The Town of Carmel, NY Website: A Failed Attempt at Community Building

The town of Carmel, New York website has very minimal community involvement and seems to take a top down approach to its construction of a physical based virtual community.  The website is clearly tied to a specific location in an effort to tie together those within that geographic area, but fails to provide any outlet for participation from that community.  There are no message boards, areas for questions and comments, or ways of discussion.  Rather, listed are the names and phone numbers of people on the school board, town council etc that users are directed to contact with questions.  It is more of a directory rather than a community in which people can interact with one another.  The creators hold all the power and determine what material is posted on the site and the users are meant solely to read the information but not engage in any meaningful discussion or community building.  I would not use this website as a tool simply because it does not respond to the needs of the community that it pertains to, and if it truly was a community based website, it would try to encourage participation with that community.  Much like the Blacksburg Electronic Village example, the Carmel website has taken the wrong approach to forming an online community and for that likely has little following.



One comment

  1. My towns online community is about the same. It is just a directory of offices and departments.There is no place to post comments or questions, and is basically just used to inform the residents of what is going on within our town. Therefore I would say it fails at providing an online community.

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