Re: Public vs Private [was Takoma Village Has a New Face Book Page!
From: Karen Sheldon (
Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2018 15:06:25 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Sharon,

I have lived in  Bellingham Cohousing, in Bellingham WA (, almost 2 hrs. north of Seattle, for 14 years and have the same concerns as you do. A younger man moved in, as a renter of a room in someone's house (my bit of prejudice here), did /nothing/ for 3 years and suddenly this year popped out of the sludge and decided we needed a Facebook page. I, too, use FB for myself (mostly to rant against 45) and found it utterly disarming to have pictures of my home community all over the place, marketing invites to this and that. We, too, have no units available, (young people can't afford them, anyway, millenials here, another WHOLE topic)

I'm a lurker on the L-list and have enjoyed your particular brand of posts immensely.


On 07/15/2018 12:19 PM, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L wrote:
The new Facebook page for Takoma Village is truly lovely and presents the 
community very well.

But to what end? Why Facebook?

I have a personal problem with marketing, marketing, marketing in general, but especially in advertising a 
private community. After a community is moved in and there are few spaces available — in most cases 
none in many years—it feels like publicly saying we have a great place and you can’t join, 
and secondly it changes or can change a private community to a public place. One plan, for example, is to 
advertise in-house concerts. In-house concerts were started as intimate community events for members and 
friends. Now it feels like I’m living in a place that invites tourists.

CohoUSA had a similar problem a number of years ago with their business plan. They wanted to 
promote cohousing and help cohousing groups form. One plan was that built communities would 
support that. But the goal of communities is to move in and be a community. Most cohousers 
are cohousers to live in the community, not promote it for others. The purpose of cohousing 
is not to create more cohousing communities —it’s hard enough to create one. So 
after move-in, people turn inward, at least for awhile.

I do post on Facebook and will soon be putting up an organizational page. But I 
never post anything about where I live. To do that would feel like publicizing 
private home that is not just mine.

The question is what is the effect of self-promotion? Does it encourage community or 
drain resources and attract people who can’t join?

This isn’t a criticism of anything on our Facebook page, but a concern about 
the effect and reasoning behind it. What does it reveal? How does it contribute to our 
community? And how has your community coped with this?

I might also add that were are in an urban environment that is being more and 
more crowded every day and where there is little to no chance of a cohousing to 
be developed because of land values.

Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park
In Washington DC, Where all roads lead to Casablanca

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