Web Site Features
For each local community we provision their own dedicated Smart Village web site portal, a site that acts as a social community, vendor directory and tourism marketing portal, with features such as:
- Social community – Membership profiles, forums, blogs and chat.
- Town Directory, for listing local businesses like hotels and restaurants, local Healthcare service providers.
- Tourism Guides – Marketing pages for showcasing local tourism attractions and booking options.
- E-Commerce Marketplace – Enable micro-businesses to offer online booking and product sales and shipping.
SmartStrathyre.scot is Scotland’s first Smart Village, pioneering the use of the technology to better self-equip themselves for the digital revolution and harnessing it to grow their community.
The site enables the residents to more easily self-generate their own digital tourism marketing content, such as the local Things To See and Do guide, the local history of Rob Roy McGregor and their Myths and Legends.
The community utilizes the forums to share a wide spectrum of important, relevant local news, such as the Emergency Response Team and crime report updates, provided by the local community police officer Will Diamond.
The Visitor Guide summarizes the many other events and venues and the site acts as a powerful tool for organizing and promoting these types of activities.
It also utilizes community features for encouraging more democratic discussion and collaboration locally, from a simple Who’s Who listing of the local politicians through ‘Have Your Say’ discussion forums.
These can be used for a variety of polling and citizen discussion scenarios, such as sharing and debating the latest minutes from the Community Council or taking polls on key topics like ‘How Fast Is Your Broadband?’
Collaborative Community Plan
Smart Villages are intended to encourage and enable better local collaboration and participation.
Residents can join their local Smart Village and via blogs, forums and other social media features participate online in their local community.
Like Wikipedia any one can edit it, making it ideal for the process of co-creating Community Plans. Being able to freely and easily contribute to the document encourages local residents to see the process as open and inviting, welcoming of their ideas and feedback.
Through social media features like commenting and alerts, this enables the process to be online, real-time and much more dynamic. Often people can feel excluded from local community planning simply because of the format of committee meetings and the other bureaucracies involved.
This makes it ideal for modern community engagement activities such as Participatory Budgeting.