Stories and insights about increasing connection, safety, and resilience in neighborhoods

BLOG
The Winter 2015 #Snowcrew Plan

BY IN SnowCrew

Friends,

My #Snowcrew plan for the Winter 2015 season is pretty simple: 1) I am going continue to promote Snowcrew and 2) I am going to encourage people to use Nextdoor.com, the free and private social network for neighborhood (where I know work) to let their neighbors know they need help or are willing to help shovel.

The awesome folks at SeeClickFix who built and run Snowcrew.org, have made even more enhancements for this season. Thank you. Ben, Daniel and Caroline!

For those of you new to SnowCrew, here is what you need to know!

What is Snowcrew?

Snowcrew.org is a mobile optimized web app that connects people who need help shoveling with nearby neighbors “Yetis/Volunteers” who can and want to help dig out their neighbors after snowstorms.

Where does it work? Everywhere!

How does it work?

Each time it snows, thos who needs help shoveling log into www.snowcrew.org and request “Shoveling Assistance.” Those who have signed up to help get notified that a neighbor (s) needs help. They can also “scout” to see who needs help via Snowcrew.org on their mobile phone or device of choice.

“Yeti’s” shovel out people who are not physically able to shovel or cannot afford to hire someone to dig them out.

How can you get involved?

  • Go to snowcrew.org and create a profile to volunteer or request shoveling assistance
  • Help us spread the word by RTing our tweets and sharing our facebook updates.
  • Share this post to your networks
  • Shovel out cars parked in and empty handicap parking spots
  • Check in our neighbors who are elderly and have disabilities

What difference to Snowcrew Make?

For the elderly and people with disabilities, snowstorms can mean being trapped at home unable to get to work, to the food store, to the pharmacy, or have the mail delivered. It can mean that for days, you’re stuck alone in your home fearful of what might happen and that the stability of your health and life might be compromised.

  • Snowcrew helps keep people healthy and financially sound –  When shoveled out, people can get to work, the pharmacy, the food store, and to medical appointments. Social security checks, medications, and medical equipment are delivered.
  • Snowcrew increases resilience – When communities are connected and in service to each other they are stronger and better poised to prevent, respond to, and overcome challenges and disasters.
  • Snowcrew eases the burden on government – Citizens who have time and wish to pitch in dig out public property such as fire hydrants, handicap ramps and curb cuts, and bus stops that increase accessibility and improve quality of life.
  • Snowcrew fosters connection – Those who request and give shoveling assistance enjoy new connections, friendships, and experiences.

Who do people who have been helped by snowcrew say?

  • “I’m blown away; I have never received help like this from strangers before, and I’m honored to now call them my neighbors. So my deepest and heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you”. Nancy, Hardyston NJ who was trapped in her home for 4 days following a storm in February 2014.
  • “Just wanted to thank you and Bob for helping me as a neighbor to clear my car so I could make it to my doctor’s appt. It made an important difference”. Marcia, Jamaica Plain, MA Feburary 2014
  • “Someone came to help! thank you!” Michelle, Lincroft NJ February 2014

How did Snowcrew Get Started?

Snowcrew got started in 2009 when I realized one my widowed elderly neighbors might be stuck in her home during huge storm we had. The first version of Snowcrew used a Google map and a Google form. After I learned about former Mayor Cory Booker digging out his constituents after receiving a constituent tweet, I wanted to see if I could build on former Mayor Booker’s success by using technology to allow neighbors to engage each other online to get shoveled out simultaneously and in multiple cities and towns at the same time. Today, Snowcrew.org accomplishes this goal!

What technology powers Snowcrew?

SeeClickFix built and operates Snowcrew.org and via it’s API powers the “shovel request” submittal, “scout” mapping, watch area notifications, commenting and case management system.

About Joseph Porcelli:

I am a Professional Neighbors. By day, I am a Senior City Strategist at Nextdoor.com where I help local government organization leverage the power of Technology and neighbors to create, safer, stronger, and more resilient neighborhoods and cities.

About Nextdoor.com:

Nextdoor,  being used by over 49,000 neighborhoods around the US, is the free and private social network for the neighborhood. Neighbors use Nextdoor every day to make their lives better in the real work. Nextdoor’s mission is to recreate the sense of community among neighbors and build safer and stronger neighborhoods. For more information about Nextdoor or to sign up, go to Nextdoor.com.

Get in touch:

Email me at my first dot last name at gmail.com
Call me at (857) 222-4420
You can also tweet at me @JosephPorcelli

2 years ago / 3 Comments

24

JAN

3

Comments



ABOUT

PERSONAL STATEMENT:

I am passionate about and understand how to motivate and empower citizens and the organizations that serve them to collaborate productively on and off-line. The results produced by their collaborations are increased public safety, resilience, quality of life, sustainability, and opportunity.

My belief is that the well-being of society depends on the diversity and the strength of bonds we make with people closest to us where we live. My experience has shown me that our neighborhoods are strongest and we are happiest when we are connected, in communication, and in service to each other.

My work has been featured by media organizations such as The Boston Globe, Businessweek, Good Magazine, CBS, ABC, NBC, The Hallmark Channel, and National Public Radio and I have been a speaker/panelist at gatherings such as the Ford Hall Forum, Enterprise 2.0 Conference, The Knight Foundation Engagement Summit, and IACP Annual Conference.

SUMMARY: 

Professionally, I serve as a Senior City Strategist for NextDoor.com where I work with hundreds of public agencies to roll out Nextdoor to their residents.

In my free time as a volunteer, I lead outreach and organizing for Snowcrew.org a web app that connects people who need help shoveling with nearby neighbors “Yetis/Volunteers” who can and want to help dig out their neighbors after snowstorms.

From 2011 to April 2014,  I led GovDelivery’s Engagement Services practice that I stood up with Scott Burns the CEO of GovDelivery’s and Steve Ressler the President of GovLoop in 2011. GovDelivery helps government organizations reach more people and get those people to take action.

In 2010, I served at the pleasure of Secretary Janet Napolitano as the first Community Engagement Strategist for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In 2009, I spent the year evangelized NeighborsforNeighbors.org, the first of its kind neighborhood social network (powered by Ning) I developed to support the organizing initiatives I lead with neighbors under the umbrella of the not-for-profit organization Neighbors For Neighbors, Inc.of I  founded in 2004.

In 2008, I directed Online Operations and Partnerships for the ServiceNation legislative campaign that tripled funding for Americorps with the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

From 2006 to 2008 I worked as a Program Coordinator for the Boston Police Department, I created new-programmatic organizing models that resulted in double-digit decreases in crime while simultaneously doubling program participation.

From 2002 to 2006  I’ve worked as a Senior Associate for a Marketing Automation consulting firm where I provided consulting and training services, and increased new and referral business four-fold.

From 1999 to 2002 I had my own consulting company (and was a waiter at night). The project I am most proud from this time was reducing the time it took for GreatNorthernBarns.com to market its barns from 3 months to 3 days.

VOLUNTEER:.

In addition In the past, I have served as a:

  • Boston World Partnership Connector
  • Guide on Creators.Ning.com
  • Founding member of Ning Network Creators Council
  • Boston OneIn3 Council Mentor

PROJECTS:

  • 2008: Founder and organizer of The Nametag Project which in 2007 resulted in 19,000 people wearing a nametag for a day to promote neighborliness.
  • 2009: Co-founder and organizer of The Mug Project (winner of Mayor Menino’s 2009 Green Residential Waste Reduction Champion Award.

EDUCATION:

  • 2010: Boston University School of Management, Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership
  • 1998: Saint Michael’s College,  Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • 1994: Kimbal Union Academy

AWARDS:

  • 2010: – Community Service Award, Boston Police Commissioners Edward. M. Davis
  • 2009 – Green Residential Waste Reduction Champion Award (MugProject.com), Mayor Thomas M. Menino
  • 2007 – Certificate of Appreciation, Boston Police Commissioners Edward. M. Davis
  • 2007 – Anchor Award, Friends of the Charlestown MA, Navy Yard

PRESS

CBSEveningNews  Here and Now boston-globe-logo  WBURHalmark  VPR      WGBHBloomberge NeighborWorks
Major Media Coverage:

Major articles prior to 2007 (Others available by searching Google):

SPEAKING

  • 11/2014 – LISC Newark NJ “Growing Leadership, Building Community Resident Leadership Development Training” at Rutgers University in Newark NJ
  • 9/2013 – #GLtrain, Agency of the Future; Presenter, “Agency of the Future: Analytics,” Washington DC,
  • 9/2013 – #SMSsummit, Social Media Strategies Summit Boston; Presenter, Boston, MA
  • 6/2012 – #WP2013, Experience WordPress in Government, Presenter, “Measuring and Expanding the Value of Community,” Washington, DC
  • 6/2013 – #OSSv3, Open Source Summit v3.0: Communities, Presenter, “How to grow users into active community members and get your community more engaged, Washington, DC
  • 6/2012 – #GD2012 – GovDelivery, Public Sector Communication Best Practices; Presenter, Washington, DC
  • 6/2012 – #tech4engagement, Knight Foundation Engagement Summit; Participant, Cambridge, MA
  • 2/2012 – #SMGOV, Advanced Learning Institute, Social Media for Government Communications Conference; Presenter and Facilitator, Pentagon City, VA
  • 10/2012 – #GD2011, GovDelivery, Federal User Conference; Presenter, Washington DC
  • 7/2011 – #NG2011,  GovLoop.com, Next Generation of Government Conference; Presenter, Washington, DC
  • 6/2011 – #NXNEi11, Panelist, Friend or Frienemy of Government Engagement. Toronto, CA
  • 4/2011 – #TXEM11, Texas Emergency Management Conference, Social Media; Panelist, San Antonio, TX
  • 3/2011 – #NC3C, Presenter, Emerging Technologies, Fayetteville, NC
  • 11/2010 – Enterprise 2.0 Conference, 100 Ways to Engage: Confessions of Community Organizers, Panelist, Santa Clara, CA. (blog)
  • 11/2010 – GovLoop.com, Boston GovUp, Featured Speaker, Boston, MA.
  • 5/2010 – Ford Hall Forum, “The Emerging Firth Estate”Panelist, Boston MA.
  • 3/2010 – O’Reilly Gov 2.0 Camp New England, Co-Facilitator, Citizen Engagement, Cambridge MA (video)
  • 2/2010 – JumpStart, Civic Engagement Institute, Presenter, Boston MA (video)
  • 12/2009 – Ning.com, VIP Network Creator Summit, Invite Only Attendee, Palo Alto CA
  • 12/2009 – The Corporation for National and Community Service’s Blue Print for Change, Facilitator, Innovation in Civic Engagement, Philadelphia PA
  • 11/2009 – IBM Innovation Discovery Session, Invite Only Attendee, Cambridge MA
  • 11/2009 – Boston Care, Civic Leadership Institute, Presenter, Boston MA
  • 10/2009 – MIT Media Lab Discussion, Presenter, Cambridge MA
  • 9/2009 – O’Reilly Ignite Boston, Get your neighbor on, Presenter, Boston Ma (video)
  • 9/2009 – O’Reilly Gov 2.0 Expo, Panelist Government as a Partner, Washington DC (video)
  • 9/2009 – CEO’s For Cities Velocity Saloon, Invite Only Attendee, Grand Rapids MI (video)
  • 4/2009 – Pecha Kucha Boston #09, Co-Presenter, Jamaica Plain, Boston MA
  • 8/2009 – New Prosperity Initiative, Panelist, Building Communities Online and Offline, Boston, MA (video)
  • 2008 –  Boston Civic Summit, Boston MA, Social Capital, Diverse Neighborhoods & Networks track panelists.
  • 2008 – ICAP Law Enforcement Technology Conference, Panelist, Citizen Observer
  • 2007 – Governor’s MA Civic Engagement Summit, Panelist, Social Capital, Diverse Neighborhoods & Networks track, Worcester, MA
  • 2006 – Governors MA Smart Growth Conference, Fall 2006, Panelist, Vibrant Communities and Regional Equity track, Worcester, MA