Re: Websites for communities - required?
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:37:43 -0800 (PST)
I totally agree with Fred's appreciation of Coho/US's cohousing directory at A very valuable resource.

However as Fred points out the entry for any particular community is only as good as the community has maintained it. The maintenance is entirely the community's responsibility, and undertaken by a self appointed editor. The only downside of that is that the process of becoming an editor, and then making subsequent edits, is less than totally obvious. Having been the editor for Shadowlake Village for several years I was frustrated each time I would attempt to make an update, having to laboriously relearn each time, substantially by experiment, how to gain access. I know that by now I am not the sharpest tack in the box, but if COHO/US is reading this, please could the directions for editors' access be reviewed, expanded and clarified.

Michael Barrett - at Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg, VA - where the sun is shining, the temperature is 43°and the bees that survived the recent very cold spell are active.
Community contact:  info [at]

-----Original Message----- From: Fred H Olson
Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014 1:08 PM
To: Cohousing-L mailing list
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Websites for communities - required?

These days communities who need to market themselves (recruit members
/ sell units) will find having a web site about themselves to be
helpful.  But communities that have a stable membership will have less
need for one.  Some such communities are happy to live without self
promotion. Indeed given reports of "visitor fatigue", I suspect some
consciously choose to keep a low profile.

My impression is that many / most / a large majority (?) of Danish
cohousing communities do not have web sites.  I have never come across
anything close to the Coho/US cohousing directory for Denmark.  There have been lists
from time to time but I have not seen a recent one in ages, has anyone?

I know of one community in the northwest USA of activists who seem to avoid
publicizing their existence.  (If anyone who knows who I am referring
to and knows anything recent about them, I'd appreciate hearing an
update (DIRECT to me! )).

The Coho/US cohousing directory
( in conjunction with the Fellowship of Intentional Communites ) does provide a basic web page about every community in
it. I call these "directory pages" (the first page one gets to by
clicking on a community name in the directory).

Directory pages have space for a small narrative description
plus lots of "categorical" information (based on responses by editor to
web form questions).  A few examples of such info:
Date of last update
Contact Info
Visitor Process
Cohousing Details
Governance type
One can add links to images and youtube videos.

Often the directory page (depending on the editor) provides more complete
basic information than most community web sites. Describing it as "basic"
does not due a well maintaind one justice.

Thus John Goldberg pointed out:
A website for Southside Park Cohousing in Sacramento is

As  Richard L. Kohlhaas pointed out the directory pages are only as
good as the information in them.  Old , obsolete information is not
only not helpful but detrimental.  Old info parading as current is a
bane of the internet. How many org. calendars have you seen
with no entries, leaving you to wonder is the org inactive or just does
not have someone maintaining the calendar? has a good system for keeping directory pages updated by a
representative of the community ("editor") and a system for reminding
editors to update them.  Once an editor is registered they will get
periodic (2-3 times a year) email reminders to update the community's
directory page.  But this system is only as good as it is used by someone
from each community.

In case you want to search your inbox for an update reminder (i.e. you
think you are and editor) The subject line of such a message
starts "Update your listing..."
and comes from "FIC Online Directory"     (may be truncated in your index)
It contains a direct link to the web pages to do the update.

I do not see an easy way for a registered editor to get directly to
the update page from a community's directory page. (I do not think
they do not have a username/password system for editors.)

At the bottom of the page there is a list of current editors for that page
and a link to becoming an editor.

I urge everyone to make sure your community's directory page is reasonably
current.  You could ask around and find out if some one has checked recently
or simply go look at your community's page via

And if it is not current or does not have an editor listed, find
someone (you?) to become editor and get it updated (periodically).
Note that there is no charge for being in the directory (which
encourages universal coverage).  But of course contributions to
Coho/US are appreciated.

Fred who thinks the directory is 's best and most useful

Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411  USA        (near north Mpls)
    Email:        fholson at      612-588-9532
My Link Pg:         My org:
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