By Art Hanson on June 18th, 2009
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So far so good – we’ve run into a few minor glitches over the past week but overall, everything has been working well. So well that I’ve had time to put the finishing touches on some new features. We’re planning on upgrading the site over the weekend. Here’s a brief look at what we’re adding:
- Community Pages – Group managers will now be able to create community pages. Pages can either be private (only for group members) or public. Community pages are also integrated with our comment system and our brand new tag ststem – content posted with a specific tag can be automatically aggregated to a page. For example – all file attachments tagged ‘meeting minutes’ could be aggregated on a documents page.
- Messaging – Contact other members in your groups (or the entire group) with our new messaging system.
- Group Invites – Group managers will be able to invite new local members to their groups by uploading an email list
- Report Browser – You will be able to browse all reports in your community without sifting through the news feed.
- Webmaster Tools – Integrate your NoN group with your existing community website.
The update will fix quite a few things as well. Some of the more notable:
- An issue with the map icons that caused all reports to display the default icon has been fixed.
- A few modifications to the Start Community form.
- There were a few problems with the daily activity emails that have been fixed.
- An issue with the photo upload form has been fixed that prevented multiple photos from being uploaded at once.
- An issue with the photo upload form that prevented some members from uploading profile photos has already been fixed.
We don’t anticipate more than 20 minutes of downtime during the update. We’re also working on creating a series of tutorial videos to help new members get started – we’ll keep you updated.
By Ron on June 17th, 2009
| Tags: Community Watch Groups, Nation of Neighbors, neighborhood watch | 2 Comments »
A hearty Thank You is extended to the Nation of Neighbors Members who have taken the time and effort to establish and lead new Community Groups for their neighbors.
Welcome to SUMMIT POINT, AVON BEND, RIVERVIEW ESTATES, SHENANDOAH JUNCTION and our first Community Watch Group in Berkeley County, WV: POTOMAC HILLS SUBDIVISION in Falling Waters, WV.
Thank You for being Good Neighbors and joining the effort to make our communities safer.
By Art Hanson on June 11th, 2009
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It’s a real pleasure to see something that we’ve worked so hard on for the last couple of years come together. Many thanks to everyone from Watch Jefferson who’s signed up for nation of Neighbors as well as our new members. We’re looking forward to working with you!
Starting now, you can invite friends and neighbors to join Nation of Neighbors – the invite form is on your member home page – or you can go directly to the invitation page.
We’ve received a few bug reports today that we’re working on. If you run into a problem – or just have a suggestion – please let us know about it.
By Art Hanson on June 5th, 2009
| Tags: Transition | No Comments »
Did we say June 1st?
We’re sorry for the delay and happy to announce that we’re almost ready to send those welcome emails to existing Watch Jefferson County members. We’ve completed transferring over all of our membership information as well as the bulk of the content and reports. We’re now making some last minute updates to the member pages and fixing some formatting issues with the Watch Jefferson County content.
We’re now planning on sending welcome emails on Monday, June 8th. We will begin fulfilling new membership requests on June 15th.
By Art Hanson on June 2nd, 2009
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The Martinsburg Journal (Martinsburg, WV) was kind enough to give us a mention yesterday. I wanted to respond to a couple of reader comments about the article but was limited by the Journal’s 1000 character limit.
Our goal is not to provide users absolute anonymity or shield them from direct interaction with law enforcement. In fact, that would be counterproductive. Any good working relationship depends on mutual trust and it’s impossible to establish trust when one party is anonymous. That said, the internet does offer a certain degree of anonymity (though not absolute, as mentioned by the previous posters) and that means we have to decide if we trust a user posting an anonymous report on Nation of Neighbors enough to pass that report on to our members and law enforcement. Our report screening algorithm does just that.
We do offer a certain degree of anonymity in regard to other community members. We want members – and ‘anonymous’ users – to be able to report crime or suspicious activity without fearing reprisal so we don’t publish identifying information with reports – either to members or to the general public. We also don’t save IP data with reports and we randomize or offset the location as shown on our maps by a distance determined by report type and local density. We have had many instances where a report was sent directly to local law enforcement but never published because of the sensitive nature of what was reported or because the report could have hampered an ongoing or potential investigation.
NoN vs. 1984
Much of the infrequent criticism we receive involves a reference to Big Brother.
The watching done by ‘Big Brother’ in George Orwell’s 1984 is done to enforce conformity and silence political dissent. We’ve worked very hard to keep politics and mundane ‘my neighbor’s grass is too long’ issues out of Watch Jefferson County and we’ll continue to do so with Nation of Neighbors.