Spotlight on Lens On Atlanta

originally posted on Concept Hub

This week Lens On Atlanta, an online community sponsored by Public Broadcasting Atlanta, will open up to the public.
For the past several months the community has been developing behind a password protected “door.” This week that door will be opened. This is a very exciting time for us at Concept Hub.

The Beginning

For Concept Hub the beginning was May 2008 when I first met with the team at PBA and learned about the vision for Lens on Atlanta. However, that vision came from PBA’s President, Milton Clipper, long before most of us even thought of an online community; almost 10 years ago!

Milton saw that Metro Atlanta communities were expanding and felt that the Internet could be used as a tool to bring the sprawling community members closer together. He recognized that whether a person lives in Stone Mountain, the City of Atlanta, or Alpharetta, we are all neighbors and need to find a way to stay connected with each other.

The Strategy

The team had the vision, our task was to create a roadmap to make that vision a reality. Concept Hub began researching other communities throughout the nation to see what was working and what did not work so well. We read Metro Atlanta blogs to gain an understanding of the needs and voices throughout the area and we maintained tabs on what organizations throughout the area were trying to accomplish through social media. Through our research and many various team meetings with PBA and selected thought-leaders, we identified where Lens on Atlanta could provide immediate value to metro-Atlanta community members.

Building the Community

Throughout the process PBA partnered with organizations who want to reach Metro Atlanta community members such as the:

  • Atlanta Regional Commission
  • Beltline
  • Atlanta Development Authority
  • Green Chamber of Commerce
  • Atlanta Education Fund

Concept Hub delivered workshops to help the partners create goal-oriented communication strategies for the site.

For the past several months, Concept Hub has also been meeting with several PTAs, HOAs, and NPUs to promote the site to community members. We have recruited over a dozen wonderful community voices who have begun to share their challenges and successes on the site and are connecting with their neighbors throughout the metro area.

PBA also brought the team from on board to introduce Metro Atlanta’s vibrant Arts and Culture community to the site.

The Goal

The most exciting aspect of this project is that it was not a site that was developed as the “latest trend” that the station needed to adopt. It is a site that leverages the technologies that are available today to enable a vision that was sparked years ago. A vision of Metro Atlanta community members being able to connect with each other to solve problems, to promote ideas, and to work together to make metro Atlanta the best place to work and to live.

It is truly an honor to work with PBA on such a wonderful project. I look forward to welcoming Metro Atlanta to the new Lens on Atlanta community.