Choosing the Right Platform for Your Local Conversation

Strong Towns Staff
Strong Towns Staff
  • Updated

What platform will you use to stay connected with others in your Local Conversation? Below are a few ideas. This isn't an exhaustive list, yet it is based on what we've seen succeed with the 100-plus Local Conversations that have formed since 2018:

  • In-person: We at Strong Towns really believe in the power of meeting up, having a conversation, and making change together in person. In fact, the Local Conversations that have been most effective at effecting change in their cities all have this one thing in common: they connect not just online but in person. Meetup.com can be a great resource for organizing an ongoing series of in-person conversations; here’s how to start your group on their platform.
  • Facebook Group: A presence on Facebook was something else many of our most effective Local Conversations have in common. What Facebook has going for it that other platforms don'tincluding Slack (see below)—is that people are already there. Many would-be advocates are hesitant to sign up for a new, unfamiliar platform. Want to go this route? Here is some information on how to start a Facebook group. We recommend giving it an easily recognizable title (e.g., Strong St. Louis, Strong Indianapolis, etc.).
  • Slack: You can start a channel for your city, town, or region on the Strong Towns Slack board. Anyone is welcome to start a channel: just use the prefix “#place_[your region name]” so we can keep things organized. It’s a great way to gather your neighbors for ongoing communication.
  • Other Online Platforms: We've seen Local Conversations use other online platforms to stay connected. All have their benefits, though many require people to sign up for a new platform, a potential hurdle. Some Local Conversations are organized using NextDoor.com or Google Groups. Others use an email group. Other Local Conversations use a dedicated websiteReForm Shreveport is a good example (though note that it's on Facebook as well)—or a blog, such as this one from Strong Towns Sioux Falls on Medium.

Remember: there’s no reason your group can’t exist across multiple platforms! Start with one and add another if your group expresses a desire for another form of communication.

NEXT: It's time to spread the word!

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