What happened to Inspire Columbia? You know, the website set up to gather information and ideas from Columbia residents on what they wanted from the Columbia Association. I first wrote about it in 2013. You do remember, right?
Maybe not. Inspire Columbia appears to be gone. I'm not sure it ever reached its goal of involving a substantially larger number of residents in the conversation about Columbia. One of the things I found appealing about it was the possibility that this format might encourage participation from more than just one age group. What a thrill it would be to hear from more than the same 7 1/2 people who vote in Village elections.
Inspire Columbia was a product of CA President Phil Nelson's tenure. During this time we saw CA jump into the world of social media with a rather big splash. There were a number of interest-specific social media accounts. For the first time I got the feeling the CA actually cared about what I thought. It was an exciting time.
Since then CA's social media approach has been one of contracting and consolidating. No longer are there multiple accounts. Inspire Columbia is gone. The biggest outreach in the last year was an event where you had to turn up on a Saturday morning for several hours--I wonder which generation was most represented there?
Inspire Columbia was an attempt to get multi-generational participation in the Columbia Association. While participants were not required to give much information to register, they did have to give a birthdate. This would have enabled analysis of data gathered by age. If Inspire Columbia had truly caught on, it might have given a much more accurate picture about what all Columbia wants--not just the people who like to go to meetings.
So, what happened? Did I miss some contentious Board vote to cut off funding? Was there a press release announcing its demise? Where is the report detailing insights that were gained? From my perspective, Inspire Columbia is just "gone" and I have no idea what impact, if any, it had on my community.