Using a web-based application to enhance communication and collaboration between members of a neighborhood crime watch group is something that many such groups have done with great success. The web-group gives members the feeling of a “group home” where all the activity is centered. It is one place for all members to go to, to find someone’s contact information, or to read an NCW Newsletter, or contribute to a discussion. In my own NCW group, we have used a web-group quite effectively. This is really a social networking tool that is being used for this specific purpose.
Most of what I have discussed in this article is based on Yahoo Groups, because that is what we used in my NCW group. You could quite easily use other such applications, e.g, MSN or Google Groups, Facebook, MySpace, etc., for this purpose.
When talking to friends and colleagues about how they were dealing with neighborhood crimes, or how their NCW groups were operating, I often heard that they were using email lists, and it was sometimes hard to keep up with all the discussions. When I suggested the use of a web-group, many of them liked the idea and implemented it. That is what motivated me to write an article on this topic in my blog and share it with other NCW groups.
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