Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Morning Inspiration

Do you live in Columbia? Do you have some ideas about how Columbia could be better? Do you wish that the Columbia Association had a way to listen to the desires and opinions of everyday residents?

I do.

That's why I'm intrigued by Inspire Columbia, a MindMixer online community created for CA, to create an ongoing conversation with residents about what they like and don't like, what they wish for, what keeps them here.

They don't ask for much information: email, zip code, birth year. I had a few issues with registration at first. It seems to be harder on the iPad. But MindMixer has great customer support if you reach out for help.  Inspire Columbia is just getting started, and there are already some interesting ideas and supportive comments posted.

The point is to share ideas, and engage the support of others as these ideas take shape through interactions on the site.  It is easy to use, and I can't wait to see it really take off as more people join in. I know from conversations during the campaign that people have a lot of ideas they'd like to share!

As you know, I'm not a fan of conspiracy theorists who suggest we must be protected from CA, or that we need fighters to go up against CA on our behalf to prevent untold horrors from occurring. Inspire Columbia shows that CA wants to know what residents really want, separated from the politically charged nature of angry meetings or negative newsletters.

What do you want?

It's as simple as that. Eliminate the middleman. The more people join in, the more it becomes like an ongoing, live-tweeted survey, if you will. (Do I mean crowd-sourced?) But, different from some surveys, it doesn't seek to shape your responses in any particular direction.  You get to pick the questions that matter, and you get to suggest the answers.

The input from Inspire Columbia could get some very cool things jump-started for our community.

You probably know that the word "inspire" has at its root the concept of breathing in, of life-giving breath. We can't be alive without it. When you share ideas, or learn about other people's ideas, you are providing Columbia with the breath of life.

Remember: those who don't inspire, expire.


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