Columbia City Source: Thoughts and Feedback Needed

Just wanted to reach out to everyone who’s been reading and following Columbia City Source and say thanks for checking out the site. Last night’s accident at Rainier and Edmunds caused a surge of readership and I figured it was a good time to take advantage of the interest and ask for a little feedback.
The site’s been up and running for about a month now, with readership steadily increasing and more and more people checking it out both through the Facebook feed and the site itself. A number of involved neighbors have been in touch, looking to play a role in contributing content in a specific area and helping to get neighbors engaged in the active dialogue of the neighborhood. If that’s something you may be interested in yourself (or if you have some expertise you’d be willing to share) be sure to be in touch.

We’ve also got plans to continue to build the site, move beyond a simple blog, add more features, and try out a couple of platforms to help foster active discussion and engagement.

As we work on that expansion in the background, it’d be great to hear from you, the engaged neighbors of Columbia City, to find out what you want in a neighborhood website (as well as what you don’t) and what we can do create a useful site that helps the neighborhood connect and stay informed.

If you’ve got an idea, suggestion, need, question, or thought, please let us know in the comments.



5 thoughts on “Columbia City Source: Thoughts and Feedback Needed

  1. I’ll start it (since a lot of folks are hesitant to write the first comment): one of the things we are working on is the ability to better integrate and streamline the various Columbia City social media groups (facebook/twitter) into the site itself…making it easier for readers to follow, comment, and connect with each other.

  2. Steve says:

    I’d love to see some kind of forum–a place to post garage sales and lost dogs, etc.

  3. lewischang says:

    Regarding other Columbia City related social media sites:

    Columbia City Facebook page is particularly active for the following: (1) lost pets, found pets; (2) break-ins, burglary, car prowl alerts; (3) faster alternative to SPD twitter (e.g. “What’s that siren?” “What’s that helicopter doing?” “Did you just hear the fire truck?”); (4) recommendations or lists (e.g. restaurant, hair salon, plumber, housecleaner, babysitter, daycare). Most of these threads expire fairly quickly. Few Facebook users search for answers from previous questions; people simply re-ask the questions and users re-reply them. (After all, that’s how Facebook is good at. It’s not a resource center with user-friendly search functions).

    Nextdoor dot com also has very similar functions as described above. One big difference is users can choose to see to other Nextdoor neighborhood pages (e.g. Columbia City users can see the threads of Mt Baker users or Beacon Hill users). Also, its template allows more comprehensive discussions of big topics (e.g. Mt Baker rezoning debates).

    So, the question is what you want Columbia City Source to be. Your current site usually has more substance, which I like. I come here to read, not just a very quick glance. Do you want to include what Facebook does best (those things listed above)? To me, I don’t think it’s necessary unless you hope to top Facebook.

    Anyway, bla bla bla. Whatever you do, I thank you for offering this blog.

    • LS says:

      I’ve got to agree that the Columbia City Facebook page does serve its purpose for quick info and some pretty decent discussions, but I agree that it’s got some major limitations. Mainly that posts simply fade away into the ether and information gets lost. It becomes a timeline of the most recent thoughts and not a readable, searchable tool. But, at the least, it’s active…I check it all the time because it’s what is out there.

      What about a list neighborhood businesses and services. Facebook is good for finding a quick plumber…if there is someone on there to instantly recommend promote one. It’d be nice to have a place to quickly search and see what’s really available in in the neighborhood for those types of things–dog walkers, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, whatever. Does that already exist somewhere?

      I’ll check out nextdoor. Never heard of it before.

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