A Guide to the Community Development Online Blog

Today I shall explain how I’ve organised this blog and so help you track down the threads you might be interested in.  If there are other threads you would like me to cover, leave a comment.

The blog has 4 main categories, each with several subcategories and these can be seen in the sidebar.  If you click on “Resources” in the main navigation, you will find pages about the subcategories.

Stay with this post and I’ll show you where I’m taking the blog for now.  As I receive feedback comments, I can change direction and focus on what interests its readers.

Many third sector organisations have poor websites and do not use their online presence to support their work.  There are several reasons for this but they mostly relate to lack of financial resources and a shortage of staff or volunteer time.  So, the challenge is how to use the available resources more effectively.  So, my emphasis is how to deploy your resources so that the techniques you use are subject to your overall strategy.


This category is about community development and how it can be supported online.  It is not just for community groups.  Many organisations working in neighbourhoods need to know what works and what doesn’t.  So, if your church wishes to develop work in its neighbourhood or if you are a local business seeking to build community in a neighbourhood or across a city, this category will help you.

Currently, I’m blogging about New Deal for Communities and the lessons learned in its final evaluation in Burngreave, my community.  I’m going to show you how grants often do not build community.  I’ll show you how the local economy is central to any neighbourhood work and how it can be supported online.


Marketing is relevant to your work whether you have something to sell or do not!  If you have a cause and want to bring people together around it you need to understand marketing.  Your web presence is a powerful marketing tool.  If you’re not using it for marketing, for what are you using it?  Too many websites don’t do anything at all!

At the moment I’m writing about the structure of websites and the various types of pages you might find on them.  Each page should have a single clear purpose for your marketing strategy.


This category shows how you can work out the purpose of your site.  It explores how you generate conversations online and build relationships.  The internet is a communications tool and if you’re not using it for that purpose, your organisation is missing opportunities.

This sequence explores some general principles for seeking donations online.  Donations are by no means the best way of generating income online but many organisations will recognise this approach and it illustrates important points about building relationships online.


This category demonstrates how to do things online.  There are plenty of sites that will show you details of how to use applications and techniques.  When I describe an application or a technique, I shall always introduce it from a strategic viewpoint.  How can we use this to be more effective?

These posts at present cover ways you can drive traffic to your site.  This is an important topic for many organisations trying to promote their cause or business online.

Could be Anything

The idea is to respond to your requests on Fridays.  I can write about anything and respond to your ideas without breaking the sequence on other days.  So, do let me know what you would like me to cover!

And don’t forget you can subscribe to the blog for a weekly update so that you can easily review the topics I’m posting about.  If you subscribe you will also receive a free email sequence about community development.

Next week I shall write about how I plan to develop this site to support brilliant online voluntary sector work!


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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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The Community Web Consultant Website - December 6, 2013 Reply

[…] wrote about the blog Community Development Online last Friday.  This will build into a reference for your web presence, written with the community […]

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