Hello, and welcome to the FinishLine ECCO site.

If you are part of a community, club or society, or simply an individual who needs an online presence but don’t know where to start – look no further.

ECCO stands for Enabling Community Communications Online.

Historically, web sites have tended to have a home page with basic information, and links running off to other pages, similar to the one you are looking at now. They are designed really for information reference points.

However, if you have a community or club which is very active, people can’t see what is going on, what has changed, and more importantly what is interesting to them. If they can’t see it they have to dig around through the links in order to find it. If nothing has changed then they’ve wasted time looking for something that never existed. Worse still, they’re never sure until they dig through every page, every time they visit the site. Since things don’t all change at the same time, the chances of finding changes on every page when you visit once a month, or once a week, or once a day is zero! If this sounds familiar then you’re not alone.

In your village, community or club you’re likely to have a whole load of things going on at any one time – it will almost certainly be an incredibly dynamic and active environment. From that perspective, what you have in your community is actually many activists or volunteers giving their time and efforts to the community. Which one is important, or more important than another? None! They’re all important – maybe not to everyone in the community, but certainly to the group providing it. So, how do we decide which ones disappear onto a page that you have to dig around for? Fundamentally, the answer is that you can’t. We would go further than that, and say you actually don’t want to.

If you think the such a site would be “busy” well guess what,  the reason you think that is because you’ve never seen all the things that go on all the time in the same place. No-one else has seen your community in this light either, which is a good reason for showing it in this way. Not only that, but with a more balanced view of community life, we would hope that everyone else will suddenly see just how busy your community is too, and they will see things they simply weren’t aware of previously.

A community site makes it perfectly obvious what has happened. It will be “busy, but there’s a reason for that – your community IS busy. It’s important to realise, and show, that things are happening all the time. This is your community, but did you know about all this stuff?

So, create a site that is vibrant, information-rich, easily accessible, and representative of all the bodies within it. In fact, because it’s dynamic and changes frequently, people will actually want to come and look at it. This is a reflection of the community dynamics – things change on a daily basis. What was important yesterday may not be as important today. That’s the way it should be, not stuck with a set of pages that nobody ever visits.

Rather than counting “pages”, a better view would be to count “bodies”. So today you will have quite a number of different community “bodies” showing on the home page. This not only shows that they are just as important as everyone else, but also gives them an equal presence on what after all is a community web site. Their work is showcased and recognised; everyone can see how the community works, and who is doing what – probably for the first time.

We believe that a Community wants to be the master of its own destiny. Taken as a whole, its needs are diverse.

It wants to be able to:

  • communicate effectively with its chosen target audience
  • elicit feedback and responses easily to encourage interaction
  • update information quickly and simply without technical knowledge
  • provide different features for different reasons
  • add value to the community in a cost-effective manner

All communities are multi-faceted, and all communities are different.

Take a look at our existing ECCO Sites, and see what other people have done for their communities.

What can we do about it?

We provide communities with their own online web site that is feature rich, engaging, cost-effective, and above all maintainable by themselves. The community owns every aspect of it.

It allows communities to come together to showcase their achievements and activities, encourage discussion and debate, provide a one-stop-shop for information and news, and engage with the community and each other.

We take pre-existing software components, and quickly integrate them to provide a layman-friendly community environment. Communities can start using their own online site within days, rather than weeks or months. There is no need for any ongoing third-party overhead, and ongoing costs are minimal.

It enables a community to take control of its own destiny by using the skills, abilities and desires it already has within it, without having to resort to ongoing third-party provider involvement. Everything that appears there will be created by themselves, simply and easily.

It can provide a legal and quality mechanism for elements of a community, such as Parish Councils who may be looking to satisfy the requirements of the Model Publication Scheme, or Quality Council initiative.

It provides a highly cost-effective means of putting communities on the online map by eliminating all ongoing expenditure other than minimal hosting and domain registrations.

Have a click around, and then drop us a line to see how we can help your community.

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