How to put my neighbourhood on the Internet, again
May 9, 2011 3:09 AM Subscribe
Give me a recommendation for an out-of-the-box website or web service to support a neighbourhood association? Complicating factors: time, ease-of-use, low maintenance, open to everyone ...
posted by outlier to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For a number of years I've been involved with my neighbourhood association. (Note: not "neighborhood", we're in the UK in leafy West London.) We're a loose-knit group of nosy do-gooders: we put on events, pass out information to people, watch out for relevant issues and developments, occasionally make representations to the local government. A long running need has been for for a group website, if only just to post the dates of meetings and events. However, this seemingly simple need has been difficult to fulfil.
Before I came on board some years ago, someone was maintaining an odd website, where the webmaster had to manually edit and upload file from his computer. Unsurprisingly, the website fell into disuse. I took over the task and, on a spare server I was using for other work, setup a CMS and opened it up for all members of the committee. After about 18 months of struggling with tech support requests, lost passwords and various messages saying "it doesn't work" (granted, probably my fault for using Plone), I passed it onto the next volunteer. He moved it to another system, where things reverted to the gatekeeper mode (i.e. the webmaster was the only one who can make changes) and - after a year of people complaining it was too hard and slow to get anything onto the system - has thrown in the towel and suggested moving to Facebook.
* Does anyone have suggestions or experience in running a neighbourhood association website?
* There are some various "my neighborhood / locality" websites and hosted services around for residents to share information, although many of them appear to be US-centric or specifically for home owners associations. Any recommendations or pointers there? Bonuses for UK-centric ones.
* I'm very reluctant to go down the route of installing and hosting a CMS again - it cost me a lot of time and caused a lot of interruption for very little payoff. But it might be possible if someone can recommend a low maintenance, simple, runs itself package that I don't have to upgrade constantly.