I thought I’d write this post to let everyone know the various ways we can connect on the Internet. For now, there are the following:
1. This website and blog, www.ForestKnolls.info (not dot com or dot org ! dot INFO)
This runs stuff of general interest, occasional pictures and articles, and announcements. It’s a good place for laying out or updating any neighborhood issues. It’s completely public – anyone anywhere with internet access can read it (should they want to).
It’s got a Pets page, so if you’d like to add a picture of any Forest Knolls pet to it, send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org – with the name of the animal if you want it included. So far, we only have dogs and cats, but I’m completely open to pictures of iguanas or macaws or even the odd tarantula. Send them in!
If you want to stay updated whenever there’s a new post, you can subscribe to the site for emails. (Go HERE and enter your email address in the box on the right side.) Your email does not become public, but the Webmaster can see it.
2. The Forest_Knolls_Neighborhood Yahoo Group.
Anyone can join, though it’s really of interest to people within the Forest Knolls neighborhood.You can give your actual name or not as you prefer. Your email address will be visible. It’s also public, but people are unlikely to search it out. They could if they wanted, though.
Here’s what I wrote about it two years ago, with instructions for joining:
“This group, managed by Mary Allen, is helpful for anyone living in the neighborhood… people send out heads-ups, share information, and occasionally post lost or found pet notices. We get recommendations for handymen and other service providers, as well as neighborhood safety information. I generally post a notice there when I have something new out here, too.
“This is a free group. Anyone can join, though of course its greatest value is to people in the neighborhood. And, as groups go, it’s civilized. I’ve seen groups where participants forget they’re in a public space, and start flame-wars or post overly personal information. This is not that kind of group.”
If you’d like to join that, the link is HERE. Look for the button that says “Join This Group!”
3. NextDoor Forest Knolls
Nextdoor is a new platform (which I wrote about HERE). It’s different from the Yahoo Group in that you need to give your actual name and address (and NextDoor will verify the address). It’s the opposite of anonymity. The idea is to facilitate the building of community and trust.
It’s relatively private, in that only others on NextDoor will see it. It won’t show up on a Google Search, for instance. But I’d warn that it’s private, not confidential. There’s no way of knowing who might copy or forward your post to someone else.
Recently, our neighborhood got the “Nearby Neighborhoods” feature, which gives access to Nextdoor in 9 other neighborhoods. That means when you post something on Nextdoor, you can decide whether to post it just to Forest Knolls, or to the whole bunch of neighborhoods. (If you post to all the nearby neighborhoods as well, around 1000 people will see your post.) You can even turn off some of the neighborhoods if they are not really of interest. People have been using it for things like recommendations for contractors, baby-sitters, household stuff for sale – and discussions about Sutro Forest. It’s a good way to meet up with others who have similar interests, say, for instance, small kids.
If you’d like to join, that link is HERE.
4. Forest Knolls Group on Facebook
That’s just started up. Anyone who’s on Facebook can join, but you have to ask the administrator (right now, that would be me). I’d love for more people to join and post stuff. It’s a good place to share pictures or anything you like. It’s public to anyone on Facebook.
Here’s the link:
WHAT SHOULD I JOIN?
What you decide to join really depends on how you want to use it.
- The ForestKnolls.info website is intended to keep you informed, but it’s really dependent on the Webmaster. Stuff can slip by me. (If there’s something you think the neighborhood should know, email me.) It’s pretty easy reading. It also has neighborhood information.
- The Yahoo Group has the most members right now, though all of them may not be from the neighborhood. (There’s no requirement they should be.) I think it probably reaches the most neighbors.
- Nextdoor is good if it’s important to know who you’re talking to. Real names, real addresses. I think it’s pretty practical for the kind of thing you’d like to do in person.
- Facebook is neat if you tend to go there anyway. It has the advantage that anyone in the group can post there – pictures, issues, just comments – it’s all welcome.
For myself – I’m on all of them. It’s neat that our neighborhood can be connected on the web. I hope more people join in – spread the word!
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