Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:50 pm Post subject: The letter to Mr. Desrochers
Dear Mr. Desrochers, bonjour!
I am living in Montreal since 1995, graduated McGill University, love our city and want to share with you my ideas on how to make it even better.
I am living in the appartment building on Nun's Island. Administration of our building periodically makes important announcements by placing notices in the elevators. Some of our friendly neighbours share news when we meet occasionally. When I needed a plumber, I had to look for him in Yellowpages, even the administration could not recommend a local handyman. What if we could have an on-line forum for the building residents where all neighbours could have easy access to building management announcements, could advice each other on local services, could discuss current issues?! I have extensive experience with forums and social media, I do believe it can be easily organised just for our building, I even did a template myself just to make it visible what can be discussed on such a forum, here is the example http://clubmarin2.1bbs.info/
While I was discussing the idea of this project with the building management, it appears they understand the benefits to have such on-line meeting place for building residents. Some of the residents even approached the administration themselves demanding such service, on the other occasion the management of another building is discussing this idea with IT company already for the whole year, but there are some obstacles as nobody yet knows how to manage those places, there are no standards yet and local politics are another issue. Why am I writing this to you? Imagine we could work out unified format of the forum (or even building web site) structure which can be used as a template, recommended by City of Montreal. Imagine we could unify the hosting of these on-line platforms and partner with a major IT company to roll it, to produce a dedicated website for most of the appartment buildings, maybe starting with Nun's Island and rolling it over to Montreal. I am sure, this can be not only the socialisation tool that would boost citizen's efficiency (for example, most of my neighbours drive to Montreal downtown for work every day, if we had this forum we could arrange for rideshares and instead of driving two or more vehicles downtown could cooperate using just one!) but can be also a platform to pull those unified forums together to have efficient access to Municipalities to discuss development issues, to influence attitudes towards social issues, etc. There can be some space allocated to City Council announcements and initiatives. Of course, it would also be a very attractive advertising opportunity for local businesses. And if City of Montreal could do this project to benefit all parties involved, it can be an example for all North American urban communities.
I am interested myself to start this project and go as far as I can, for me it could mean enterpreneural experience and efforts to improve our communities. I am a father of two, I hope my participation in this project can inspire my kids. In the event you should find this idea worth discussing further, please contact me!
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