Re: What communication platforms are used in co-housing post move-in?
From: Chris Hansen (
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2021 09:45:46 -0700 (PDT)
Well said Sharon
A flipside is that communities that don't have such mechanisms tend to get
stuck in the past catering to older or less tech-savvy members
This is frustrating for those with busy schedules and worklives who operate
technologically in the manner of the 21st Century.
And who would like to attract younger members and families who are likely
to do likewise.
Sometimes people in our community forget that putting up a paper on a door
or bulletin board will not be seen by people who fly through with kids in
tow or in the break of the zoom training they are facilitating!

On Fri, 1 Oct 2021 at 11:59, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <
cohousing-l [at]> wrote:

> > On Sep 30, 2021, at 8:19 PM, Sharlene <seconifer [at]> wrote:
> > One of our friends lives in a senior independent living neighborhood that
> > uses an iPad software to communicate daily with residents. Each morning a
> > message is sent that includes information about food, transportation,
> sign
> > ups, special events, calendar etc. It's a slick system.
> >
> > Anyone in cohousing use anything like this? Or other well working
> systems?
> I find this to be one of the most important questions in cohousing—do we
> adopt the slick systems that other institutions and workplaces use? What is
> lost in a conformed list—one that follows the just the facts ma’am format?
> What does a slick program that produces a neat list of today’s activities
> communicate? What is its function? What are the connotations? The
> associations? Who benefits? Who does the work of producing it? What is
> required to produce that list? What gets bent if an event is not included?
> What happens to individual initiative when a list makes everything look
> already organized.
> One of my repeated refrains is that I don’t want to live in an
> institution. Institutions are wonderful but they come with their own
> agenda. They exist for a purpose that is externally defined. An institution
> is a society or an organization founded for a religious, educational,
> social, or similar purpose. It has its own ego. Its own energy force. Its
> own desires. And anyone who interacts with it has to conform. You not only
> have to connect to its mission but you have to fit yourself into its way of
> speaking or not speaking, dressing or not dressing. First you fill out a
> form.
> Is cohousing an institution?
> Institutions are necessary in democracies because they support government
> functions. They democracy workable. A wide variety of associations and
> research institutes in the field of health, for example, support and
> balance the work of government supported research and services. When the
> government goes into free fall, the country doesn’t fall apart. It has
> backups. Many countries have no independent institutions of any kind and
> the burdens on government are overwhelming. Democracies fail.
> But do I want to live in an institution?
> I used to believe that first the community decides what it wants and then
> someone takes the job or we find a service to do it. That seems reasonable
> and fair and rational. Very efficient and inclusive. But does it work?
> With limited options, what we need is a process that comes naturally to
> one of our community members so they feel fulfilled and energized when they
> do the work. So the first question would be who wants to produce such a
> list? And how? There is a big backend to such lists.
> That said, we use CalendarWiz which is an incredibly customizable calendar
> program that will also produce lists of the events. We have a calendar for
> every reservable room, area, or parking space. Every member can make
> entries and include as many details as they wish. I download the calendars
> to my calendar so I always it handy. One person oversees the calendar and
> makes a list each week on a white board in the front hall of the
> commonhouse and posts it by email. Members can access the calendar through
> our website to check for information or to make entries.
> While it is hugely wonderful and allows us to do many things, the latest
> request is that we all record on the travel calendar which days we will not
> be at home, where we will be, and who to contact for our keys or about our
> pets, emergency numbers, etc.
> Some people use it, some people don’t. The ‘requests’ that we use it have
> increased. I find it a reminder that we no longer know each other well
> enough to know who would have a person’s extra key and who would be taking
> care of the pets and everyone remembered (fairly reliably) to let someone
> know this information.
> So the back side of having such lists is that someone has to maintain them
> so you need a personality that is energized by lists and realize that the
> list will replace personal contacts. And some people will want that.
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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Chris Hansen
32 East Village Drive
Vermont 05401

Ph 603 3988730

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