What can MOL do more on a local level?

I would love to know if there's any new function we could serve here at the local level .  Any new categories?  MAPSO recommends?  F2F get togethers.


F2F gatherings are always a great idea!


When I first moved here, there was a Newcomer's Club. When I had young kids, there was Mothers & More. I found both very useful. I believe neither is in existence anymore. Not sure if other things have filled those niches? Mentioning in case either/both are a local need.


jamie said:

I would love to know if there's any new function we could serve here at the local level .  Any new categories?  MAPSO recommends?  F2F get togethers.

 F2F's. Ain't been one of them in over a decade.

Parkwood? Bunny's?  Springtime, cater or picnic in one of the parks? Maybe complex to organize.  Maybe Suzie Q or another local restaurant to cater for fixed price and a minimum # of patrons.

--- and bring back the politics section to the fore. It was one of the reasons people logged on.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

 F2F's. Ain't been one of them in over a decade.

Parkwood? Bunny's?  Springtime, cater or picnic in one of the parks? Maybe complex to organize.  Maybe Suzie Q or another local restaurant to cater for fixed price and a minimum # of patrons.

--- and bring back the politics section to the fore. It was one of the reasons people logged on.

 The Woodland?


Agree face to face would be a good idea.  However, I don't see how that contributes to local community impact outside of MOL current membership.  Perhaps a category devoted specifically to discussion of local issues would help. A function currently missing at the local level is a place where organizations can publicize community needs for volunteers and other forms of assistance.  This used to be a regular aspect of please help and virtual cafe but does not appear to be used for this function so much any more.


Are there i.r.l. ways to publicize M.O.L. ?


I am thinking about adding a few more local based categories and also try to arrange local categories so that they're better highlighted.  Or split the page between local categories and non-local.  It gets tricky with mobile though.

Volunteer database would be good - Joan is there anywhere now where such a list is maintained.  I think for me to do a new module - it would be helpful to have a list of 20-30 volunteer positions to start with.  This way I could get a good idea of what fields are needed and also populate it so that it serves a useful purpose.  Otherwise if I create a module and only 3-5 positions are listed, people would feel it's not being used.  And might not take off.

As far as a F2F - I would love to start to get a handful of MOLers out for lunch sometime to brainstorm some ideas.


Newcomers section with useful information for those moving to SoMa. Where to register to vote.  Links and phone #s to utilities.  Links and brief descriptions of local service organizations, clubs and community groups. Those would be the "sticky" threads.  Then of course the ability to post additional questions and only questions.  No soapboxing allowed.


A place for siblings on different continents to hang out?   cheese


jamie said:

I am thinking about adding a few more local based categories and also try to arrange local categories so that they're better highlighted.  Or split the page between local categories and non-local.  It gets tricky with mobile though.

Volunteer database would be good - Joan is there anywhere now where such a list is maintained.  I think for me to do a new module - it would be helpful to have a list of 20-30 volunteer positions to start with.  This way I could get a good idea of what fields are needed and also populate it so that it serves a useful purpose.  Otherwise if I create a module and only 3-5 positions are listed, people would feel it's not being used.  And might not take off.

As far as a F2F - I would love to start to get a handful of MOLers out for lunch sometime to brainstorm some ideas.

 The Volunteer Guide available at Maplewood Town Hall (Recreation) is a good place to start if you want a hard copy to work from.  On-line resources I know of include volunteer opportunities posted on the SOMA Two Towns For All Ages website (about 50 local community organizations represented the last time I looked), and the comprehensive listing of local community organizations on the Maplewood Library website.  CCR should probably have a listing of participants at the volunteer fair held on January 20, 2020  at Columbia HS.  The next Volunteer Fair I know of will be held at the Woodland on March 1, 2020 from 1 - 3 pm. It is sponsored by SOMA Two Towns For All Ages and will as the name of the organization implies, it will have volunteer opportunities available for all ages. Cathy Rowe should have a listing of the organizations that have signed up thus far.  This should be enough to get you started.


dave said:

Newcomers section with useful information for those moving to SoMa. Where to register to vote.  Links and phone #s to utilities.  Links and brief descriptions of local service organizations, clubs and community groups. Those would be the "sticky" threads.  Then of course the ability to post additional questions and only questions.  No soapboxing allowed.

 Some of this information should be available at local realtors.  A packet of basic information has been developed for Welcome to Maplewood Night, and SOMA Two Towns For All Ages has been working on orientation materials for newly arrived seniors.  To build on Dave's suggestion, there are electronic resources including websites of local towns and departments, special interest on line communities, and neighborhood associations that could be included in such a database,


joan_crystal said:

 The Volunteer Guide available at Maplewood Town Hall (Recreation) is a good place to start if you want a hard copy to work from.  On-line resources I know of include volunteer opportunities posted on the SOMA Two Towns For All Ages website (about 50 local community organizations represented the last time I looked), and the comprehensive listing of local community organizations on the Maplewood Library website.  CCR should probably have a listing of participants at the volunteer fair held on January 20, 2020  at Columbia HS.  The next Volunteer Fair I know of will be held at the Woodland on March 1, 2020 from 1 - 3 pm. It is sponsored by SOMA Two Towns For All Ages and will as the name of the organization implies, it will have volunteer opportunities available for all ages. Cathy Rowe should have a listing of the organizations that have signed up thus far.  This should be enough to get you started.

 I see there's a list here:

https://www.somatwotownsforallages.org/volunteering

Do these organization break down the volunteer opportunities in more detail?  Such as naming the exact need/position along with dates, hours, etc?

I'm just trying to determine if a module could be made to list the exact volunteer position.  Or if only a list of organizations as detailed on this page is needed - in which case a static page like this may be all that is needed.


jamie said:

 I see there's a list here:

https://www.somatwotownsforallages.org/volunteering

Do these organization break down the volunteer opportunities in more detail?  Such as naming the exact need/position along with dates, hours, etc?

I'm just trying to determine if a module could be made to list the exact volunteer position.  Or if only a list of organizations as detailed on this page is needed - in which case a static page like this may be all that is needed.

We started out doing this and still do on request.  Problem is that short term/immediate need posting have to reviewed regularly to make sure they are current. This review doesn't always happen. Then too, needs of both volunteers and community based organizations tend to vary and change over time.  For short term immediate needs such as a recent request for servers for a breakfast with Santa event, a thread where such needs with link to a sign up genius type program would probably work best. Date to file by info would help control the dead wood. For longer term needs, it would be best for the prospective volunteer to contact the volunteer coordinator for the organization with which they would like to volunteer and discuss needed skills, location(s), time, etc.  Get the word out, and I am sure the organizations looking for volunteers would be only too happy to provide a brief blurb with organization's mission, types of volunteer work needed, and contact information.


I think there is a large audience of folks who want to hear more about what is discussed at TC, BoT and BOE meetings (and others such as planning boards), but for whatever reason, they can't or won't physically attend them. If MOL builds more of a reputation for being a place where videos are shown, links provided, summaries posted, etc., that might draw a lot of folks.

Also seems that something as basic as a holiday - MLK Day, President's Day etc. - causes a lot of confusion. Is there recycling? Do parking rules apply? NJT parking lots and jitneys? Arguably the town websites and social media don't do a great job of conveying this information, and if MOL can somehow be a resource to answer these questions, there's an audience.

Agree there's an audience for discussion, but I think that more frequently, people just want information.


I come here for information. Weather, local events, new businesses etc.

I also come here for some entertainment and goofiness.

The Political section I have a love-hate relationship with.

I'm not interested in F2F meetings. But I think I'm in the minority on that.


apple44 said:

I think there is a large audience of folks who want to hear more about what is discussed at TC, BoT and BOE meetings (and others such as planning boards), but for whatever reason, they can't or won't physically attend them. If MOL builds more of a reputation for being a place where videos are shown, links provided, summaries posted, etc., that might draw a lot of folks.

Also seems that something as basic as a holiday - MLK Day, President's Day etc. - causes a lot of confusion. Is there recycling? Do parking rules apply? NJT parking lots and jitneys? Arguably the town websites and social media don't do a great job of conveying this information, and if MOL can somehow be a resource to answer these questions, there's an audience.

Agree there's an audience for discussion, but I think that more frequently, people just want information.

I agree with this. Maybe a a Local Events category, with some way to break things down for events that apply to each town individually and then those that apply to both towns. 

Perhaps a sub-moderator to post the events, so that it doesn’t become a free-for-all. 

Example: News Record front page today indicates that the Governor was at the Woodland last week. I had absolutely no idea! I don’t think my head is in the sand but I didn’t see anything here or on FB.

Be the hyper-local event place.


Thanks for the idea - we do have a calendar:

https://maplewood.worldwebs.com/calendar

We get a lot of submissions and anyone can add an event here:

https://maplewood.worldwebs.com/calendar/add

I'm not sure how much people will want to discuss upcoming events on here.  We also promote featured events on the side of the forum.  

I would love to have a sub-moderator to help with events if anyone is interested!

I too was a bit surprised about the Governor visit as well.


Profiles of local businesses?


Not really answering your question but... with all the new folks moving in to our community who aren't aware of this site, perhaps a nice feature article about MOL in Matters Magazine to stimulate interest?  News Record?  After all, you've been around for 23 years and a lot has changed since then!


iangrodman said:

Profiles of local businesses?

 This is good - probably revisit this when we have a more formal blog module in place.  We have one in the works which needs a little more tweaking.




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