Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Indicators of This Blog Community

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your participation in this experiment in creating a blog all about community indicators. I joke with friends that I have created perhaps the most boring blog on the internet (and there's some pretty stiff competition!), and I worried that I'd run out of things to say or links to post about as fast as people would run out of interest.

This blog began on March 15, 2007. In 2007, we ended up with 267 blog articles; 4,774 absolute unique visitors from 102 countries; 6,119 visits; 10,720 page views; and an average time on site of 1:45 minutes. By the last quarter of the year we were averaging over 1,000 visitors and 2,000 page views a month.

(Because of the kind of people you are, you might enjoy this article: http://www.caslon.com.au/weblogprofile1.htm on blogging statistics. It has data about blogs, which seems kind of fun.)

So what's next for 2008? There's a lot more information to get out there, and a greater need to organize this information into easily accessible segments. 2007 brought us GapMinder and Many Eyes and Swivel -- 2008 could bring us an explosion of new technology and ideas and data display tools and data sources and data aggregations.

We're exploring opportunities to expand the conversation through Web 2.0 and social networking software and integrated discussion boards and more. I'm looking for other people who might be interested in helping author articles from different points of view (including different countries and languages) to begin to encompass the increasingly global movement that community indicators have become. I'd love your feedback on what could make this site more interesting, informative, or useful for you.

Because the need to capture information, sort through the piles of data, and present clear and compelling statistics for data-driven decision-making and advocacy will only be growing. The increasing amount of information out there only makes community-based, community-driven indicator reports more important. And the need for community-level input into the conversations and projects at national indicator efforts (like the State of the USA effort) or international efforts (like OECD or the Beyond GDP work) is of paramount importance to avoid leaving our local communities swept aside in the aggregations.

What do you think? Reply to this message or e-mail me through my profile -- this blog is for you.

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