One of our early adopters was gracious enough to share with us how she got her neighborhood setup using Microsoft Vine. I thought it was clever and that some of you might find it helpful to know how to get connected with people that live around you in a new way.

Sally, one of our beta testers in Seattle shared this with us; she wanted to get her neighborhood setup so this is what she did:

  1. She sent an email out to the neighbors that she had an email address for, it read:

    Subject: Our neighborhood

    Hi neighbors,  

    Have you heard about Microsoft Vine?   I'd like to test it out in our neighborhood.  You can learn more about it on www.vine.net but, here's how I think we might use it with each other…

  • We might "Send Alert" to rely on each other when we need help or there's a crisis.
  • When we go out of town or on vacation, we might "Post Report" of upcoming plans so that we know to keep an eye on each others' houses and how to reach each other if we need to. 
  • When our cars get broken into (a semi-frequent occurrence in this neighborhood), we should "Post Report" of suspicious activity, so that we all know what's happening. The car prowls around here usually come in waves and it helps minimize the impact when we know to be extra careful.
  • And most importantly, we can use it for the last minute BBQs.  Of course, we will walk over and knock on each others' doors first, but if you're out and about we can send an alert to reach you. Since the sun rarely comes out in Seattle and it doesn't stay long, this is key.

Microsoft has a lot to learn about how people, neighbors for example, want to use this, what works and what doesn't.  So whatever we learn during this test in Seattle, Microsoft can help neighborhoods all over.   

Of course it starts with a bit of preparation – you will need to download the application, set up your "Vitals", add the neighbors you want to be connected to and create a neighborhood group.   I am going to send you an invitation now so that you can get started.   It will come to your email from Microsoft Vine (and hopefully not end up in your Junk Mail folder).   So, stay tuned.  

Thanks!

  1. Then she invited her neighbors from Microsoft Vine. She clicked on People, clicked Add group and named it "Neighborhood". Then clicked on Add people and added the email addresses she had and selected the "Neighborhood" group.
  2. She didn't have all of her neighbors' email addresses.  So, she also printed out the email (or you can print out the generic postcard we created to help Sally spread the word from http://www.vine.net/static/pdf/postcard.pdf), wrote a handwritten note and then dropped it off to them. The note said:

    I sent this email to our neighbors, but didn't have your email address.  It would be great to include you. Just send me email at emailaddress@domain.net and I will get you connected.  


Sally would like us to make it easier for her to get connected with those neighbors she didn't have email addresses for and we are working on taking her feedback. In the mean time, Sally was very resourceful and came up with a great way to reach out and start getting connected in her neighborhood. I hope you all can benefit from this and that it helps you get going as well!

More later,

'GrapeVine'