For nearly three decades now, communities have been using the... Read more →
Good old-fashioned bulletin boards remain a favorite way of sharing information for most communities, particularly those that get a good bit of traffic through their common house. Uses include sign-up sheets, policies, and meeting announcements.
Currently the most popular means of communication for groups is an email list serve like Google Groups or Yahoo. For the past decade or so, it has seemed that everyone had an email account and that this was an efficient way to get messages out. As more millennials, who are less likely to use email regularly, enter the scene, this forum is somewhat less reliable in some communities. Other challenges include managing email etiquette.
Some groups have multiple lists. For example, one could be limited to community business (such as meeting announcements and minutes), one could be for offering and asking for neighborly help, and one could be for anything goes.
For groups wanting to access even more technological power, there are many platform options out there. Basecamp and Trello may be the best known of the dozens of options that offer different services at different price points. There is also one made just for community.
Depending on the people in your community you’ll figure out where most people hangout. If no one uses Facebook then clearly a FB Group is NOT for you. There are tools for communicating internally like Slack, Google Groups, etc. You can setup a free shared Google Calendar for putting all your meals, birthdays, events, etc onto. Some of the cohousing specific tools have these things built in. The question will be if folks will be willing to learn and login to another tool. It often works best to do this where folks are already.
Even with all the tech at our disposal, in the end going door to door is still one of the most reliable ways to communicate. Delivering a flyer to every door, or even knocking on each door to for a quick conversation (that may turn out to be not quick at all but could be very rich) still works for many communities.
For room reservations, online calendars are an alternative to the bulletin board. Some communities get the best of both worlds by posting the online calendar on an iPad next to the bulletin board.
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