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.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

500 Articles And Still Going Strong

On March 15, 2007, I launched this blog by saying the following:

Data are exciting.

If you don't believe that, this may not be the right blog for you.

Finding the right numbers and putting them together in trend lines or maps or scatterplots or charts and seeing the picture that emerges can be amazing. And putting a set of those trend lines or charts or maps to work in a community to galvanize action or shape policy or direct funding or support action is exhiliarating.


And sometimes it's just putting a whole bunch of numbers together in the hope that data-driven decision-making will create better community outcomes than anecdote- or influence-directed politics.

As more and more information become available, and new and better technology to sort, display, and analyze the data are developed, I'm going to try to capture some of that here and share it with those that are interested. Please join me in pulling this stuff together.

Because data really are exciting.

On March 19, 2007, I added tracking software to the blog -- Google Analytics. So I know that on that date, 23 unique visitors saw the blog, and could read a little about the Community Indicators Consortium conference we had just held, as well as some excitement around two new websites, Many Eyes and Swivel.

Some of you have stuck with me since then. More of you have joined in the meantime. I've met some neat people doing really good work in their communities through this blog.

This is the 500th post to this blog. I don't think I had any idea we'd have so much to talk about. But there's so much happening today around community indicators that one blog just doesn't seem like enough.

Thousands of you have come to visit this blog, from thousands of cities around the world. I've met some of you in person in conferences and gatherings in the most unlikely places. And there are many more of you I'd still like to meet.

Take a moment, if you would, and add your thoughts to this message. Now that we've been together for a while, what do you like about this blog? What do you think we should fix? What topics are more interesting to talk about? How could we improve this conversation?

Thank you in advance for your feedback, and thank you to all those who have agreed with me that yes, data are exciting.

Ben Warner
Jacksonville Community Council Inc.


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