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Hi everyone,

As you may have noticed, we're up over 1,000 registered members now on the site.  As the membership grows, it becomes a bit more of a challenge to manage usage of the site and ensure we keep inappropriate and unwanted activity to a minimum.

I still review new member applications to keep out as much of the spam as possible, and for the most part have managed to do that.

I'm thinking that it might be a good time now to establish some basic usage guidelines for members, to preserve the quality of the discussion and usefulness of the information on the site.  I'd love to get your input on some ideas for guidelines you think we should put in place as an online community.

One that springs to mind for me as a frequent user is that local businesses who want to promote themselves should do so in the Classifieds section and their own profile page.  It would be nice to be able to join groups and read discussion threads without having frequent posts by businesses about specials, and events, etc.  Of course the businesses would still be encouraged to participate in discussion threads, just not in a blatantly promotional manner.

What do you think?  Should we set out some guidelines?  If so, what would you like to see included?

Nolin

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Hi Nolin.

My thoughts on it all:

My concern about allowing business owners to post information only in the Classifieds is that they may not be reaching their target audience as easily as they could.

Businesses in the neighbourhood are a big part of what makes living here so special. I, personally, don't mind at all logging on to the Dogs of Leslieville group and reading, among other things, that Timmies (for example) is having a sale or offering a new product. And from what I've seen, the parents don't mind learning about new services available to them in their neighbourhood when they log on to Moms and Dads of Leslieville, the group they would go to anyway to socialize and network.

Thanks for listening. Good luck at the meeting tonight. See you next Tuesday.

Karyn
I would like some guidelines on the photos posted here. I think photos not of, in or about Leslieville are out of place here. Is there a way people can have their personal photos display only on their own page, not in the Leslieville slideshow?
I like being able to checkout local businesses here.
Not quite sure what tools you have available to you, Nolin, but what about a section for businesses?
Completely agree with Nancy about the pictures.

I also like the posts from businesses (eg. Shucker Paddy's note about the CSA). To be honest, I find the only "sections" of the Leslieviller I look at are the Discussion Board and Leslieviller on Twitter. I rarely go deeper than the first page of the site, so having info from all members upfront on the discussion board works well.

Nancy said:
I would like some guidelines on the photos posted here. I think photos not of, in or about Leslieville are out of place here. Is there a way people can have their personal photos display only on their own page, not in the Leslieville slideshow?
I like being able to checkout local businesses here.
Hi Nolin

Thanks for asking! Overall I love the site and the info here. Here is my personal wish list and which may or may not be feasible.

It would be useful if there was a way to personalize the content that appear on "About" page. For instance, I'm not a Dog Owner so am not interested in seeing any updates on my "About" page from from Leslieville Dog Owners group. On a similar note, it would be good to find a way to flag certain posts as favourites so that they do appear on the "about" page.

Also would it be possible to reverse the order of the responses to posts so that the most recent post is at the top? Or at least can the page indicator move to the top of the page instead of (or in addition to) being at the bottom of the page so that the reader can go directly to the most recent post?

Agree that it would be good to have the business posts on a separate tab. I think there is enough interest in local businesses that readers will look at that page, especially given the number of requests for plumbers, gardeners, house cleaners, etc.

I'm not so fussed about the pictures, although maybe this could be easily solved by breaking the pictures section down into one for Leslieville pictures and one for all other pics.

Ciao!
I'm not sure there are filters in this application, but Nolin I'm sure will chime up. In other words, we have to put up with the dog poop, if you get what I mean.
Hi Nolin,

The only thing I really look at is the latest activity section, which makes sense since that is where anything new of possible interest to me would be. However in the last few months with the ever increasing discussions on anything moms/dads/kids related, I am finding less things of interest to read about or I should say find the things of interest to read about. As mentioned by others, I don't know if there is a filter option but if so could it be used on the latest activity section. Or perhaps in the groups section there could be something to indicate a new posting under each group heading when there is of course something new to read about in that group. And then the latest activity section could have only new info on non-group related stuff. The Leslieville Moms and Dads stuff is a lot and that makes sense since this has become the modern, more hip version of the Beaches but there are still some of us who are not parents.

Victoria
I was going to mention the same thing Victoria. The Moms & Dads group is certainly the most active on the site, but due to the volume of their conversations, I sometimes wonder if I've missed something from the Latest Activity section because there are so many posts related to that group. In addition to the group activity consolidation you suggested, a possible alternative might be to have the Latest Activity window include more posts. I'm not sure how often people are checking the site, but if only posts from the last 4-6 hours are displayed, I'm wondering if people are missing alot of good and relevant content.

Victoria said:
Hi Nolin,

...However in the last few months with the ever increasing discussions on anything moms/dads/kids related... As mentioned by others, I don't know if there is a filter option but if so could it be used on the latest activity section. Or perhaps in the groups section there could be something to indicate a new posting under each group heading when there is of course something new to read about in that group. And then the latest activity section could have only new info on non-group related stuff. The Leslieville Moms and Dads stuff is a lot and that makes sense since this has become the modern, more hip version of the Beaches but there are still some of us who are not parents.

Victoria
Two items that might be of interest:

1. Nutshell mail is something that gets sent out daily (? Nolin?) that rounds up the activity since the last email. I think you can access that in your account settings.

2. The little blue signal icon in the bottom left of this screen is an RSS feed for any thread, etc. You can use an RSS aggregator to list all of the un-read items in one location. It's a very handy tool for all kinds of things. A free version is Google Reader, where you create an account, and point your RSS feeds to Google Reader. Much fun ensues.
Hi folks,

While a little sideways from the feedback I was looking for on this thread (more oriented toward member conduct and how we use the site), I definitely appreciate the feedback on features and usability too!

As Egg has alluded to, there are some pretty significant limitations to how things can be organized and filtered. Unfortunately, I'm restricted to the features and functionality provided in the Ning software that powers the site. Hopefully, with Ning's renewed focus on paying networks like this one, some new features around filtering will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, I hear your request about wanting to see more relevant stuff on the homepage. While I can't filter by topic or group, I have done my best to suppress as much noise from the activity feed as possible. I have also changed how the discussion forums are displayed, so that instead of categories you will now see the 10 most recently active discussion threads and an excerpt from the most recent post under each. So for those of you who come for the discussion threads, that should help a bit.

Egg has also suggested a couple of great options...
  • subscribing to RSS feeds for particular pages and discussions that you're interested in is smart
  • The NutshellMail app is also really great, and you can schedule it to be sent to you at whatever frequency you choose (I get mine three times/day). If you hover over 'My Page' in the navigation, you'll find NutshellMail.
  • You can also 'follow' certain discussion threads and be notified by email when there are updates.

Hopefully that helps!

Nolin
Ads are annoying definitely agree.
I wouldn't worry about excluding the spammers as much as including leslieville fans.
But I'd love to see on this site a section or group for 20-40 something's including happy hours, dinner specials, dancing nights, book clubs, pub crawls and special themed events etc
There are So many opportunities for mommies to gather and sports clubs to meet but I'd love to reach out to neighbours like me who aren't into either.
Even with crazy construction this neighbourhood is awesome but it feels like its impossible to find out about local events until it's too late
Does this exist here?

Ads are always annoying, but they help cover the out-of-pocket costs that keep the site free. Open to other suggestions for generating revenue to offset costs.

All of the groups on the site are member-created, so please feel welcome to create and manage one that you think is missing. I think it's a great idea!

Melody MacDougall said:

Ads are annoying definitely agree.
I wouldn't worry about excluding the spammers as much as including leslieville fans.
But I'd love to see on this site a section or group for 20-40 something's including happy hours, dinner specials, dancing nights, book clubs, pub crawls and special themed events etc
There are So many opportunities for mommies to gather and sports clubs to meet but I'd love to reach out to neighbours like me who aren't into either.
Even with crazy construction this neighbourhood is awesome but it feels like its impossible to find out about local events until it's too late
Does this exist here?

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Leslieville Local Business Marketing - 10 ways to use TheLeslieviller.com

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When I launched this site in early 2009, one of the compelling reasons for doing so was that I was struck by how many of the businesses in Leslieville are locally owned and operated.  Another big observation was (and still is) how proud most…

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