Sustainable Alachua County

Update (Feb 2010): Watch a video tour of the new Sustainable Alachua County social network below. I created the video for the 2010 SAC stakeholder meeting. Although it was never played at the meeting due to technical difficulties, it served as a video tutorial for website users.

I’ve got a simple website up now for Sustainable Alachua County (SAC). We recently had an inspiring stakeholder meeting to discuss how SAC can be a virtual & physical hub for sustainability in Gainesville. My focus is primarily on the virtual part.

Sustainable Alachua County

The site right now is not much more than a few static pages with a simple blog and a donation page, but the goal is to turn it into a community-driven resource where people and organizations can interact, network and collaborate with each other over the web.

Over 120 people representing different organizations came to SAC’s first meeting, so we already have a lot of people who are likely to be interested in using the website.

Some challenges:

  • Making it useful. Building a tool that inspires and assists action, not just talk.
  • Building something that’s easy to use by members of the community who might not be too computer savvy
  • Building a site that can be managed by future “generations” of SAC members

I’m using WordPress as a content management system for the blog and other pages, and I’m working now on building a forum using bbPress.

Update (July 2011): I worked on the Sustainable Alachua County (SAC) website as part of a UF internship in 2009. I have since moved on from the project and the site is no longer live. In hindsight, the idea to build a social network for sustainability in Alachua County was exciting, but overly ambitious considering no web budget and the amount of time and expertise needed to sustain it.