My neighbor--Rita Bunton--has her life story available on Amazon
Does Lutheran World Relief know that their survey company is doing this?

Can our neighborhood in blue-collar town make use of a "Ning" social media site to build community?

My wife and I along with our elderly Beagle, Snoopy, live in the southwest corner of Michigan's capital city.  It's a great place to live.  It's very residential and very livable for middle-class standards.  But, it still has the challenges that come from living in a city with a hundred-thousand plus population.

That's why my wife and I are starting to become active in our neighborhood association.  We are empty-nesters and the meetings take place during prime snooze time for our dog who sees with her nose.

Averillwoods We've met a whole lot more of our neighbors  and have had a chance to discuss neighborhood challenges and hopes.  The goal is to get everybody to take a part and to play some kind of role in the neighborhood.  That's why I started a "Ning" site for the Averill Woods Neighborhood Association.

It's pure social media with a blog, forums, groups and room for much more.  The platform is there to build an online community. 

The challenge is whether residents of the neighborhood who are still learning web 1.0 can grab onto some basic concepts of web 2.0.  If this experiment works, then we may have a model for other neighborhoods around the country to emulate.

I'm anxious to learn whether other neighborhoods have used Ning or similar sites.  What can we learn from your experience?