Cyber Block Parties

Making time to know the neighbors is a frequent casualty of today’s hectic, more frenetic pace of life.
April 2, 2000
Making time to know the neighbors is a frequent casualty of today’s hectic, more frenetic pace of life. Too often for builders and developers selling lifestyle in addition to homes, fostering this interaction has been difficult.

To create this elusive sense of community among homeowners, and to ease demands on their time, more and more builders and developers are turning to the Internet. Community intranets that provide residents with access to information and each other are being developed on every scale. One of the newest is, a web site exclusively for residents of Del Webb’s community in Arizona.

The free, password-protected site is updated regularly by a full-time staff. Logging on to the site allows residents to:

  • view activities and schedules for Anthem’s community center and golf and country club.

  • obtain information about Anthem School.

  • learn more about residents in the community. "Meet Your Neighbor" is proving to be one of the most trafficked areas on the site. On the page, homeowners share information about themselves and their families. Most list basic information like phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other demographic data and many highlight family hobbies and interests. Users are actively encouraged to seek out others with similar profiles.

  • sell small items, look for a babysitter, organize a carpool or find a tennis partner.

    Local businesses also participate on the site through the classified page as well as with general advertising. AnthemLive has formed marketing agreements with several online retail businesses, which pay a small amount of money for referring shoppers to their sites. Anthem returns a portion of those proceeds to benefit the community, school and the residents.

    "Anthem is about living life to the fullest so it makes sense to provide a web site that allows homeowners to stay in touch with each other and everything the community has to offer," said Anthem general manager Tom Lucas.

    To learn more about community intranets turn to the feature in Professional Builder’s Home Systems magazine in this issue on page 200.

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