By Art Hanson on August 30th, 2010
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There have been a few requests for tech support over the past couple of days involving new members who can’t join their own local community group. We’re working on a fix to prevent this – in the meantime, here’s a quick fix.
- Go to ‘Your Saved Locations’
- Verify that the marker on the map is placed correctly. Even though your address is correct, the signup form may have been submitted before our geocoder returned your exact location.
- If the map marker is incorrect, edit the location and either retype your street address, waiting for the geocoder to update the marker before saving – or – drag the marker to your correct location and save.
- Return to your ‘Home’ screen – you should now be eligible to join your own community.
If this problem has affected you, thanks for your patience while we work on a permanent solution.
By Art Hanson on June 2nd, 2010
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Nation of Neighbors currently accepts two primary types of user created content – ‘reports’ and ‘posts’. Reports, created only with the report page, are intended to be timely user-submitted reports of crime or suspicious activity tied to a specific geographic location. Posts, created from your home page or community page, are intended to be about everything else related to your community. There is a reason things were set up that way. However, in practice, it often leads to confusion. My current plan is to integrate the two content types, preserving the features of both. The only exception is anonymity. We don’t currently associate user information with reports. We do with other content. My proposal is to add a ‘post anonymously’ option to all content. The user information would be saved in the database so that we can send the poster replies (a major shortcoming with our current system – we currently don’t know who to send replies to). However, user information would not be displayed. I’ve exchanged emails with some of you already regarding this change and the response thus far has been positive. If I haven’t already spoken with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the proposed change.
By Art Hanson on May 14th, 2010
| Tags: sponsor | 2 Comments »
Buddy Bar Door Jammers
I am pleased to announce our first sponsor – the Buddy Bar Door Jammer. The Buddy Bar is simply the best door jamming device available – next to parking a Caterpillar D9 in your house.
Deciding to accept advertising was an agonizing decision. Unfortunately, Nation of Neighbors costs money to run and our current level of sponsoring members, though extremely helpful, does not yet cover our costs. While I believe that Nation of Neighbors offers a very attractive local advertising platform, I really dislike web advertising. There are so many over-the-top too good to be true in your face ads on the web that I tend to immediately write off anything I see advertised online. So rather than simply put pay per impression ads all over every page on our site hoping that people click them, we’re going to try something a little different – business sponsorship. My pledge to you is this: we will only advertise products or services that we would use ourselves, that are relevant to our users, that represent a good value and, to the extend possible, are offered by local US based businesses.
The Buddy Bar fits those requirements perfectly. It’s a simple door jamming device that slips under the doorknob on any door and prevents the door from being forcibly opened. It’s manufactured and sold by a small family run business in Idaho and, while you can buy a cheaper door jammer, you can’t buy a better one. Considering that most home break-ins are the result of a door being kicked in, the Buddy Bar is the perfect solution – protecting you and your family from home invasion. The Buddy Bar Door Jammer is also a great solution for shared homes, apartments and dorm rooms.
You can learn more about the Buddy Bar here. If you purchase a Buddy Bar, be sure to enter coupon code ‘NoN’ – you’ll receive a small discount and a portion of your purchase will benefit Nation of Neighbors. Limited (hopefully non-intrusive) ads will begin running next week. As we explore this new avenue for offsetting our costs, we’d appreciate your input.
By Art Hanson on March 23rd, 2010
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I’m pleased to announce that we’ve completed the transition to a new text messaging provider and text messaging is back online. If you added your phone number but never received your confirmation code, you can expect to receive a message from Nation of Neighbors shortly. I’m also pleased to announce that we will soon add the capability to file reports via text message as well!
By Art Hanson on March 16th, 2010
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I’m pleased to announce that Nation of Neighbors Neighborhood Watch signs are now available for purchase directly through our website: http://www.nationofneighbors.com/neighborhood-watch-signs
Neighborhood Watch signs serve two important functions: They let scam artists, crooks and solicitors know that they’re being watched and that they’ll likely be reported. More importantly, they serve as a constant reminder to community members to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity.
Our Neighborhood Watch signs are a little different. We think that’s a good thing – they get attention. They illustrate the relationship between vigilant community members and police and prominently feature the Nation of Neighbors online reporting address. Of course, our signs also come with a free real-time community alert system!
Our signs are high quality screenprinted on 0.08 Aluminum with 3M High Intensity Prismatic backing. Signs are predrilled, include mounting hardware (please specify your post type when ordering) and are pretreated with a wax coating to facilitate easier removal of graffiti. Printed locally in Charles Town, WV.
Prices are $20 (6″x12″), $40 (12″x18″) and $55 (18″x24″). Supporting members receive a 10% discount on each sign, regardless of quantity. If you need for than 10 signs, please contact us for an additional discount.
Signs can be customized with your community or agency name for a minimal additional charge ($5 per sign). Please contact us for details.
By Art Hanson on March 14th, 2010
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We’ve learned that our text messaging provider, Clickatell, is experiencing outages delivering text messages to mobile networks in the United States. We first learned about this problem several days ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t clear that it was adversely affecting us until earlier today.
Some of our customers have been experiencing difficulty sending and receiving messages in the US, which we have investigated further. We have strict guidelines regarding use of our messaging service, that is consistent with MMA guidelines. Unfortunately a customer violated these guidelines; thus creating a cascading series of events which resulted in a connectivity disruption. We are working diligently to restore service to our US customers. Again we are aware of the difficulty that this incident has caused many of our customers. We apologize and look to restoring our quality service as quickly as we can.
Unfortunately, this means that we are not currently able to send text messages. Rather than wait to see if this problem is resolved, we’re actively looking for a new provider and hope to have text messaging restored quickly.
Please note that this has no effect on email alerts.
By Art Hanson on March 13th, 2010
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We received our rejection notice from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge yesterday. The good news, if there is any here, is that we were in good company. Some of my favorite proposals (other than ours, of course!) received rejection letters as well. I spent a few hours pondering whether or not we should have promoted NoN as an iPhone application, Drupal module or some other trendy technology meme. However, we submitted a good, solid proposal and gave it our best. We will continue to follow the plan outlined in our proposal. To everyone who took the time to help with the proposal, provided feedback and voted for us on the Knight Foundation site – you’ll never know how much I truly appreciate your support.
I also received a rejection notice regarding my speaking proposal for the Gov 2.0 Expo yesterday. Honestly, I submitted the proposal so long ago that I’d all but forgotten about it. I had hoped to speak about the unique challenges presented in promoting government / citizen interaction in rural America. Most of the speakers / projects are typically from major metropolitan areas. To be fair, they need speakers with name recognition to sell tickets. I’ll try again next year.
Then there’s the minor issue of me wasting 15 minutes of my time and not saving 15% on car insurance… But now I’m just complaining.
By Art Hanson on February 9th, 2010
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I received an email last night ask asking me to distribute a press release with information about Jefferson County’s Red Cross emergency shelter. Rather than post it in each of our many Jefferson County community groups, I decided to try out our new alert system. If you are a member in Jefferson County and did not receive the alert, received multiple alerts or experienced some other problem, please let us know.
If you or someone you know needs shelter, the new location is the Covenant Baptist Church, 7485 Shepherdstown Pike, Shepherdstown, WV. It’s located on Flowing Springs Rd right outside of Shepherdstown. Please note that the Google Maps location for the church is NOT correct. If you are unable to provide your own transportation, please contact the Jefferson County EOC at (304) 728-6345 or (304) 728-2100 x2979.
With all the snow on the ground and the new snow coming, please take a few minutes to check on your neighbors – especially if they may need some assistance with shoveling snow or may not have adequate supplies. At times like these, good neighbors can make all the difference.
Here’s the latest release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Debra D. Palmer,
Public Information Officer
Eastern Panhandle Chapter American Red Cross
(304) 725-5015 office
(703) 625-0162 mobile
Jefferson County Red Cross Shelter Location Change
The Eastern Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross, in an effort to protect both our volunteers and clients, will be opening a shelter at the Covenant Baptist Church, 7485 Shepherdstown Pike, Shepherdstown, WV to provide a safe and warm environment for Jefferson County residents who may be suffering from long-term power, food shortage and/or water outages.
If you are in need of temporary shelter, please bring the following items with you: bed linens, clothing, toiletries, and any prescription or non-prescription medications you may require. Please check in at the registration desk in the gymnasium and we will make sure you are directed to safe parking. If you are unable to provide your own transportation, please contact the Jefferson County EOC at (304) 728-6345 or (304) 728-2100 x2979. The dedicated folks operating the EOC will do their best to provide alternative transportation during this snow emergency. At the present time, we are unable to provide shelter for pets due to the road conditions and safety concerns involved in their transportation to the animal shelter.
It is times like this that the Eastern Panhandle Chapter of the American Red Cross can really use monetary donations from the local communities to sustain such massive operations. You can donate by mail to 1948 Wiltshire Road, Kearneysville, WV or via PayPal on our website: www.easternpanhandlearc.org.
By Art Hanson on January 24th, 2010
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Many thanks to everyone who came out to our first sign posting yesterday! It was an awesome experience to be able to post our first sign across the street from the location of our first public presentation, some 4 or 5 years ago. We’ve come a long way since then, and it’s completely due to your help. Neighbors working together can improve communities. And improving communication between neighbors will give us all a better chance of success.
I’d like to single out Brian of Black Dog Coffee for a special thank you for providing refreshments. Not only is Brian a longtime member and supporter of Nation of Neighbors, he also owns and runs a local company, Black dog Coffee, that roasts some of the best coffee I’ve ever had the pleasure to brew. Anyone who knows me should know that’s quite a statement. I drink way more coffee than I should – and I’m picky! Brian offers free local delivery and ships his fresh roasted beans nationwide via priority mail. If you appreciate good coffee you owe it to yourself to check out http://www.blackdogcoffee.net/.
I’d also like to thank the Journal for covering the event and Corp. Tiong from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for joining us – and everyone who took the time on a beautiful Saturday morning to lend a hand. Thank you!
By Art Hanson on January 21st, 2010
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If we offered Twitter integration, would you use it?
I’ve noticed that some of the communities using Nation of Neighbors have a community Twitter feed. If we offered Twitter integration it would work like this: local reports would be published to your feed and your tweets could be listed on your NoN page for your community members who don’t use Twitter. Would anyone use it?