Neighbors for Neighbors

Do stuff with and for your neighbors

Network consolidation and the future of Neighbors for Neighbors

Dear neighbors, we've been working on this plan for the last 8 months and I'm pumped and relieved to finally be sharing it with you. Here goes...

Why we are consolidating our 18 neighborhood social networks:

  • We can't afford to continue operating all our networks 
  • We don't have the capacity to manage them
  • Patch is doing a great job fulfilling the need we once served. Go Patch!
  • Our partners, like BPD, CityHall,,, and other citywide non-profits and groups don't want to have to post to 18 networks to get the word out
  • We are spread thin and want to focus our energy
  • There is no citywide network connecting and making collaboration possibile between we the neighbors and those who serve us. This is the need we are choosing to meet next. Imagine what can achieve and contribute as city and not just a neighborhood. Note, everything you can do now will still be possible, but with different features -> the main focus will be on Neighborhood Forums. 

Immediate next steps:

  • We are going to shut down all networks except for Jamaica Plain. JP will be the foundation of the cityide network. The URL will change, but you won't notice. It will all be redirected to
  • We will redesign of main page to help you get what you are looking for faster - yay!
  • Create how-to documents to explain how to use features and effectively communication and engage
  • Create directory and aggregation of feeds from awesome groups and happenings from other platforms like meetup and facebook
  • Create a guide and support those of you wishing to organize events to bring your neighbors together in person to facilitate connection
  • Create forum categories for each neighborhood to facilitate neighborhood focused communication
  • Audit and purge groups with no activity. Any group that is not a core Neighbors for Neighbors organizing group or group with recent comments or discussions in the past three months will be deleted. Any group that is dormant for three months following with be deleted. Use it or lose it (we mean this nicely of couse).
  • Blog post will be renamed to Official Announcements. Only NFN, city, and partner announcements will be featured on the main page. Forums and events will be the primary feature you will use everday. Works great and less confusing.

What we need your help with right now: To help join the NFN helpers group!

  • We need help greeting new members
  • We need seasoned graphic designers to help us create the design for the new main page
  • We need technical writers to help us create the how-to documentation
  • We need to you participate by contributing, commenting, liking content and inviting everyone you know 
  • We need a volunteer coordinator - will the awesomest neighbor ever please stand up....


  • Recruit, oriente, and begin working with new greeters and writers by Sunday March 27
  • Build new navigation and create new neighborhood forum categories by Sunday April 3
  • Notify, shut down, and invite all members from other networks to join by Sunday April 11
  • Recruit, build, test, and launch new main page design and navigation by Sunday April 18
  • Enrole and register citywide agencies non-profits, and groups, to beging participating through 2011
  • More stuff to come, but we don't want to overwhelm you...

Want to help out? Join the NFN helpers group and leave comment in the group with how you're interested in helping. 

Please do share your thoughts and suggestions about this transition by leaving a comment below.

In service, 


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Comment by Angie VM on March 25, 2011 at 6:26pm
I might continue to be a member but I kind of liked the fact that this was a neighborhood site, not a city site... I will wait and see, though and give it the benefit of the doubt =)
Comment by Joseph Porcelli (Chief Neighbor) on March 24, 2011 at 4:52pm

Hey Dax, thanks for sharing your thoughts and for the encouragement. This is an exciting time for us as we need redefine and position ourselves as Boston's Soundboard for Voices and Springboard for Action. 


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