Neighborhow.org is a website born of a collaboration between Code for America and the City of Philadelphia. It is intended to be a source of ideas that neighbors can share and find for solutions that neighbors may know best how to approach. Some of the situations they list on their site are: clean up my block, have a block party, and start neighborhood watch.
Both the site and idea were started in 2012. This website and tool don’t appear to be of much use. I believe the tool could be useful but it needs some attention and effort to be promising. Those who are behind the scenes will need to determine an audience and put in work to make the site’s existence known. The website appears as if they expected it to somehow take off on it’s own. To be an engagement tool there needs to be actual engagement. The organizations behind the site should have put in more thought before the launch so that there is an infrastructure to handle the social media presence and to spread the word of its use. While the site was started in part by the City of Philadelphia it does offer categories for other cities, but there are no other cities, just a choice of Philadelphia and “Any city”.
One other issue that may hinder Neighborhow.org from gaining traction is that there may not be a desire for this type of interaction or there are better sources for the same information. This tool and it’s web presence, or lack thereof, serves as an example of a potentially great idea that was either poorly thought out or poorly implemented.