Want to know how to create a vibrant community online or off? Give people a sense of ownership in something bigger than themselves.
Asi tells us of such efforts by the Australian city of Port Phillip Bay, which has launched a Sustainable Community Progress Indicators initiative. The city wants to bring the community together to improve everyone's experience, and to improve the quality of life for residents. The city is also measuring progress, such as tracking how many 'smiles per hour' residents should expect within the city from the other residents that they encounter. They have even set up a 'Smile Spies' program where residents volunteer to track how many people are smiling on certain streets.
My advice? Set up the 'Smile Spies' with a blog and have them blog about their efforts, and take pictures of residents that they encounter that are smiling. And make sure to talk to as many of them as possible, and get their names on the blog. People love seeing their names in print or online ;)
Asi adds that the city is also throwing street parties designed to get the community members out and to meet each other, usually for the first time. Other areas that the city is concentrating on include getting the word out about the area's falling crime rate, keeping housing affordable, and encouraging residents to shop locally, while working with merchants to make sure all of resident's shopping needs are being met. Here's a list of all the major facets of the plan.
Gavin, Shouty, have either of you been to Port Phillip Bay? Are other cities in Australian implementing anything similar to the SCPI?
And more importantly, what lessons can marketers take from Port Phillip Bay's initiative?
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Community