Our company, originally called E.Central, was founded in 1995 when internet access and the web were in their infancy. E.Central was created as a local entertainment guide and an internet service provider for the Denver metro area.
In 1997, a friend asked if our company could help with a neighborhood dispute. This Denver neighborhood, with a long history of community building, was squabbling over whether or not a local restaurant should be allowed to have a liquor license. At every neighborhood meeting the debates over this issue became heated as ideas often took a backseat to personality conflicts.
This friend proposed that our company create a discussion forum on the internet, which was a novel idea back in 1997. He envisioned a place where ideas and opinions about this controversial topic could be shared by the entire community, free from vitriol and ego clashes, where even the most timid neighbors could voice their perspective on the situation. We readily agreed, but first suggested a meeting with the leadership of the neighborhood association to work out the details.
That meeting was attended by the association leadership and community police officers, where they proceeded to describe all the features a truly useful neighborhood website could offer. They mentioned the discussion area, and then suggested a neighborhood calendar of events, the ability to post neighborhood documents, the ability to allow community police officers to post important safety information, as well as links to local police, schools and city government.
The ideas generated at this meeting seemed so full of promise that our company decided to shift its focus from local entertainment, which everyone was doing, to neighborhood communication, which no one was doing. So in 1998, Neighborhood Link was born with the mission to give every neighborhood and homeowner association throughout the U.S. its own free website.
Our first neighborhood websites were online early in 1998. By September, every neighborhood association in Denver was given its own Neighborhood Link website by then-Mayor Wellington Webb at a press conference in City Park. In 1999, we were invited to demonstrate Neighborhood Link at the annual meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. At that meeting, the mayors of various major US cities requested we bring Neighborhood Link websites to their cities' neighborhood associations. Also in 1999, we formed a partnership with the American Public Power Association (they provide electricity in hundreds of cities throughout the US). This partnership brought Neighborhood Link into scores of small and mid-sized cities across the country.
For the past 13 years we have been growing and growing, providing free websites with personal customer service. We now have over 42,000 websites online and receive hundreds of new requests monthly. Our recently reprogrammed and redesigned websites utilize our finest tools yet for improving communication within neighborhood and homeowner associations.
Our community websites are designed for ease of use and to foster effective communication between neighbors, associations, and local government leaders.
Many of the free tools we provide allow organizations to meet the requirements of state and local laws that require them to distribute covenants, meeting minutes, and other important documents in a timely manner.