Neighbors for Neighbors

Do stuff with and for your neighbors

Neighbors for Neighbors Social Networks
For the City of Boston

Where Boston Socializes, Organizes, and Makes a Difference!

CONCEPT SUMMARY

Neighbors for Neighbors creates neighborhood-centric social networks and provides organizing training and support. The social networks serve as a
soundboard for voices and a springboard for action. Residents, businesses, community groups, and public service agencies socialize and organize around common interests and issues to make a difference.

We envision communities where all neighbors know each other by name, feel safe, have access to resources, and contribute to each others quality of life.

Building on the success of the Jamaica Plain, MA pilot network, the goal will be to launch 18 social networks, one for each neighborhood in the City of Boston, no latter than June 1, 2009. The networks will be
run and managed by diverse teams of neighborhood stakeholders with direction and support provided by Neighbors for Neighbors, Inc.


PROPOSED PARTNERS:

Community:
  • General Residents
  • Neighborhood Associations
  • Neighborhood Watch Groups
  • Community-Based Organizations
  • Mothers Associations
  • Faith-Based Organizations
  • Local Businesses
  • Weekly Papers
  • Bloggers/Twitters
Corporate:
  • National Retail Chains
  • Socially Responsible Businesses
City & County:
  • Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services
  • OneIn3 Boston
  • Neighborhood Crime Watch, BPD
  • Boston Main Streets
  • City Councilors
  • Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • Office of Homeland Security
  • Suffolk County Sheriffs Office
State:
  • State Representatives
  • Governor's Office of Civic Engagement


VALUE PROPOSITIONS

For Residents and Businesses - The one-stop-shop for all your neighborhood needs

Engage in activities with and for your neighbors:
  • Blog about interests and causes you care about
  • Upload pictures and movies from around the neighborhood
  • Share an event for neighbors to discover and join in attending
  • Post your needs and reply to another neighbor's questions in discussions
  • Join or start a social activity club or community service project group
  • Join or start a group for your non-profit or community group
  • Join or start a group for your business or program
  • Join your neighborhood zone group to find out about what’s happening in your immediate neighborhood and what you can do about it
Gain access to City and community resources:
  • Meet and friend your Neighborhood Coordinator from the Mayor’s Office and ask them to connect you to city services that can help you solve your issue. 
  • Find out about and meet coordinators from city programs like the Boston Youth Zone, Mortgage Assistance Programs, Neighborhood Watch, and Emergency Preparedness and your Local Library.
  • Learn about other great community resources in your neighborhood.
For organizers and outreach coordinators - Your neighborhood communications dashboard tool

It’s what you’ve been wishing for, Constituents:
  • Opt-in and self-manage their profile
  • “Pull” content. You post, they read, or they will ask you by leaving a comment on your page or sending you a message
  • The Network “manages” the email list. All you have to do is send ONE blast and ALL members get your message! Spend more time delivering than promoting.
  • Your blasts' emails can be targeted to a particular group
  • Have access to a central port through to learn form one another and share best practices
For Cities & Municipalities - Leading the future in city-level online constituent engagement and empowerment

Continue the legacy of demonstrating breakthrough, innovative leadership by:
  • Leveraging untapped constituent social capital as fiscal capital resources tighten
  • Timely adoption of Social Networking when public is eager to engage in civic life
  • Providing an approachable and transparent public platform
  • Giving our big City a small Town feel
Operational Efficiencies:
  • Since user will have the network to “pull” information about City Services, program managers and coordinators will be freed up to spend more time delivering. 
  • Green Benefit – Use less paper for outreach and taking notes, as interactions will occur and be documented online.
Crime Reduction:
  • Ability to educate en-mass constituents about basic crime prevention behaviors
  • Drastic increase in participation of Neighborhood Watch and CERT programs
  • Strengthen relationships between public and Community Service Officers


HOW MANY, WHERE, BY WHOM
  • There will be 19 networks, one for each Neighborhood Coordinator
  • URL http://www.NeighborsforNeighbors.org
  • Content will be syndicated of www.cityofboston.gov. Content from ONS user syndicated (RSS) to front page, parsed by neighborhood
  • Diverse teams made of of residents, community organization, City, Police, County, and State Personnel, as well as Local Businesses and Corporate partners will manage the community and content on each network.


NETWORK FEATURES
Guidelines:
  • All content is user generated.
  • Content must fit into Neighbors Network guidelines  (We generate and enforce)
  • Group types include, Social Activity, Volunteer/Service, Neighborhood, and Fan pages. Groups content included planning, topic discussion, etc
  • In the Forums, category-based content such as, skill/tool sharing, housing, for sale, neighborhood happenings, recipes, sports, weather, recreation, cultural, etc...


MANAGEMENT & CONTENT GENERATION
  • Residents and Community Groups and Organizations will be responsible for generating primary content.
  • Neighbors for Neighbors/Joseph Porcelli will serve as Director.
  • Network Teams consisting of Community Ambassadors will welcome and facilitate generation of content.
  • ONS Coordinators will generate City of Boston content.
  • COB, BRA, and DND department will be encouraged to generate content and post City of Boston events, workshops, and resources.
  • Other State, Country, and Federal Agencies will be encouraged to post content as well. 


TECHNOLOGY

The networks will be powered by the Ning.com Social Networking Platform.

With over 1 million social networks, Ning provides the largest number of social networks on the Internet today. The Platform empowers people to create and discover new social experiences for the most important people and interests in their lives.

Ning was started with a simple premise: when people have the freedom to create a new social experience online, uniquely customized for the most important people and interests in their lives with no effort, no cost, and infinite choice, the world is a better, more colorful and certainly more interesting place in which to live.

With Ning, people are creating new social experiences that are:

  • Infinitely customizable
  • Beautifully designed
  • Easily created and moderated

By providing people with a better way to discover and stay connected to the most important people and interests in their life, Ning represents a new chapter in how people create, organize, and communicate online



PROPOSED POLICIES

Family-friendly content policy:
  • All content must be family-friendly and respectful of age, race, culture, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. Should content be posted that is inaccurate or malicious will be moderated or deleted at our discretion.
Use by Elected Officials:
  • Elected officials may create profiles and fan groups on the network.
Use by candidate for public office:
  • Candidates may create profiles and fan groups on the network.
Use by businesses for promotion of products and services:
  • Businesses will be encouraged to create fan groups and start discussions about their products and/or services.
Privacy:
  • Neighbors for Neighbors will never share any of the personal information you've shared about yourself on your profile with any outside individual or any organization. The only people who have access to this information are the Neighbors for Neighbors organizers, the network creator, and network administrators. Neighbors for Neighbors does reserve the right to use information about membership in general such as gender or average age for purposes such as program development and fundraising. Neighbors for Neighbors also follows the guidelines set up by the network platform's (NING) terms of use and privacy policy.


FUNDING & REVENUE

In Jamaica Plain, our pilot network, we easily raised $2,000 each year by offering neighbors the option to become a member at $15 a year and as a member they receive special deals and incentives, like a discount at a local gym.

For a full time paid Executive Director, Program Coordinator, office space, furniture, and hardware, software, and supplies a significant fundraising effort will need to be made.

We expect to be able to generate revenue and funding from these sources:

  1. Ad sales/distribution via networks
  2. Sponsorship fees for branding opportunities on networks
  3. Membership fees for discounts to local businesses, insurance, healthcare, etc.Private and Corporate Donations as the networks improve the quality of life for employees, friends, families, and constituents
  4. Sponsorship and funding from City, County, State, and Federal Agencies looking to engage member communities
  5. Foundation funding as our network will address many social problems
  6. Consulting fees charged for rolling out Networks to other Cities and Municipalities.
The social problems addressed by Neighbors for Neighbors are:
  • Crime Reduction and aiding the Police Department in crime prevention, awareness, and Neighborhood Watch program adoption
  • Connecting and empowering neighbors to organize to address social justice inequities like housing, healthcare, and all forms of discrimination
  • Social Media/Technology education and adoption and utilization to tell the stories and aspirations of under-served populations
  • Engages citizens in Emergency Preparedness training and program adoption


TIMELINE

April - Network and Team Development
May 15 - Soft Launch
June 1 - Public Launch

Last updated by Joseph Porcelli (Chief Neighbor) Apr 22, 2009.

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