Tip: Get People Using Your Website!

Getting the word out about your website is critical…

Marketing your new website takes time, but keep at it! A rule of thumb in advertising is that people need to see an ad 20 times before they buy the product or respond to the advertising.

Try these inexpensive ideas to effectively promote your website:

  • Tell all of your friends. Word-of-Mouth is often the best marketing.
  • Suggest people promote their garage sales on the website. ( Premium Only)
  • Include your web address on ALL your printed material - newsletter, stationary, business cards, etc.
  • Hang flyers in common areas - laundry rooms, clubhouses, pools, parks, etc.
  • Encourage local groups like book clubs, cub scouts, and play groups to use the website - or to get a website of their own and then link to each other.
  • Send out regular email to all of the website members. ( Premium Only)
  • Include a neighborhood hot topic in your marketing materials to make your message stick! For example: "How are we going to pay for the new fence? Join us online to discuss the options."

Examples of how real organizations have thrived after promoting their website:

Marlborough Mesa
Madison park
Camelot Neighborhood Association
Rolling Oaks

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Neighborhood Link Attends RNNC In Dayton, Ohio

This month Neighborhood Link was formally invited to attend and offer our ideas at the 2010 Regional Neighborhood Network Conference (RNNC) held Oct 7-9 in Dayton, OH.

The conference drew together hundreds of civic and neighborhood leaders from Columbus, Indianapolis, Memphis, Dayton and over twenty other cities.

The theme, Reinventing Neighborhoods, saluted the hard work neighborhood leaders contribute to communities while providing new and creative mechanisms to address some of the major concerns in neighborhoods today. Online networking and effective use of community websites is a critical part of any serious effort to improve communication and quality of life for the people living in our communities.

We were thrilled to attend, and encouraged to see the sacrifice and effort so many people are making on behalf of the communities in which they live! Neighborhood Link looks forward to RNNC 2011 to be held Sept 22-24 2011 in Cincinnati. See you there!

Sacramento Offers Neighborhood Grants

Neighborhood Link was recently approached by a non-profit organization in Sacramento who wanted us to help promote a new initiative of neighborhood grants. "The First 5 Sacramento Commission works to improve the lives of the county's youngest children and their families through an effective, coordinated, and inclusive implementation of the California Children and Families Act also known as Proposition 10, which was enacted in 1998."

Their neighborhood grant program is all about creating a safe, nurturing, and connected environment for families by focusing on young children under the age of five. They have funded play groups, book reading clubs, art activities, singing circles, and more. There is a simplified application process, and their staff is available every step of the way to answer questions.

We were happy to oblige them and we helped them create an information page that we posted on all of the more than 800 Neighborhood Link Sacramento City and County websites. The page was posted under the community pages section of each website and it provided detailed information on their neighborhood grant program.

If you are a non-profit or local government organization that needs help getting the word out on a community initiative or program, contact us and we will be happy to help.

For more information on the First 5 Sacramento neighborhood grants program, visit their website at www.first5sacramento.net or check out the information page that we created for them.

Fighting Crime via Neighborhood Social Networking

Marlborough Mesa in Mesa, Arizona was recently able to utilize their discussion forum as a social networking tool to fight crime in their neighborhood.

Evidently there was an ice cream man in the neighborhood who was consistently "short-changing" the neighborhood kids. The information was posted on the Marlborough Mesa Discussion Forum which alerted the rest of the neighborhood. Other neighbors related similar stories about the same ice cream man. They called the police who in turn tracked down the ice cream man, questioned him, and he is no longer "short-changing" the neighborhood kids.

The Marlborough Mesa group are no strangers to using the Neighborhood Link Discussion forums as a social networking tool. Back in October they used their discussion forum to help identify an elderly neighbor who had been seriously injured in an auto accident.

Congrats to Alma Jones (their tireless webmaster) and the Marlborough Mesa Neighborhood on a job well done!

Neighborhood Mediation

Neighborhood disputes can be particularly contentious and sometimes it might seem like there is no way to resolve them. It could be a dispute between an HOA and a member or it could be just between two neighbors.

Typical examples might be:
  • An HOA is trying to collect late fees from a homeowner, but the homeowner feels he is being charged unjustly.
  • A landlord and tenant disagree over cleaning and damage charges deducted from a security deposit.
  • A neighbor's dog barks all night long and has also caused damage to a neighbors fence.

    In the last 20 years, mediation has been used more and more to settle neighborhood disputes like the ones described above.

    Mediation is a structured and organized process that can help people who are having a dispute come to a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator is usually a trained neutral third party who helps the parties to clarify their issues, understand each other's perspective, and guide them to a final agreement of their own making.

    One of the distinct advantages of mediation is that the effected parties retain control over the outcome of the matter. Instead of a judge, hearing examiner, or other third-party decide the matter, in mediation, it is the parties who decide.

    Finally, mediation can resolve the matter faster and at significantly less costs than would litigation in the courts or an administrative proceeding

    Many cities around the country offer free mediation services. Also for more information on solving neighborhood disputes, take a look at these two articles in our Neighborhood Resource Guide. The first one is about Neighborhood Mediation and the second one is about Neighborhood Dispute Resolution.