Ethan Beute and Stephanie Weber had the same idea.
Both thought Facebook would be a great way to connect with their neighbors.
So Ethan built a Facebook page for his neighborhood, Ivywild, south of downtown Colorado Springs.
And Stephanie built one for her Stetson Hills neighborhood of Ridgeview on the city’s eastern edge.
Ethan spent a day walking around Ivywild, taking photos of homes, parks and businesses. He wrote a brief description of the historic neighborhood with precise boundaries and directions and launched his page.
Stephanie created an even more elaborate page for Ridgeview with a mission statement, names of homeowners association officials, links to neighborhood covenants, helpful phone numbers and more.
Ethan said he built Ivywild’s for fun and to promote his neighborhood because he thinks others would share his enthusiasm for its old homes with their character and the cool businesses in the neighborhood.
Stephanie wanted to build the kind of community she remembered, growing up in Kansas. With so many people using Facebook, she considered it a natural way to reach out and find new friends.
And it makes a lot of sense. A Facebook page is easier to create and maintain than an individual website. People can chat more easily than via email. And they can share photos and things like covenants and newsletters more easily on a Facebook page.
Stephanie also had a sense of urgency. She wanted to use the Facebook page to promote a neighborhood picnic last August.
Today, the pages have gone in different directions.
Ethan managed to recruit a couple other enthusiastic neighbors who have joined him as administrators, feeding the Ivywild page with content.
Some of the content is current events — updates on the effort to create an urban renewal zone in Ivywild and transform the beautiful old elementary school into a business center.
Some are links to newspaper columns about the neighborhood.
More often, the posts relate to wine tastings and brewpub specials or discounts at the neighborhood spa.
There’s even talk about restoring the neighborhood sign.
It appears the Ivywild Facebook page is updated every few days and it has 175 fans.
But the Stetson Hills Ridgeview page is not enjoying the same success.
After the picnic last August, Stephanie moved overseas. The page has gone dormant.
The last posts were photos of the picnic. It looked like fun. Families enjoying inflatable slides, face-painting, games and food.
Stephanie is disappointed that all her work seems to have been wasted.