Go to the "Talk About It" section and create a new discussion.

This is our Web site - anyone can use it - and it's easy to use! You don't need any special computer skills to post information to the site - simply fill out forms and the information is posted! All you need is Internet access - everything is in an extremely user-friendly format.

So check it out! Our new Web site can be found at: www.neighborhoodlink.com/[CITY]/[YOUR URL]

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5. Can our domain name be used with our Neighborhood Link website?

Yes, if you have your own website address like www.OurHOA.com, you can link it to your Neighborhood Link site. There are several ways to do this, so email us and provide the domain name; we'll help you with the best way to go!

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6. How do I start up my free Neighborhood Web site?

It’s easy and fast! Just Click Here To Begin...

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How To Questions

1. How do I make changes to the site? How do the Edit and Add links work?

The Edit and Add links show up on the site where it’s possible to make changes. If you aren’t signed in when you click on one, you’ll be sent first to the Sign In panel. Once you’re signed in, you will see a panel open with choices or the place to begin adding or updating text, or pencil and red ‘X’ icons, allowing you to remove or edit those items. Clicking the Post button will close the panel and save your changes.

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2. Can I control who makes changes to the site?

Yes, our premium model provides you the ability to limit who can make changes to the site. Find out more here.

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3. How do I organize items listed in the Pages & Links area?

The Add links on the Pages & Links allow you to create Section Titles. Once you have the sections, you can click the Edit link and drag the items into the order you’d like.

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4. How do I fix the Map?

Once the boundaries of your neighborhood are drawn on the map there will be a colored overlay to display them. To create this overlay, you click the Edit link and then begin by clicking in one corner of the area. Your second click will display a dotted line that is the first edge to the overlay. Continue clicking roughly around the shape of your neighborhood. You will have the chance to refine these lines at a later point.

When you need to move the map to see more, just use your mouse to click on the map sizing tool. (The dotted line will stretch over there but won’t stick.) Once you have closed the rough outline of your neighborhood by clicking on the spot you started, you have 3 choices: you can save the shape as is, start over, or adjust the boundaries. To adjust the shape, click the squares and move them in or out. New squares will appear so you can refine things further. Once you are satisfied, click the Save option and your Map will appear.

The video below will walk you through these steps.



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5. How do I add photos? Can I create a photo album?

You can add a photo or graphic to both Pages and Newsletter items using the Insert/Edit Image tool in the Edit panel toolbar. When the tool opens you browse to the image on your computer, click the Upload and Insert button to add the image to the page.

You can put as many photos as you’d like on a page and enter captions for each one.

It’s a good idea to resize any image you want to use before uploading it. If the width of the picture is larger than 540 pixels, the entire image won’t display properly on the page. Also, a very large image could prove slow to upload and will make it difficult for those with slower Internet connections to open the page.

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6. How do I update my email address with Neighborhood Link?

  • Go to your Profile page by clicking "Your Profile" in the Sign In box.
  • Click the Edit link.
  • Scroll down to where you see the email address.
  • Type in the new address and click Save.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the address you've just provided.
  • You will be logged out of the site until you click on the link in the confirmation email to confirm the address.

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7. Can we email all our members from the website?

Our premium model provides an Email Blast feature allowing you to create simple-to-manage mailing lists. Find out more here.

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8. I'm the moderator for a Mailing List. Where do I go to send an email or add subscribers?


Moderator access for mailing lists is found on your Profile page. Here's what to do:

  • Go to your Profile page by clicking "Your Profile" in the Sign In box.
  • Click the Edit link.
  • Click "Edit your mailing list subscriptions"
  • Click the name of the mailing list
  • You can send out emails and manage subscribers here.

Note: The mailing list feature is only available on premium websites. Also, Administrators for premium websites will find moderator access for mailing lists on the Admin Tools page.

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8. Is there a way to remove all the ads from our site?

Yes, our premium model removes all the ads displayed on the free version and gives you the option to create and sell ads of your own on the site. Find out more here.

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Discussion Forum Questions

1. Why are there topics from other places showing in my Discussion Forum?

Neighborhood Link intends the Discussion Forum to be a place where we can talk about what it means to live together as a community, whether in your neighborhood, your town, as part of a larger Metro area, or the whole country. To this end, each website displays 20 pages of topics. These topics always begin with postings made in your neighborhood, then widen out to nearby areas, and beyond.

The breadcrumb trail at the top of the page displays your location. Every topic displays a tag with the neighborhood name, city, and state so there is no confusion. If you are interested in how other neighborhoods have handled problems or would like to share your expertise with others locally or around the country, you may want to read posts made further out than your neighborhood. If you want to know only about your area, please read only those posts tagged with your neighborhood's name.

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2. What is the Respect-o-Meter and how does it function?

The Respect-o-Meter assigns each user a rank based on the quality of that person's participation in all areas of Neighborhood Link. If you are helpful, respectful of others, and promote community, you'll be ranked high. Typical of most online ranking systems, we are intentionally vague about the specifics. This deters people from 'gaming the system'. Rankings will be assessed and changed periodically by the server.

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3. How is the Discussion Monitored?

Each post has a "Report" link below it. Clicking that link will send that post to the Neighborhood Link Flagging System for review. This is an automated system which reviews the post and determines whether it should be retained or removed. If the post is removed, its text will be replaced with the words, "Removed by the Neighborhood Link Flagging System" and the date.

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4. Can I view only topics posted on my location?

Yes, if you'd like to see messages posted just in your neighborhood, you can change a Preference setting in your Profile to do so. This will change the topics displayed for you on this computer. On the Discussion Forum, click your username and you'll get to your Profile page. Click the "edit" link. At the bottom of the page you'll see a "Discussions - browsing" drop down menu. Choose "restricted" and click "Save." When you go back to the Discussion page, click the Refresh button on your browser and the display will show only topics posted where you are.

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5. How can I make the text size larger in the Discussion Forum?

You can make the text size for the Discussion Forum larger by changing the preference on your Profile page. On the Discussion Forum, click your username and you'll get to your Profile page. Click the "edit" link. At the bottom of the page you'll see a "Discussions - text size" drop down menu. Choose "larger" and click "Save." When you go back to the Discussion page, click the Refresh button on your browser to begin viewing the text larger.

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6. How do I put up a picture next to my username?

Click on your username under the "Sign Out" link and you'll be taken to your Profile page. Click "Update Photo" and Browse your computer for the image you would like to use. When you find the image, click Open and you will see it in the box next to "Update Photo." Click "Go" and the image will be uploaded to the server. Once the file is finished uploading, click the Reload or Refresh button on your browser to see your new picture. Our video will walk you through the process.



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7. How are Discussion Topics ordered? Do I have to wade through all the pages so I don't miss anything?

Discussion topics posted in your location (neighborhood or town) will show up first. They are ordered most recent post first. So, if someone has just replied to a post which was created yesterday, that post will show up at the top of the page. Once all the posts from your neighborhood have been displayed, you will see topics from the areas nearest you which have discussions.

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8. Where can I find the most recent reply to a topic?

Replies are ordered by date, so the most recent reply will always be at the bottom. Since there may be many pages of replies, you can quickly skip to the end by clicking on the last page number listed above and below the posts. When replying, you may find it helpful to use the "Quote this post in your reply" feature so people will know which part of the conversation you're replying to.

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9. Can we remove old Discussion Topics or turn off the Discussion Forum completely on our site?

Yes, upgrading to the premium version allows a site's administrator to remove Discussion topics and turn off sections of the site, including the Discussion area. Find out more here.

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Technical Questions

1. What are the system requirements for using Neighborhood Link?

Neighborhood Link can be accessed with the following browser versions:

  • Internet Explorer versions 7 and higher
  • Firefox version 3.6 and higher
  • Safari version 4.0 and higher
  • Chrome versions 8.0 and higher

Neighborhood Link Web sites require that you have 'cookies' and Java Script enabled.

As with any Web page, the speed of your computer's processor will affect the speed with which the pages will come up.

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2. Why do I get "cookie" errors on Neighborhood Link sites?

It sounds as though the problem you are experiencing is related to the "cookies" feature of your browser. Having this feature disabled can cause you problems on the Neighborhood Link Network.

So, why must you enable cookies to use Neighborhood Link? It's the only way for us to ensure the security of the neighborhood Web sites. Cookies allow our server to deny access to those people using unauthorized usernames or passwords. Here is how to avoid this common problem:

Cookie definition:

A "cookie" is a small piece of information that a Web server stores temporarily on your computer. This allows the Web server to retrieve specific information from your computer at a later time. For example, when you browse through an "online shopping mall" and add items to your "shopping cart," a list of the items you've chosen is stored in a cookie on your computer so that you can pay for all of the items at once when you're finished shopping. It's much more efficient for each shopper's computer to keep track of information like this than to expect the Web server to remember who bought what, especially if there are thousands of people shopping on that site at a time.

A cookie file is NOT a secret way for a Web server to find out everything about you and what you have on your hard drive. The cookies Neighborhood Link uses only allow our Web server to retrieve the information we placed there and nothing else. They cannot be read by any other Web server that also uses cookies.

There is absolutely no way for our Web server to get access to any private information about you or your system through cookies. Also, there is no possible way that a virus could be spread through the use of our cookies.

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