It’s surprising to see who is engaging in social media these days. Our parents and grandparents use facebook, our uncles talk about twitter and our neighbors know what youtube is. Some people think that their community doesn’t need a website or a blog, because that’s what the community center is for. What they don’t see, is that the community website could be an extension of the community center and could act a 24 hour-a-day liaison between the center and the people who need to look up a number or check a class time.
Here are some benefits that could come from establishing community website:
The development of the blog or website alone will cost money, but you can probably get the job done by a local resident who is studying the field of web development or has recently graduated and is looking for work. What a fantastic job to put on his or her resume. A lot of people offer to do web design for free when they are graduating soon, in order to boost their portfolio and look more experienced to future employers. There are a bunch of people in the community who would love to experiment with some free html5 templates for a weekend. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry! They do, and that’s what counts. Once the site is developed, you’ll need people to fill the contents of each page and a web admin to make sure information is current and up-to-date. Things like class times and registrations, contact numbers and more, will need to be kept current to be reliable.
Promote Local Talent
If there is a local show, play or fair coming soon, promote it on the website! If people sign up for e-mails about local events and promotions, they’ll get word of the local event and spread the word to neighboring friends. With an automatic e-mail blast, the website will be doing the promotions for you at no extra cost.
Promote Local Work
Many communities are filled with skilled laborers who have mastered one trade or another over the years. There are skilled neighbors all around us that people may not know of. There are plumbers, woodworkers, electricians, glaziers, painters, demolition professionals and even pest control aficionados. These locals have honed their skills and already have their character vouched for by the others in the community. No more worrying about who to trust to do work in or around your home. Create a “Jobs Board” section on your community website and those who are looking for a certain type of work can post their requests up there. You’ll be giving work back to the community and keeping business local as well.
The “Jobs Board” could also have a spot for those looking for tutors. Whether it’s for their children or for themselves, you never know who can play piano or who used to be a math teacher until you reach out and ask. Get local tutoring from a trusted community member to help you or your children learn outside of the classroom. Even if it’s just a weekly group meeting to discuss current events in the news, your site could be promoting education for all ages. This kind of opportunity could potentially give work to older community members who used to teach but have retired since then. Giving them a few hours of work a day can do wonders for their moral and could lift the spirits of the whole community.