Checking In: Montclair Social Site

We’re checking in with you about Today in Montclair’s social site this morning.  As you may know, this is an adjunct resource to enable anyone to connect, discuss, post or promote things with neighbors.  It’s become a way to keep up with local events or news lately.

These social capabilities are supplied by a company called “Ning,” and we were pleasantly surprised when they highlighted us recently.  They described how we connected between the social site (pictured below) and the blog site (you are here).

Today in Montclair - Social Site

Maybe these social capabilities could be put to even better use.  Feel free to join and post/request any info about lost pets, where to find local items or services, etc.  You may also request baby, dog or house sitters here, promote your yard sales, or anything else.  There used to be a Yahoo Board for these purposes, but it’s defunct now.

Who will see your posts and requests?  They are already available on this blog, just scroll the right hand column and orange buttons.  You can find them on the social site as well.  More importantly, we have noticed that anyone googling will see these links too.

So we welcome all your mundane, everyday contributions.

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How The Montclair Social Network Goes

Right before the holidays, we set up a social network for Montclarions to connect and share things.  Yes, it’s a place where you are the center of the universe, and many early adopters have joined and begun posting.  You can check it out – right here.

We couldn’t find an informal way to connect Montclarions online, and wanted to see if this did the trick.  Our other networks on Facebook and LinkedIn are filled with family, friends and colleagues who don’t share Montclair in common.  You could ask who’s going to rent the old yarn shop but they won’t care – and so you don’t ask either.

Montclair Social Homepage

Here are recent examples of what folks want to know or discuss a bit.  Of course, you’re welcome to answer resolutely, hazard a guess or otherwise offer your two cents:

  • Are there door-to-door commuting services to SF locations?
  • Do you know about the Tues accident, on Moraga at Masonic?
  • How are you feeling about the downtown violence this week?
  • Where are all the culverts and streams that run through town?
  • Would you like to join a solar panel deal?
  • Is the new Mickey Rourke film decent or not?

We’re hoping to provide an easy way to connect with other villagers, without any effort.  You can ask questions or comment through postings, share events and schedules, set up discussions, post documents or photos, and more.  You can share with everyone, your friends, individuals…or restrict for your own use.

It can be a hassle to remember to visit, though.  We suggest taking the network updates with you, like we have done under “our social network” heading in the right-hand column.  If you have Yahoo or other portals, log into Google, or use other readers, then copy this link for the Montclair Social Network or the Today in Montclair blog too.

If that previous paragraph confuses you, then please ignore it (!) and just visit this blog or the social network directly.  For more information about the social network, check out this quick tour or learn how to sign up.  This social net is for you, and we’ll see how useful it becomes in the weeks ahead.

Should Montclarions Commune Virtually?

Should we commune virtually, and have a social network to call our very own?

Today in Montclair limits the two-way conversation, due to the blog format.  We find something interesting to share almost every day, and are amazed by the traffic from Montclarions and other Oaklanders.  You send over all kind of ideas and questions, and I try to post items based on what’s interesting to you – but that’s only one posting a day.

Where do you go to ask a quick local question?  It feels like our virtual options are limited today.  Montclair Safety (MSIC) runs a Yahoo group that focuses on safety and crime matters.   Yelp provides user-contributed reviews about restaurants and some retail shops.  There seems to be a gap here.

Montclair-Social-Site

Let’s try out a real Montclair social network, where anything goes.  We just set up this site – http://montclairoak.ning.com – and encourage you to join and post messages to everyone.  It’s a pretty simple way to share questions, comments, events or even photos.  You even have “your own” pages to use.

Right now, your faithful Montclair blogger is there with a few others – and I’m officially rolling out the welcome mat.  Remember this social network succeeds if you and your neighbors have reasons to use it.  I’ll report back here about what happens…stay tuned.

More info:   Check out the specific resources on the site, through this quick tour.