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#1 Steve Heard

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 04:40 PM

Hey my dear sweet valued guests, members, clients, lurkers, and friends

 

When I took over as owner, one of the things I was determined to myfolsom back to being a true community website; a fun place to hang out and a great resource to people who want information about Folsom.

 

I wanted it to be less about politics and national issues, as there are many places to discuss those, and more about our parks, schools, restaurants, safety, entertainment, recreation, events and all of the other elements that make this a great place to live.

 

I want to re-create and rejuvenate this site into something that you will gladly visit often, participate in discussions and recommend to others, and make it the go-to site when you have questions about Folsom.

 

With that in mind, you'll see some changes, some subtle and some more obvious.

 

I always welcome your feedback.

 

I've sold homes to quite a few myfolsom members over the years, and also to guests who found me by googling Folsom schools or something else about Folsom while they were deciding if they wanted to live here, then seeing, 'Hey, there's a Realtor on here and he seems to know that town'.

 

I just installed a new home search widget on the front page www.myfolsom.com . It links directly to MLS, giving you live data with a map search and pictures, too. I hope you'll take it for a test drive and let me know what you think. Also, please recommend it to others.  I pushed one pushing one of the advertisement spaces down the page a little to make room for it.

 

Speaking of ads, I haven't accepted any new ads since taking over. I wanted to do a couple of tweaks and clean ups first, and guessing that it will never be perfect, I am ready to start.  

 

Soon, in addition to same 5 or so rotating ads that you see every day, we'll be bring some others aboard. They will rotate, so you don't just get a page full of advertisements.

 

I also added a weather widget to the front page too, as I discovered it is one of the most popular elements of community and media websites.

 

We've also cleaned up a few tabs and reduced the blog categories and gotten rid of the visible seo tags.

 

I'll be gradually adding more features and improving the overall look and feel.

 

I welcome your feedback, both positive and constructive.

 

Thanks for reading.


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#2 Deb aka Resume Lady

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:06 PM

Thanks for all you do, Steve!

 

I'd still like to see a forum for cooking, recipes, locating hard-to-find ingredients, etc.  as well as one to promote nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. :)


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#3 Steve Heard

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:18 PM

Thanks for all you do, Steve!

 

I'd still like to see a forum for cooking, recipes, locating hard-to-find ingredients, etc.  as well as one to promote nonprofits and volunteer opportunities. :)

 

Thanks Deb! Adding a forum is easy. I've been thinking about the best way to handle the volunteer and non profit thing. Do you think a forum or a page? Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I was considering that a page with a tab would be easier to find than a forum post, but the forum posts are interactive.


Steve Heard

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#4 Deb aka Resume Lady

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 05:26 PM

 

Thanks Deb! Adding a forum is easy. I've been thinking about the best way to handle the volunteer and non profit thing. Do you think a forum or a page? Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I was considering that a page with a tab would be easier to find than a forum post, but the forum posts are interactive.

 

I don't know how easy it is to find a page. We see so often parents coming here to inquire about volunteer opportunities for their young ones and folks promoting fundraising events for worthwhile causes (just to name a few things). Would it not be easier to find if there was a forum for that purpose? If folks don't know there's an ongoing page, won't people keep doing what they're doing now, which is to start new threads? Maybe I'm not understanding what you're suggesting; what is a "page with a tab?"


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#5 Steve Heard

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:47 PM

That's just it. OIC! I'm thinking 'thread' and you're thinking 'forum'. Sometimes my elevator doesn't go to the top floor.

 

I'm heading back out but will try to get a forum for volunteers up by tomorrow.


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#6 caligirlz

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 08:35 PM

Does that mean you will be closing the political area? Not sure if I should share this or not, but there is another local/national forum with a very active political & current event forums. It might be a good place for those who are into that kind of thing to check out. http://www.city-data.com/forum/

 

I always thought it would be nice to have a religious/spirituality thread, for those who want to discuss that type of thing. It would give people a place to talk. 

 

Since the forum is moving towards all about Folsom, what are you going to do about the other community topics? I think it's nice those options are available, but perhaps you could throw them all together and rename it "outside the Folsom bubble". :)

 

A separate forum for house & garden might be fun too. 



#7 caligirlz

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:07 PM

 
I just installed a new home search widget on the front page www.myfolsom.com . It links directly to MLS, giving you live data with a map search and pictures, too. I hope you'll take it for a test drive and let me know what you think. .

It works great even from my iPad!!!

And even better yet, I just found that my house has gone up in value, approx $100k+ depending on asking/sold price. :)

#8 Steve Heard

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:52 AM

Does that mean you will be closing the political area? Not sure if I should share this or not, but there is another local/national forum with a very active political & current event forums. It might be a good place for those who are into that kind of thing to check out. http://www.city-data.com/forum/

 

I always thought it would be nice to have a religious/spirituality thread, for those who want to discuss that type of thing. It would give people a place to talk. 

 

Since the forum is moving towards all about Folsom, what are you going to do about the other community topics? I think it's nice those options are available, but perhaps you could throw them all together and rename it "outside the Folsom bubble". :)

 

A separate forum for house & garden might be fun too. 

 

Hi Cali - To your points:

 

Politics - Not planning to close the political area at this time. There are only a few people using it, and most are regulars. At this time, I don't have the need to shut it down. I know there are plenty of other forums for discussing politics, and I encourage those who want to get into such discussions to go ahead and visit those. 

 

Religion - Slippery slope there. Too personal, sensitive and potentially volatile. Again, plenty of other forum sites to discuss religion on.

 

Other communities - Eventually, those may be split off, but not top priority today.

 

Gardening - Absolutely. When I get to some sort of reorganization of topics/forums, gardening will be one of them. 

 

I know that I may lose people who want to discuss deeper issues. In fact, one regular member when leaving sent me a note saying that he wants to discuss 'real issues' not restaurants and community events, and that he'd found a site where like-minded individuals were discussing those 'real issues', which I believe, are guns and politics.

 

I told him I was sorry to see him go, but I want this to be a forum for people who want to learn about or talk about Folsom, and that includes restaurants, schools, events, activities, safety, news of the day, real estate, etc. 

 

Yes, we can discuss Justin Beiber and the latest movies, but overall, I want to focus more on Folsom, less on national issues.    

 

 

It works great even from my iPad!!!

And even better yet, I just found that my house has gone up in value, approx $100k+ depending on asking/sold price. :)

 

I'm glad you like it, and yes, your home has seen quite a bit of appreciation. One on Latherton sold for $375K and another is listed on Hillswick for $389K. 


Steve Heard

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#9 Rich_T

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

I'm fine with the site being focused on Folsom (the community), but I don't know how much there is to discuss about our town in a given week, that is different from anything that was discussed the previous week.  You mentioned "restaurants, schools, events, activities, safety, news of the day, real estate, etc."  That works for me, but again, it might involve my contributing roughly one post per week, as has probably been my average over the past few months.



#10 Steve Heard

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:06 AM

I'm fine with the site being focused on Folsom (the community), but I don't know how much there is to discuss about our town in a given week, that is different from anything that was discussed the previous week.  You mentioned "restaurants, schools, events, activities, safety, news of the day, real estate, etc."  That works for me, but again, it might involve my contributing roughly one post per week, as has probably been my average over the past few months.

I appreciate your participation and feedback. 

 

We have a politics section for those who want it. 

 

The trend these days is for hyper-local, and I do think there are lots of things going on around town that may be worthy of discussion.

 

From you're perspective, what topics are we missing?


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#11 bordercolliefan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:40 AM

I agree with Rich T's point.  The most interesting things on the forum the last couple weeks have been Amgen and the deaths in Folsom Lake.  Both have generated quite a bit of posting.  But our town doesn't have that kind of news every week... often, one will look at the forum and see there have been no new posts since the day before...



#12 Rich_T

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:49 AM

I appreciate your participation and feedback. 

 

We have a politics section for those who want it. 

 

The trend these days is for hyper-local, and I do think there are lots of things going on around town that may be worthy of discussion.

 

From you're perspective, what topics are we missing?

 

That's just it - I don't think anything is being missed, rather I just don't think that there is much going on in town that isn't (1) worth only a brief mention, (2) already covered in local publications (Telegraph, Zoom, city newsletter, etc - and we sometimes do link to those stories and comment on them), or (3) too personal for a public forum.

 

It would be nice if this site were the one-stop place for all things Folsom, and it sort of already is.  There could be an additional focus on summarizing stories that are in other publications, and presenting them for discussion.  However, I just don't know if things are all that interesting in a typical week, such that people will feel the need to comment, as opposed to simply reading about stuff and not commenting.

 

I actually think that the format and concept are fine; it's just that more people would need to participate to create a lively discussion.  I don't know how you get a hundred or more new people to start following this site and commenting, but I believe that's the key, as opposed to trying to overhaul the existing format.  Advertising, maybe in conjunction with the City of Folsom, seems like the best hope.



#13 bordercolliefan

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:06 PM

I understand the decision not to put Politics on the front page, but maybe we could still discuss "social" issues that tend to get people interested. An example would be a story I just heard on NPR--the young couple who decided to take their baby and toddler on a long sailing voyage, the child got sick, and they had to be rescued at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars... There was a lot of controversy over whether it was irresponsible parenting to take a baby on a sailing voyage.

That story is out of date now-- I'm just offering it as an example of a controversy that is thought-provoking and gets people offering opinions, but isn't strictly political (nor entirely local).

#14 Deb aka Resume Lady

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:12 PM

I understand the decision not to put Politics on the front page, but maybe we could still discuss "social" issues that tend to get people interested. An example would be a story I just heard on NPR--the young couple who decided to take their baby and toddler on a long sailing voyage, the child got sick, and they had to be rescued at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars... There was a lot of controversy over whether it was irresponsible parenting to take a baby on a sailing voyage.

That story is out of date now-- I'm just offering it as an example of a controversy that is thought-provoking and gets people offering opinions, but isn't strictly political (nor entirely local).

 

Stories like that are good for discussion. Anyone could start a thread to get discussions like that one going. :)


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I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. ~ Edward Everett Hale

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." ~ Anne Frank

#15 Steve Heard

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:27 PM

 

That's just it - I don't think anything is being missed, rather I just don't think that there is much going on in town that isn't (1) worth only a brief mention, (2) already covered in local publications (Telegraph, Zoom, city newsletter, etc - and we sometimes do link to those stories and comment on them), or (3) too personal for a public forum.

 

It would be nice if this site were the one-stop place for all things Folsom, and it sort of already is.  There could be an additional focus on summarizing stories that are in other publications, and presenting them for discussion.  However, I just don't know if things are all that interesting in a typical week, such that people will feel the need to comment, as opposed to simply reading about stuff and not commenting.

 

I actually think that the format and concept are fine; it's just that more people would need to participate to create a lively discussion.  I don't know how you get a hundred or more new people to start following this site and commenting, but I believe that's the key, as opposed to trying to overhaul the existing format.  Advertising, maybe in conjunction with the City of Folsom, seems like the best hope.

 

Thanks for that. I think the decline in participation (posting) is due to 2 primary factors: First, the advent of Facebook and other social media. Many people started using those formats to discuss issues of the day.

 

Second, the bickering. Everything from race, religion and politics were being discussed, but a lot of insults were hurled and it drove people away. 

 

Today, I think people are ready to come back because they've found that Facebook may be better suited for keeping in touch rather than discussing issues, and because the political section is no longer front page. 

 

I check the forum usage during various times during the day, right now it says that there have been 135 users online (9 members) in the last 30 minutes. Google analytics says we got about 12,000 visitors in the last 30 days, so I know people are coming to the site.

 

Most, however, are reading instead of posting, and as we get more topics going, we may see more that strike chords with various people.

 

As far as promoting the site, I am working with folks at some of the local publications to enhance what each of us do, and I post on the myfolsom Facebook page as well. One story I did, about the heroin deaths in town, got over 10,000 views and 3400 clicks. 

 

So again, people are seeing us. I'd like to get more of them participating.

 

 

 

 

I understand the decision not to put Politics on the front page, but maybe we could still discuss "social" issues that tend to get people interested. An example would be a story I just heard on NPR--the young couple who decided to take their baby and toddler on a long sailing voyage, the child got sick, and they had to be rescued at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars... There was a lot of controversy over whether it was irresponsible parenting to take a baby on a sailing voyage.

That story is out of date now-- I'm just offering it as an example of a controversy that is thought-provoking and gets people offering opinions, but isn't strictly political (nor entirely local).

 

One thing I don't want to do is be the creator of every bit of content or start every thread. I don't want it to be only the things that I think are interesting or important. It's for you, too.

 

That story was a great one to discuss and I had my opinions on it.

 

Don't be afraid to post stories like that. What I'm trying to avoid are things like, 'You ________ (name your political party) are ruining the country, or, 'There's new secret legislation that will make owning a gun a hate crime', that sort of stuff. 


Steve Heard

Folsom Real Estate Specialist

EXP Realty

BRE#01368503

Owner - MyFolsom.com

916 718 9577 





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