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Neighborhood Crimebusters – Collaborate

[This post is part of a series for the article: Neighborhood Crimebusters’ Web Based Community. Previous post in the series: Know Thy Neighbors.]

The rest of this article describes how you could set up a Yahoo Group as a web portal for your neighborhood. Please note you could also use other such applications like Google or MSN groups and set up something very similar. This example is based on a real neighborhood portal that was set up using Yahoo Groups. This is intended to illustrate one possible way of using such an application to facilitate communication between people in a neighborhood. Depending on the needs of your NCW and other constraints that you may have, you may need to choose another way to implement this.

[This section is detailed and is only required for those who intend to setup the group and act as moderators. Others can skip this post and click here to go to the next part of the article.]

Continue reading “Neighborhood Crimebusters – Create A Group” »

[This post is the first of a series for the article: Neighborhood Crimebusters’ Web Based Community.]

Start a Neighborhood Crime Watch group
One of the best ways to improve the level of security around your home and your neighborhood is by getting to know your neighbors. A lot of community Neighborhood Crime Watch (NCW) groups have been formed and they have gone a long way in preventing crimes and also in helping the police identify and track down criminals. If the security around your home has been something on your mind, it is very likely that your neighbors are thinking the same too.

You can get started by meeting some of your neighbors and talking about it. You can also seek help from your local law enforcement. You should be able to start an NCW group by holding a meeting with your neighbors. Having some representatives from the police department would add a lot of weight to the effort.

Continue reading “Know Thy Neighbors – Set Up A Web Group” »

[This post is part of the article: Neighborhood Crimebusters’ Web Based Community. Previous post: Communicate.]

In the previous post, we saw how to use the group message board to communicate with the other group members.

Collaboration Features
While the message board application is often the most popular of the features, the group offers several other applications with which the members can collaborate more effectively. For example, if you wanted to share a document or a picture with your group, email attachments are not always the best. This post covers some of the collaboration applications.

Files

Suppose you did some research on your crime watch group could use security cameras to improve vigilance around the neighborhood. Describing your findings over email or sending attachments would work, but if you used the file sharing application, you could do it more efficiently. You can access this from the group home page by clicking on the Files link. Within this application, you can create folders and store your files. You can then send out an email to the group, giving them a link to the files you stored. Google groups also has a document sharing feature that is similar, but with more powerful file sharing capabilities.

In the same way, if you receive a newsletter from your City Police, you can save it as a file and share it with your group. If you created a detailed spreadsheet showing the cost-analysis for a neighborhood project, it is easy to share it too. Or may be an interesting article that you found online. You can also create a neighborhood roster may be as a Word document or a spreadsheet and save it here. But the database feature describe in a later post would probably serve this purpose better.

Photos

Want to share the pictures you took at the summer party? You can use the Photos application. This is very similar to the Files application, but supports thumbnails, etc. Suppose you took some pictures of that suspicious car that appears to have been abandoned on the street. This would be a good place to put it, to share it with your neighbors.

Links

There are a lot of web resources that you will find useful for the group. They could be interesting websites or blogs that talk about NCWs, or police department web sites, contact pages, or even your own websites or blogs that have some relevant information. Sharing such web links is best done using the Links application. Simply click on the Links button on your group home page and add your links. It also allows you to create folders.

As you can see, besides sending group messages, you can easily share information very easily using these features.

[Next part of the article: Manage Information.]

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