I’m excited to announce that eNeighbors has reached a new milestone today – 16,000 homes are now registered to use our service across 85 neighborhoods. This means that there is at least one registered user (homeowner) in 16,000 homes in the neighborhoods that we serve. To put this in perspective, we’re getting close to filling Kemper Arena (Kansas City reference). Next, we’re gunning for Arrowhead Stadium.
From those 16,000 homes there are 17,728 registered users (some homes have multiple users).
In total, there are 31,191 homes that are currently eligible to use our service, which means that in aggregate, 51% of eligible homes are now registered.
Here are some of our best neighborhoods, in no particular order:
- Nottingham Forest South – 583 homes, 526 are registered, 649 residents registered
- Hampton Place – 462 homes, 345 are registered, 383 residents registered
- Communities of North Brook – 894 homes, 625 are registered, 681 residents registered
- Nottingham by the Green – 733 homes, 495 are registered, 567 residents registered
- Riss Lake – 728 homes, 561 are registered, 640 registered residents
I want to say thank you to my team for getting us to this point: Natasha Stock, Dan Stock, Shelly Stock, Phil Freund, and Kim Goings.
Google announced that it will be adding “site speed”, how quickly a website responds to web requests, as one of the data points it uses to rank its search results – meaning that if your site is slow, you’ll be pushed down the ranking making it harder for people to find your website. This also means that you’ll be rewarded in Google’s search ranking if you have a fast website.
They also created a new tool for webmasters to use to determine how fast their site is, according to Google anyway. I used their tool to find out how fast our site was and posted the results below.
On average, pages [on eNeighbors.com] take 0.6 seconds to load (updated on Apr 14, 2010). This is faster than 97% of sites. These estimates are of high accuracy (more than 1000 data points). The chart below shows how your site’s average page load time has changed over the last few months. For your reference, it also shows the 20th percentile value across all sites, separating slow and fast load times.
If you want to try it on your site, go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and click Labs –> Site Performance.
I recently discovered a free and valuable service called BatchGeoCode – an awesome website that will take your address data and plot it on a map.
We’ve used it a couple of times now to show customers what homes are registered in their neighborhood. For example, see a map of all 529 registered homes in Nottingham Forest South.
If you’re a board member or property manager and your neighborhood is using eNeighbors, you can create a map of registered homes (or non-registered homes) too. Here are the steps:
- Sign in to your eNeighbors Account at http://www.eneighbors.com/
- Click “Go To Admin Tool” (only available for board members and property managers)
- Click “Reports”
- To create a map of Registered Homes click “Registered Homes” to download a spreadsheet of all registered homes
- To create a map of Non-Registered Homes click “Non-Registered Homes” to download a spreadsheet of all non-registered homes
- Go to http://www.batchgeocode.com/ and follow the instructions to create your map
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with eNeighbors.com. For help with BatchGeoCode, visit their video tutorials page.
The FCC recently conducted a survey called “Broadband Adoption and Use in America” that found getting local or community news was the second most common type of activity online, just behind buying a product. Using a social networking site was fourth. (See chart below.)
Of course, I’m happy to see that “local or community” news is listed second but it’s hard to believe that using a social networking site is fourth given that Facebook now has over 350 million users and is listed as the second or third most visited site on the Internet. This seems to highlight the problem with human reported surveys versus computer counted statistics.
As a measure of online activity for local and community news though, this survey may be the best data we have given the fragmentation of local publishers, which makes it difficult to measure this type of activity on a national level.
We claim that:
- the vast majority of your community will register and use the online communication system on a regular basis.
- you can communicate more effectively, virtually at will, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- your community will actually lower the cost of communication – the logical result of replacing current methods newsletter, layout, print, copy, mail
BUT, as a Board Member, your #1 concern is: “WILL THE MAJORITY OF OUR RESIDENTS ACTUALLY READ THE INFORMATION?”
A resident in an eNeighbors community wondered the same thing and posted a news article to find out “is any body really out there?” Screenshots below:
UPDATE: In an effort to bring Google Fiber to Topeka, KS, the city’s mayor signed a proclamation that for the rest of the month, Topeka will be known as Google, KS.
Here’s your chance to get “ultra-high speed” Internet access for your community.
Google is planning to offer Internet access at speeds of over 1 gigabit per second – about 100 times faster than most Americans receive today. They are looking for interested communities that want to take part in their experiment and expect to extend the service to at least 50,000 homes and maybe as many as 500,000 homes.
To nominate your community, go here and click “Get Involved”.
An overview video is below.
I always encourage customers to upload a photo of their neighborhood entrance monument to their eNeighbors website. Over time, we’ve collected a lot of great photos. Here’s my top 10 favorite neighborhood entrance monument photos of 2010, starting with #10.
9. Parkhill Manor
8. Highlands Ranch
7. Nottingham by the Green / Knightsbrooke
6. Forest View
5. Arlington Park
4. Nottingham Forest South
2. Western Auto Lofts (This one is sitting on top of a building)
1. Coffee Creek Crossing
As we embark on the new year I’ve noticed that a lot of HOAs are looking for ways to save money. As I’ve mentioned before, the number one way that we save HOAs money is by replacing their paper newsletter, but more recently, it seems that HOAs are reconsidering their paper directory too.
Most paper directories are actually distributed free of charge in exchange for the right to sell advertising. However, advertising is shrinking for many companies in the “paper medium” and it seems that neighborhood directories are also feeling the squeeze, so they are scrambling to change their business model from free to subscription. To avoid this new fee, many HOAs are simply relying on their online resident directory with eNeighbors.
What is your neighborhood doing? Do you have a paper directory? Are you keeping it? Please comment below.
Here’s an example from one community:
Below are step-by-step instructions on how to post a news article. News articles posted to your neighborhood website are immediately published (unless content moderation is on) and sent out in the email newsletter, which is sent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the resident’s preferences.
- Sign in
- Click “Add a News Article”
- Enter a title
- Enter some content
- Add a photo and/or document
- Click “Preview Article”
- Click “Publish Article”
Click “Add a News Article”.
Enter a title, some content and add a photo and/or document. Click “Preview Article”.
Click “Publish Article”.
Article is published.
Here are some examples of News articles posted from other neighborhoods:
Step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) on how to post a bulletin are below. Bulletins are a powerful feature that allow you to instantly communicate with your neighborhood.
- Sign in to your account at http://www.eneighbors.com/
- Click “Go To Admin Tool”
- Click the “Bulletins” tab
- Enter a subject, enter a message and click “Preview Bulletin”
- Click “Publish Bulletin” (NOTE: DO NOT CLICK MORE THAN ONCE. IT CAN TAKE SOME TIME AS YOU ARE SENDING A LOT OF EMAILS.)
Your bulletin will be published to the website under the bulletins section and an email will be sent to every resident that is registered on the website.
Screenshots for the above steps are below.
Enter your email address and password at eNeighbors.com to sign in.
Click the “Go To Admin Tool”. This is only available for Board Members, Property Managers, and other Administrative users.
Click the “Bulletins” tab.
Enter a subject, message and click “Preview Bulletin”.
Click “Publish Bulletin”.
Bulletin is posted to the website.
Bulletin is sent immediately via email.