Eden is planning
to develop a community section on its website. What would you include in such
At present, the communities
section of the site (which includes parish and town sites) goes some of the
way toward creating a web presence for the interests, leisure activities and
concerns of the citizens of Eden District, there is a need to encourage local
residents to engage and interact with the site. Due to the sparse population
density of the area covered by Eden District Council, a community site (with
an visual identity that marks it as separate from the main council site) could
act as an important means of contact district wide.
- Message board - To give local
people an opportunity to voice their opinions, pass on news, flag up events
etc. Obviously this brings with it a need for moderators who will need to
be even handed and internet-savvy. This could be structured in such a way
as to include certain single interest groups, B & B owners, farmers, young
- There needs to be a strong link
between the communities forum and any IT and business initiatives that are
current for the council. Schemes like Vital Villages www.ruralcumbria.org.uk,
prove useful both for content and ideas for development. (A design consideration
- this site will need to be kept simple due to the reliance on dial-up connections
by rural users).
- Events across the whole of Eden
District. A full list of all entertainment and cultural activities updated
regularly on the site. All too often events get buried in The Cumberland News.
A searchable database of current events in Eden District and further afield,
categorized by type, i.e. music, cinema, arts, etc.
Possible include travel details as well so that not only does an event get
advertised, but the logistics are already sorted out for the user.
- Good relevant news coverage and
debate- vibrant, incisive and well written.
- Strong commitment to encouraging
local business allowing businesses to advertise through the site free or for
a nominal fee.
- Clear online help facilities
and a 'hands off' approach from the Council end of the proceedings.
- Easy feedback facilities that
don't impede inexperienced users. Using formmail.cgi.
- Online satisfaction surveys and
votes on local issues.