Electronic Communications within Symphony Village (FAQ’s)
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is intended to both be an introduction to and refresher for the various forms of electronic communications among residents of Symphony Village. Content of many things dynamically change; current images may be different than the examples of this document. This was also based on the interface to a Windows desktop computer; tablets and smartphones may be slightly different. Please email any comments or corrections to Jim Arnts.
Revision date: January 5, 2016b
The means of electronic communications covered here are the:
A brief summary of each is contained in the table below:
URL or clickable link
Symphony Village at Centreville Homeowners Association, Inc. website
Only some information intended to remain private to residents
Official website of the Symphony Village HOA
Current – No
Archives - Yes
Monthly community newsletter
More timely announcements than available in the Libretto
Official activity calendar
Resident, picture, and pet directories and other important Group/Club information
Email Distribution Lists (Blast emails)
Email from email@example.com (one way - no reply)
Opt in required
Important event information or news to residents, e.g. mowing
Initial log-in (residents only)
Community social and information network similar to Facebook
One-on-one email via your normal email or via ECHOES Nextdoor
Who manages electronic communications within SV?
All Symphony Village communications are managed by the Publications and Communications Committee. The committee is comprised of all volunteer residents of the community and produces/manages all these professional-looking products.
Is the Publications and Communications Committee part of the HOA board?
Yes, the Publications and Communications Committee is one of the official committees of the elected HOA board. The committee has a liaison to the board, currently Nancie Cameron.
Who chairs the Publications and Communications Committee?
Carol Hodges and Linda Blume are currently the Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively. There are many other resident contributors.
Are http://www.symphonyvillage.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/SymphonyVillage part of the Publications and Communications Committee-managed products?
Note: There is also a Symphony Village Facebook Secret Group that cannot be found or searched unless you are an invited member. If you want to become a member, contact Carol Hodges. This operates like any personal Facebook site and is not covered here.
Symphony Village at Centreville Homeowners Association, Inc. website
What is the Symphony Village at Centreville Homeowners Association, Inc. (SVHOA) website?
This is the official website of the Symphony Village Home Owners Association (SVHOA). The website is an organized collection of linked web pages that contain information relevant to the residents of Symphony Village at Centreville, MD. It is basically the glue that holds together the electronic communications products for the community delegated to the Publications and Communications (P&C) Committee by the HOA Board.
What information is on the SVHOA website?
The information contained on the website is almost too numerous to mention. You are encouraged to scan through the various web pages to see what is available.
What are the available web pages?
The currently available website pages are:
How do I get to the SVHOA website?
There are numerous ways to get to the website www.symphonyvillage.net or Home page. You can click on that link, you can enter it into your browser, you can Google “Symphony Village” and click on “Symphony Village at Centreville”, or if you start typing Sym… in your browser, it is likely to automatically come up. Note, be sure you get to symphonyvillage.net not symphonyvillage.com (a Caruso website). This should take you to the SVHOA Home page. The Home page changes periodically and usually has an awesome background picture taken in Symphony Village. At the left is a navigation menu which will take you directly to any other web pages on the SVHOA website; this will be available on all web pages. The page you are currently visiting is highlighted in bold lettering.
Who determines what is on the website?
The webczar, AKA John Schultz, generated the professional looking SVHOA website and he continues to update and maintain it. It has been in existence since 2006. John is another unpaid resident volunteer who is a key member of the P&C Committee. He posts items at the behest of the HOA Board and P&C Committee. He does have the final say of what and how it gets posted; that’s why he is the czar. In reality, the website is comprised of the work of many volunteer residents who serve on the various Symphony Village committees.
Do I need a password to get on the SVHOA website?
Yes and no. A good portion of the website and web pages do not require a password. A few pages and items do require a password since they contain privileged information to Symphony Village residents only. This document will tell you what information is password protected. Unprotected areas can be accessed by the public and you may share their links with prospective residents, friends, or family.
How do I get a password for the SVHOA website?
You should have been given the password shortly after you moved in by the Welcoming person which is also a defined function of the P&C Committee. The current Welcome Chairman is Eileen Rowley with assistance from Sue Canfield. If you have forgotten your password and are not able to get it from a neighbor who can verify you as a valid Symphony Village resident, send an email to either Jim Arnts or John Schultz with a valid Symphony Village return email address and we will send the password to you.
What is the Governance web page?
The Governance web page (below) has valuable information about the HOA, including who and how the Symphony Village HOA serves the community. The current members of the HOA Board are listed with clickable links to email them directly; the dates are the year of their term expiration. Upcoming Board meeting dates are listed. All the various supporting committee chairs and vice-chairs also are listed (also clickable email links). Committee meeting dates, times, and locations are on the right of the page. Board Minutes/Official Documents, Community Programs, and Committee Minutes are also clickable links to this self-explanatory information. This was recently redesigned by the web czar and was previously called the HOA Board web page.
What are the clickable links on the Governance web page?
All the text within the dotted lines are clickable links to other valuable HOA-related information. Community programs are the middle group and include links to the Outreach and Sneakers programs, their functions, leads, and participants. The left group contains valuable information about the Board and HOA and is shown below. The Board/HOA Minutes have both recent and archived minutes of annual HOA meetings plus periodic Board of Director’s meetings all the way back to 2007. The Governing Documents include both legal documents and guidelines. The “Terms of Reference” is basically the charters of various HOA Board committees, including P&C; it also has appendices for Investment Policy and Mowing, Landscape Maintenance, and Snow Removal. “Appendix C” deals with competitive procurements by the Board. “Covenants”, “Amended and Restated Bylaws”, and “Articles of Incorporation” are all legal documents that you should have received when you purchased your house. You will also need them if you choose to sell your house, however, printing them out from the website will not be sufficient; you have to get formal copies from the HOA. “Architectural” and “Solar Panel Request/Guidelines” are important documents if you want to make additions, changes, or add landscaping to your home and hope to receive approval from the Covenants (aka Architectural) Committee.
The Financial Documents include Approved HOA Budgets and historic records of actual expenditures vs. budget (Summary Income Statements). In short, how your HOA dues are spent.
The right link is to all the official committee minutes, both recent and archived.
How do I get to the Governance web page?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/hoa-board/ or click on “Governance” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Libretto” or “Daily Bulletin” to get to a web page that has such a menu.
Do I need a password for the Governance page?
You need a password to enter the Governance web page and again for some of the links; you will be notified when a password is needed. Remember, these are privileged resident documents that should be protected. So don’t share your password with other than verified Symphony Village residents.
When do I need to enter my password?
Whenever you see this text entry box in the middle of a screen, enter your 9 digit password followed by Enter. Remember that the password is case sensitive, so make sure that your Caps Lock is not ON.
What is the Libretto web page?
The Libretto is the monthly Symphony Village newsletter that is discussed in more detail later in this document. The Libretto web page has links to the current month, previous month, and all past Libretto issues, as well as information about the editors of this publication. When you read the Libretto online, it is actually hosted on the SVHOA website. The Libretto web page typically looks like that below; of course it is updated at least with every new issue of the Libretto.
The current month, previous month Libretto, and Ad Rates are all clickable links. Ad Rates apply to anyone that wants to advertise in the Libretto. All the “Libretto Addendum” items are also clickable links and their titles are self-explanatory. The Libretto Archive has all issues back to February 2006 and they are listed in chronological order (oldest to newest). They are pdf documents so you need to have a pdf reader installed on your computer to read them. The Archive link is password protected since resident’s email addresses were contained in some older additions of the Libretto; only public phone numbers are published in current editions of the Libretto.
How do I get to the Libretto web page?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/libretto/ or click on “Libretto” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access later.
Do I need a password for the Libretto web page?
You don’t need a password to enter the Libretto web page but you do for the “Libretto Archive” link.
When do I need to enter my password?
When you see this text entry dialog box (after clicking on Libretto Archive), enter bassoon as the User Name and then your 9 digit password in the Password box. Remember that it is case sensitive so make sure that your Caps Lock is not ON. Complete by clicking on the Log In box. You should then see all the Archived Libretto pdf files.
What is the Gallery web page?
The Gallery web page has posts of a variety of fun photos to view. You can find all kinds of subjects like past Symphony Village events and people; Symphony Village snows, fall colors, and sunsets; pets; seasonal changes; and even first home construction. The common thread is that they are photos of interest to Symphony Village residents. If you click on a photo (each photo is a link), there are usually multiple images so be sure to click on “next” in the lower left corner to see all of them in a set. Check this site periodically because new images may be added at any time. A snapshot of a portion, and only a portion, of the current Gallery web page is shown below.
How do I get to the Gallery web page?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/gallery/ or click on “Gallery” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Libretto” or “Daily Bulletin” to get you to a web page that has such a menu on the left.
Do I need a password for the Gallery web page?
How do I add photos to the Gallery web page?
If you think you have photo(s) of interest to other Symphony Village residents, contact the webczar, John Schultz about the required format and way to submit them. He will determine if your photos meet the required criteria for posting.
What is the Daily Bulletin web page?
The Daily Bulletin is changed daily, if needed, to update or add new events or news of local interest that may or may not have been published in the monthly Libretto. If you regularly read the Daily Bulletin you might not have realized that this is actually hosted on the SVHOA website at the Daily Bulletin web page. The Daily Bulletin also has links to ECHOES Nextdoor, the Weekly Calendar, and some Gallery photos. The Daily Bulletin will be discussed in more detail later in this document. A typical portion of the Daily Bulletin web page is shown below. Events are frequently added and the most recent is displayed first.
How do I get to the Daily Bulletin web page?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/db or click on “Daily Bulletin” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville.” If you are at the Home, you can click on “Daily Bulletin” to get you directly to the web page. This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access later.
Do I need a password for the Daily Bulletin web page?
What is the Calendar web page?
This is the master calendar of events for Symphony Village. As the web page says: “if it is not here, it does not happen!” This page has monthly, weekly, and agenda views. There are clickable links within each calendar event for more details to such things as where it takes place and POC’s. The Calendar will be discussed in more depth later in this FAQ’s document. The image below is an example of the monthly Calendar view (only partial view), which is seen upon entering the page. The balloon callout is an example of the clickable information available for each event entry. Note: this Calendar has more detail than the version available on the Daily Bulletin web page.
How do I get to the Calendar web page?
You can click on this http://symphonyvillage.net/calendar/ or click on “Calendar” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Calendar” to get you directly to the web page. This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access later.
Do I need a password for the Calendar web page?
Why don’t I see a calendar on the Calendar web page?
There seems to be an intermittent problem with Google Calendars that Google is aware of. You can usually fix this by closing your browser, signing out of your computer as a user, re-signing back in, restarting your browser, and going back to the Calendar page. Google has supposedly been working on a fix since spring 2015; not a very satisfactory answer, but out of the webczar’s hands.
What is the Village Management web page?
There is much more to the Village Management web page than just the General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Maintenance Technician, and Clubhouse address and phone numbers. There are three clickable links to the right, all of which contain a wealth of information. Each will be briefly summarized in the following paragraphs. The current Village Management page is shown below.
Clubhouse Documents page
Clicking on the Clubhouse Documents page brings up access to all these links which are pretty much self-explanatory. Need a form for submitting an exterior change request to the Covenants Committee? You don’t need to go to the Clubhouse; you can print one out from the Clubhouse Documents page. There are floor plans of the Clubhouse and a map of all the plots for the completed community under “Other CH Documents.” Want to know when your grandkids can swim in the indoor or outdoor pool? That is there under pool rules.
Official Documents and Board Minutes
Clicking on this link brings up the same page and information as when you click on Official Documents on the HOA Board web page. This was previously discussed under the HOA Board web page topics.
If you ever take for granted how this fine community is run, then take a look at all the people and effort that goes into that by scanning the minutes of the official Committees that support the HOA Board. The minutes are archived and available on this web page shown below.
How do I get to the Village Management web page?
You can click on this http://symphonyvillage.net/village-management/ or click on “Village Management” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville."
Do I need a password for the Village Management web page?
No, you don’t need a password to get to the Village Management web page or the “Clubhouse Documents” page. You do need a password for access to “Official Documents and Board Minutes” and to “Committee Minutes."
What is the Directories web page?
The Directories web page is the equivalent of the Symphony Village phone book or really the contact list for the community. It has home phone and cell phone numbers plus email addresses for all residents that care to share their contact information. The entire Directories web page requires a password to enter to protect resident privacy. It is important that residents using this directory also honor others people’s privacy. There are instructions and links to update your contact information for both the directories and Blast emails which is separate and will also be covered in more detail later. Please don’t share this information with outsiders. There are also very useful links to web pages for Symphony Village Groups and Clubs. Use of the directory will be covered in more detail later in this document. The opening page, after entering the password, looks like the image below.
Outreach, Neighbor-to-Neighbor, Caregivers Support Group, and Sneakers are all community support type groups that have links with a description of their “mission statements” and points of contact for either volunteering or asking for neighbor help.
Committees, Clubs, & Activities Info
This link is particularly of interest if you want to see whether there is a club or activity that might be of interest to you. Descriptions and Points of Contact are listed. The following image is only a partial list of the committees and activities that might interest you.
Symphony Village Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) web page
There are a dedicated number of residents that have been formally trained as first responders should there ever be an emergency or disaster that strikes our community. This is their web page.
Besides CERT member information, there is also valuable resident information on the “Symphony Village CERT Bulletins” web page. This would be a good time to familiarize or refamiliarize yourself with this information or update your “File of Life” and “Symphony Village Emergency Information File,” if necessary. This web page is shown below.
How do I get to the Directories web page?
You can click on “Directories” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Libretto,” “Daily Bulletin,” or Calendar to get to a web page that has such a menu. There isn’t a link to click on since you need to have entered a password for the Directories web page.
Do I need a password for the Directories page?
When you try to enter the Directories web page you will be asked for a password. After that, you can access all the information and links on that page. Remember, Directory data is privileged resident information that should be protected. So don’t share your password with other than verified Symphony Village residents.
What is the Sources web page?
The Sources web page contains links to a potpourri of information useful to homeowners and residents of Symphony Village. There are currently eight categories which will be summarized in subsequent paragraphs. The current Sources web page looks like the following image.
Homecare is a collection of reference documents to help you with care, maintenance, and efficient energy usage for your homes. Many of the energy savings documents were written by resident Bob Offerman and are especially good guidelines to follow for seasonal temperature changes. There is also information about trash collection/recycling, lawn irrigation, and propane.
The resident information currently has two links: HOA pet policy about controlling your pets; and, HOA email Guidelines for Blast emails which will be covered separately in this document.
There are links to Maryland and National websites of interest. The File of Life is of particular interest and can be printed out, completed, and posted on your refrigerator for immediate reference by responders in case of a medical emergency.
There are several links for those interested in volunteering for community service outside the community. These are beyond those available within the community, e.g. Outreach and Sneakers, which also support outside volunteer opportunities.
Centreville and QAC
Eight links to Centreville and QAC government and events sites. The Centreville Maryland USA link which has printable discount coupons for over two dozen local establishments like Ace Hardware, Harris Crab House, and Adams Grille, for example.
Cars and Travel
“Bay Bridge Web Cams” offers a real time view of traffic on the Bay Bridge (both directions) and other Route 50/301 choke points. Similarly, “More MD Web Cams” does the same thing for other high traffic areas in MD and near DC. Links are also available to the Maryland MVA and EZ Pass.
Webczar John posts information about computer recommendations, computer security, and whatever else he thinks might be of current interest. Directory tutorial will be covered later.
There are several links to QAC, Talbot County, Kent Island, etc. events and things to do. If that is not enough, see the “Event Source Links” with about six dozen places to check out. Want to know how far you walk in the village, visit the “SV Walking Map” with a community map with distances displayed to a hundredth of a mile.
How do I get to the Sources web page?
You can click on this http://symphonyvillage.net/sources/ or click on “Sources” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville."
Do I need a password for the Sources web page?
What is the Index web page?
The Index is a very useful page that was recently (December 2015) added by George Drake. There are so many resources available on the SVHOA website that many are unknown to residents. If you peruse the alphabetized index you are likely to find a few things of interest to you. All items have direct clickable links.
How do I get to the Index web page?
You can click on this http://symphonyvillage.net/index/ or click on “Index” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville."
Do I need a password for the Index web page?
What is the Contact web page?
Want to lavish praise, offer suggestions, or provide constructive criticism for any aspect of the SVHOA website, this is where you can send an email directly to the webczar. He will either respond, forward to the appropriate committee, or ignore it as he sees fit. After all, John is a volunteer. The web page looks like this.
How do I get to the Contact web page?
You can click on this http://symphonyvillage.net/contact/ or click on “Contact” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville."
Do I need a password for the Contact web page?
No, unless you don’t have a constructive criticism. In that case you don’t have a “need to know” for the password.
What is the Libretto?
The Libretto is the official Symphony Village Newsletter as chartered by the HOA Board to the Publications and Communications Committee. It contains regular articles of interest to the residents of Symphony Village. A typical issue is 15 – 20 pages long. The following image is an example of the Libretto front page.
What is the Libretto “Mission Statement?”
“To enhance the quality of life and promote a harmonious community through the timely publication of accurate information about residents, events, and activities in and around Symphony Village”
What is regularly reported in the Libretto?
Regular Libretto contents include:
How do I access the Libretto?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/Libretto/ or click on “Libretto” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Libretto” to get you directly to the web page. This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access to the Libretto later. The current Libretto will be the first clickable link on the page. There is also a clickable link to the previous month’s Libretto. Archived previous issues are also available from this web page.
Do I need a password for the Libretto web page?
You don’t need a password to enter the Libretto web page but you do for the “Libretto Archive” link. Previous issues of the Libretto had personal email addresses; current issues only have public phone numbers
How often and when is the Libretto published?
The Libretto is usually published the 15th of the month.
Why should I read the Libretto online?
The Libretto is in color and is expensive to print out, typically 18 pages. Print costs come from your HOA dues. Printing hardcopies also kills trees. There are a multitude of clickable links (underlined blue text) throughout the online Libretto which will take you to even more detailed information. You can usually return to the Libretto where you left off by clicking on your browser back arrow.
Are there hardcopies available?
There are a precious few copies available at the Clubhouse for those few households that don’t have Internet access. When a resident does not have Internet and does not get to the Clubhouse regularly, the P&C Committee will hand-deliver a hardcopy of the Libretto to them on or about the 17th of the month (published on the 15th, hard copies usually available two days later). Also, if someone is "laid up" (e.g., in the hospital or rehab for many weeks) and can't get to their Internet access, and if no one in the family can pick up a hard copy at the Clubhouse for them, a member of the P&C Committee can deliver it to the resident's home.
How do I know when the Libretto is published?
When the Libretto is available, you will likely be notified by a Blast email from the webczar, assuming you are subscribed to Blast emails (more later). You can also check the Libretto web page around the 15th of the month to see if a new issue has been published.
Do the ads in the Libretto generate revenue?
Yes, the ads are considered HOA income and go toward minimizing your HOA dues. Income from ads is budgeted as $6204 for 2015.
How do I get an advertisement placed in the Libretto?
“LIBRETTO Advertising Specification and Rate Information,” along with contact information, is available at the following link: https://goo.gl/p3MC1Y. This link can also be accessed from the Libretto web page at http://symphonyvillage.net/libretto under the “Ad Rates” link. There are both resident and non-resident rates.
Who publishes the Libretto?
Publishing the Libretto is one of the responsibilities of the Publications & Communications Committee. The current Libretto editors are Carol Hodges, Brenda Stoltz, and Marge Strano. Correspondents are listed in the Libretto for each of the Committees. Other contributors are too numerous to mention without unintentionally leaving someone(s) out.
How do I submit an article or event for publication in the Libretto?
If it is of interest to Symphony Village residents, it is probably already being reported by one of the Committees or assigned Libretto correspondents. If you think otherwise, contact Carol Hodges.
Can I do a search within the Libretto?
Yes, you can search any issue of the Libretto that you are viewing by hitting “Ctrl f” and typing your keyword in the box that appears. If that word is present, it will indicate where it is found, and if there are multiple occurrences, you can go to the next one with the arrows to the right of the box. Note: this tip works with almost any document or web page.
Can I access previous Libretto issues?
Yes, you can access previous issues of the Libretto on the Libretto web page at http://symphonyvillage.net/libretto. Select the “Libretto Archive” and enter the password if requested. There are also links for previously published recipes and an index of previous articles that may be of continued interest.
What is the Daily Bulletin web page?
The Daily Bulletin is a supplement to the Libretto and is changed daily, if needed, to update or add new events or news of local interest. The Daily Bulletin also has links to ECHOES Nextdoor, the Weekly Calendar, and some Gallery photos. A typical portion of the Daily Bulletin news feed is shown below. Events are frequently added to the news feed and the most recent is displayed first. The format is similar to Facebook. You can “Comment,” “Like,” or “Share” a news feed item similar to Facebook.
How do I get to the Daily Bulletin web page?
You can click on this link http://symphonyvillage.net/db or click on “Daily Bulletin” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Daily Bulletin” to get you directly to the web page. This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access later.
Do I need a password for the Daily Bulletin web page?
What is the symbol of a house in the upper right corner?
This is a clickable link to ECHOES Nextdoor which will be discussed later.
How do I see the Weekly Calendar?
There is usually an item called “Weekly Calendar” in the news feed that has a picture that you can click on to see the calendar. This is a summary calendar that has no clickable links and is less detailed than the Weekly Calendar on the Calendar web page. The pictures along the right hand side bring up some, but not all photos from the Gallery web page.
Who publishes the Daily Bulletin?
Publishing the Daily Bulletin is another one of the responsibilities of the Publications & Communications Committee.
How do I submit an event for publication in the Daily Bulletin?
If it is of interest to Symphony Village residents, it is probably already being reported in the Daily Bulletin or Libretto. If you think otherwise, contact Carol Hodges via email or phone.
Can I do a search within the Daily Bulletin?
Yes, you can search any issue of the Daily Bulletin by hitting “Ctrl f” and typing your keyword in the box that appears. If that word is present in the current Daily Bulletin, it will indicate where it finds it and if there are multiple occurrences, you can go to the next one with the arrows to the right of the box. Note: this tip works with almost any document or web page.
Can I access previous Daily Bulletin items?
No, the news feed information is deleted when it has become obsolete. You can check the Libretto archives for old information.
What is the Calendar?
This is the master calendar of events for Symphony Village and is actually a web page of the SVHOA website. As the web page says: “if it is not here, it does not happen!." This page has monthly, weekly, and agenda views. There are clickable links within each calendar event for more details to such things as where it takes place and POC’s (point of contact). The image below is an example of the monthly Calendar view (only partial view) which is seen upon entering the page. The balloon callout is an example of the clickable information available for each event entry. Note: this Calendar has more detail than the version available on the Daily Bulletin web page.
How do I get to the Calendar?
You can click on http://symphonyvillage.net/calendar/ or click on “Calendar” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." If you are at the Home, you can click on “Calendar” to get you directly to the web page. This is a good site to add to your bookmarks for easy access later.
Do I need a password for the Calendar web page?
Why don’t I see a calendar on the Calendar web page?
There seems to be an intermittent problem with Google Calendars that Google is aware of. You can usually fix this by closing your browser, signing out of your computer as a user, re-signing back in, restarting your browser, and going back to the Calendar page. Google has supposedly been working on a fix since spring 2015; not a very satisfactory answer but out of the webczar’s hands.
What Calendar views are available?
Besides the monthly view previously shown, there is a weekly and agenda view which are accessed by tabs at the upper right of the calendar.
What does the weekly view look like?
The weekly view looks pretty much like you would expect with an example shown below. Overlapping events are somewhat congested and may be better displayed in the agenda view which will be described next.
What is the agenda Calendar view?
The agenda Calendar view is a list of events in chronological order starting at the day of interest; it is less congested than the weekly view when events overlap in time. The default day of interest is “today” but you can go backward or forward in time by either using the blue arrows or clicking on the date, bringing up a calendar, and then selecting the start date of interest. An example agenda view is shown in the image below. The scroll bar goes forward or backward in time from the selected start date.
Can I print out a calendar?
Yes, if you would like a hardcopy to put on your refrigerator or to carry with you, you can print out a copy by selecting the desired view and hitting the Print tab in the upper right corner.
How can I get more information about an event?
Events in any of the views are clickable. If you click on them, they will display “When,” “Where,” and “Description” information.
Is there an easy way to add events to my personal electronic calendar?
Yes, if you have clicked on an event link and more information appears, there is a clickable link at the bottom called “copy to my calendar." This works great if you are using Google Calendars for your personal electronic calendar. A dialog box like this then comes up and you can change the notifications options or other options if you want. Hit “Save” when finished and the event will be added to your Google calendar with notification given when and how you selected. It may work differently with other than Google calendars.
How do I add/remove an event to the SV Master calendar?
Select the “Contact the Calendar Editor” link in the upper right of the Calendar web page. A dialog box like below will appear. Enter your contact information and a description of your event, time, place, and frequency in the message box. The “Calendar Editor” will consider whether the event meets the criteria to be included in the Calendar. The “Calendar Editor” should also be informed this way if an event is to be deleted from future calendars.
Who publishes the Calendar?
Publishing the daily Calendar is another one of the responsibilities of the Publications & Communications Committee. Sue Canfield is currently responsible.
What are the Directories?
There are really three directories of interest to Symphony Village residents. The primary Directory is the Resident Directory. There is also a Picture Directory and a Pet Directory. Each will be separately discussed.
How do I get to the Directories?
You can click on “Directories” from any other web page leftmost menu under “Symphony Village at Centreville." The Directories web page will look similar to the image below.
Do I need a password for the Directories page?
When you try to enter the Directories web page you will be asked for a password. After that, you can access all information and links on that page.
Why are the Directories password protected?
To quote the webczar: “The directories … contain information that is desired by spammers, scammers, phishers, telephone nazis, junk mailers, and other commercial interests. Please respect the privacy of your neighbors and DO NOT make this information available to people outside of our community. Thank you for your cooperation.”
What is the Resident Directory?
The Resident Directory is the equivalent of the Symphony Village phone book or really the contact list for the community. It has home phone and cell phone numbers plus email addresses for all residents that care to share their contact information. It can be viewed online or printed out.
How do I get to the Resident Directory?
When on the Directories web page, click on Resident Directory for Online Viewing. You should see the directory which looks like the following image. The directory that you see is alphabetized by last name. There is a scroll bar to the right to see the over 400 lines of entries. There are home phone numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses for each resident that cares to share that information with other residents.
How do I use the Directory?
The Webczar has generated a short video that explains how to best use the Resident Directory. Click on Tutorial for online Resident Directory on the Directories web page. The video shows how to search for names or addresses and how to directly send emails from the Directory. The email hot link does not seem to work with all browsers or browser settings; you can just copy the email address to your email address line, however. Note: the search function “Ctrl f” works on most documents and web pages, not just the directory.
Is there a directory listed by street?
Yes, by clicking on the “Street Sort” tab at the top of the Resident Directory you will see a directory which is sorted by street; street name alphabetized and then ordered by numeric street address. The search function demonstrated in the video works here also. The street sort view is partially shown below. It also has a scroll bar on the right side.
How did I get in the Directory?
A welcoming member of the P&C Committee requested your information shortly after you moved into the community. The current Welcome Chairman is Eileen Rowley with assistance from Sue Canfield. Only information that you authorized sharing with the community is published.
How can I update my information?
Your contact information is NOT updated automatically. It is your responsibility to keep your information current. There are usually a handful of email addresses that bounce resulting in you not receiving sometimes important emails. You can easily request that your information be changed by filling out an online form accessed by clicking on “Resident Directory Update Form” on the Directories web page. This includes updating, adding, or deleting contact information. A sample of the Update Form follows. You should receive a confirmation email within a day or two from the P&C person responsible for changing the Directory information, currently Bob Rose. Note, this is not the change form for receiving Blast emails; that link is at the top right of the Directory change request forms. You need to change both if your email address changes.
How many residences are connected by phone and email?
At my last count, there were 375 residences (properties that have gone to settlement) and only 2 without a listed phone and 22 without a listed email address. Thus 99.5% of SV households have at least one listed phone and 94% have email addresses listed. These don’t include those who chose to not list their information. The number of residences will continue to climb until all 395 available lots are completed. The updated percentages will probably not change significantly.
Can I print out a Directory?
Yes, there is a special Directory link for printing out a copy. Click on “Printable Version” on the Directories web page and you will see an Alpha Sort directory that you can print out by clicking on the circled Printer icon in the upper left. If you prefer the Street Sort version, you can select that via the tab at the bottom. As the webczar says, “18 pages of dead tree” plus using expensive printer ink. Please don’t distribute copies outside the community.
What is the Picture Directory?
Just as you would expect, this directory has pictures of residents. It also has Alpha (last name) and Street Sort views. When you can’t remember the name of someone you met at Happy Hour or you just moved in and are trying to put faces to houses, this is very helpful. Not everyone participates, but new entries are always welcome.
How do I get to the Picture Directory?
There is a clickable Picture Directory link on the Directories web page. Click on it and you will see a new page similar to the following.
What does the Alphabetic Picture page look like?
A sample page after clicking on the top icon is shown below. Navigation information is provided. Those with picture entries have an icon to the left of their name(s). Clicking the icon brings up the picture, if available.
What does the Street Picture page look like?
A sample page after clicking on the bottom icon is shown below. Navigation information is provided. Clicking on a Street Name displays pictures of those who have submitted their picture(s).
How do I add/update a picture for the Picture Directory?
Send pictures to George Drake. George will prepare the photos for posting. Requested format is jpg which is the format of most digital cameras; good resolution is desired. George will also scan photos or take a new picture, if necessary. Contact him for these services. Charlene Smallwood Brown is the P&C person responsible for the Picture Directory and will post the pictures after George processes them. It would be good to cc Charlene when you email pictures to George.
RESIDENT EMAIL DISTRIBUTION LISTS
What is the Resident Email Distribution List?
This is an email distribution list for residents of Symphony Village for the announcement of official items of HOA interest and is commonly referred to as Blast emails. Announcements include mowing change of schedule, irrigation information, resident deaths and arrangements, health and safety information like flu shots, Clubhouse/facilities information like pool openings/closings, and other items of common interest to the community and HOA.
Who can send Blast emails?
Only a select few people can generate and send Blast emails; Dennis Sesplankis, Cindy Clough, and webczar John Schultz. The email content is highly regulated by HOA rules and a federal Government law that requires a “Closed Loop Opt-In” sign up process. This basically ensures that you have elected to receive these emails and that they are not spam.
How do I get Blast emails?
If you receive emails from “SV Residents firstname.lastname@example.org” you are all set. If you don’t receive such emails, you must opt in by filling out the following form accessed via this link http://sv-info.org/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/list/residents/. You will be sent a confirmation email to which you have to respond to complete the closed loop opt-in process. The privacy of email addresses is respected and protected. Also use this link if your email address changes.
How do I get information distributed via Blast emails?
If you think you have a qualifying item like a lost pet or safety issue that should be distributed, via email to the community, contact Dennis or Cindy during Clubhouse working hours or John Schultz if it is an emergency during non-working hours. They will consider whether the request meets the HOA guidelines and publish the information if it does.
Can I opt out of receiving Blast emails?
Yes, if you no longer want to receive Blast emails you can unsubscribe by clicking on the “unsubscribe automatically” link at the end of each Blast email message. You need to enter your email address when that dialog box appears. You should also do this if your email address is no longer valid and/or has changed.
How many residences receive Blast emails?
At last count approximately 91% of settled residences have elected to receive Blast emails.
What is ECHOES Nextdoor?
ECHOES Nextdoor is much more than a social network; it is a way for Symphony Village residents only to communicate with one another. Social events are a big part of the utility of ECHOES but it is also a way to ask for advice or recommendations, look for items, discuss issues like irrigation problems/complaints, and to sell or give away items, as examples. There are over 57,000 Nextdoor community networks in the United States.
What happened to TRIO?
TRIO was a similar residents’ website, but the Publications and Communications Committee saw that Nextdoor had many more features and advantages than TRIO could offer and decided to shut down TRIO in favor of Nextdoor. One of these Nextdoor features was email control; many residents complained that TRIO chatter was spam.
Does the ECHOES name have any significance?
ECHOES is an acronym (sort of) for Encore, Concerto, Harmony, Orchestra, Overture, Opera, Sonata, and Symphony and is in keeping with the Symphony Village musical theme. It was originally Symphony Village Nextdoor and was changed at the request of the HOA Board since Symphony Village is a Caruso copyrighted name.
When was ECHOES formed?
The ECHOES timeline goes back to the beginning of March 2015. You can access all posts back until this beginning.
Who can join ECHOES?
Only those verified to be within the geographic borders of Symphony Village can join. This differentiates Nextdoor from other social media sites like Facebook. You cannot invite your family or friends outside of Symphony Village to join ECHOES; this insures our communications privacy.
How do I get to ECHOES?
If you are already a member of ECHOES you can access it by clicking on this link: https://echoesmd.nextdoor.com/news_feed/ or entering it in your browser. This is a must to bookmark so you can come back whenever you want. If you start typing echoe… in your browser, it will likely automatically fill in the rest. This link will bring up the news feed which is the home page. A typical Home Page or News Feed looks like the following. The various portions of the Home Page will be discussed shortly.
How do I join ECHOES?
The easiest way is to get one of your neighbors who is already a member to send you an invitation to join. You don’t need someone from the P&C Committee to do this, any ECHOES neighbor can do it. If you want. If you have trouble and want to invite someone, send an email to Jim Arnts. There is a way to request joining online, but it will ask for some personal information that you may not care to share. This is part of the protection to keep membership to Symphony Village residents only.
Do I need a profile when I join ECHOES?
No, the amount of information you supply including your profile picture is entirely optional and depends on how much information you want to share with other SV residents.
Can I use an alias instead of my real name?
No, Nextdoor requires that you use your real name and address. No aliases like cutestgrammy.
How do I invite a neighbor to join?
If you want to invite a neighbor with a verified Symphony Village email address to join ECHOES, you can do it by clicking on INVITE NEIGHBORS in the green box on the right hand part way down the Home Page. This will bring up a new page like below. I highly recommend against clicking on the big green “Check Your Contacts” box though. The default is your entire contact list checked and you might end up sending invitations to friends, family, and business contacts well outside of Symphony Village. They can’t join, and you might have a lot of explaining to do. The best thing to do is to manually enter your invitee’s email address or use copy/paste from the Resident Directory. If you use the Resident Directory you are assured that this is a verified Symphony Village email address. You can enter multiple email addresses if you separate them with commas. You might want to personalize the invitation by clicking on “edit message” otherwise they will receive a canned Nextdoor message which they might ignore. Your invitee will be given four email opportunities over two months to accept your invitation before it will expire. The invitations also have a link to “unsubscribe” or opt out of receiving more reminders.
What do I do if I accidently sent ECHOES invitations to my entire contact list?
Follow the instructions at this link: https://goo.gl/2aXjTa (also available under ECHOES Help).
How can I add another email address to my ECHOES account?
Because of the way ECHOES keeps track of residences vs. residents, only one person or email address can be the primary member of that household. The primary member has to allow other members of that household, e.g. spouse, to join; this is done during the joining process. The other email addresses need to have a separate ECHOES account so that residents can respond or send email to the correct person. Email addresses are associated with physical, i.e. street addresses.
Do I need a password for ECHOES?
Normally you don’t need a password. You generate a password when you accept an invitation to join and you should remember or record this password. After you do this ECHOES doesn’t ask for a password unless you clear your browsing history, e.g. cache or cookies. You will also need the password to access ECHOES from another computer that isn’t synched to your normal computer. If you sign out of ECHOES, you have to use your password when you re-sign in. I normally don’t sign out, but if you have multiple ECHOES members in your household who use the same computer, you will want to sign out at the end of your session. You can sign out in the pull down menu by your profile picture.
Can I access ECHOES from my PC or iMac?
Yes, you access ECHOES like any other web page. No special software is required. Kindle’s also work this way.
Can I access ECHOES from my smart phone or tablet?
Both Apple and Android devices have App’s available to view Nextdoor on their devices. Without these App’s you will still get ECHOES emails of recent posts, if you have elected to receive emails. Kindle tablets don’t need an App and act like a PC or iMac, i.e. through your browser.
Is ECHOES a Publications & Communications Committee function?
More or less. ECHOES was founded by a P&C Committee member, Gil Hoffman, and it is endorsed by the P&C Committee. P&C members regularly post on the site, e.g. events on the ECHOES calendar. Unlike the previous TRIO site, ECHOES is not managed by the P&C Committee. By default, Gil is designated the “leader” and is the only person that can currently remove inappropriate posts. Gil established the geographic boundaries for ECHOES membership when he established the site.
How many villagers use ECHOES?
ECHOES is constantly adding new members. ECHOES currently has 338 members in 252 households or residences. That is about 67 % of residences participating. ECHOES has pretty much grown to these numbers by neighbors inviting neighbors and it has done that in 8 months. There has been no campaign or event to gain this participation.
Do I get a ton of emails from ECHOES?
It all depends on how you elect to receive emails and how many posts there have been on any given day. I typically get 3 – 6 emails per day unless there is a hot topic like irrigation or the lack of it. I have elected to receive immediate emails of all posts. You can turn off emails altogether and just check the ECHOES website when you want (more on that later). If you use Google Chrome to view your email and use the default setting for “inbox type” and have “Forums” checked in categories, all your ECHOES email will show up under the Forums tab. Another feature of ECHOES is that replies like “Thank” and “Welcome” do not become spam as they were on TRIO.
Are there ads on ECHOES?
No, except for recommendations or personal ads posted by Symphony Village residents who are members of ECHOES.
How do I get started with ECHOES?
Webczar John Schultz has created a great introductory video for those who are new to or may want to join ECHOES. It is available by clicking on this link http://goo.gl/ZoTfWX. You don’t have to be an ECHOES member to watch the video nor do you need a password. Note: The name has changed from Symphony Village to ECHOES after this video was made. There is also a lot of information on the generic Nextdoor help site at https://help.nextdoor.com/ accessible by topic or by searching for a keyword. Clicking on the link brings up the following page. Warning: “Getting started” is more about making a new Nextdoor website than for newbies to Nextdoor. John’s video is better for this.
Can I opt out of ECHOES?
Yes, you can deactivate your account under “Settings” in the pull down menu by your avatar or profile picture at the top right corner of the ECHOES Home Page. You can also re-activate it at a later time at Nextdoor.com/reactivate and enter your email address and password that you previously used.
How do I get to the ECHOES Home Page?
Clicking on this link: https://echoesmd.nextdoor.com/news_feed/ or clicking on your ECHOES bookmark will bring up the Home Page. If you feel like you are lost within ECHOES, click on at the top left of any page and you will return to the ECHOES Home Page.
What is available on the ECHOES Home Page?
The Home Page is primarily a news feed similar to Facebook. The latest posts are always first. Posts never disappear and you can scroll down to the earliest posts back in early March of 2015. You can post a new topic from the Home Page, reply to an existing topic, and navigate to many other things that will be discussed. If you scroll down and want to return to the beginning, hit your Home key.
What is available at the top of the Home Page?
In the image below there is a dotted line. Above the dotted line represents the relatively constant part of the Home Page. The primary elements are the menu at the left, a box to generate a new post, a link to invite new neighbors, a map icon of the ECHOES boundaries, a search box, and pull down menus at the right in the green banner. Things that are updated are the number of current ECHOES neighbors, a red icon if there is an unread message in your inbox, and the number of neighbors that have accepted your invitations. Most things are easy to explore on your own and will be described later. Remember, you can always get back to the Home Page by clicking on the Nextdoor logo at the top left of the green banner.
What routinely changes on the Home Page (news feed)?
Below the dotted line is the news feed which is updated with each new post or reply; this is very much like a Facebook news feed if you are familiar with that. The most recent posts or replies are at the top of the news feed. The scroll bar to the right takes you to older posts. You can always just read the news feed without participating. Everyone sees all the post categories. Your news feed is tailored to the groups of which you are a member; you only see group posts if you are a member of that group (more on that later). Posts are by topic and that string is expected to stick to that particular topic. Note you may have to click “View all XX replies” for particularly long discussion topics. Similarly you may need to click on “View more” to see all of a lengthy post. Note: the news feed doesn’t automatically update and you should refresh it by clicking on the partial circle with an arrow in your browser or by hitting the F5 key.
How do I reply to a post on the news feed?
The usual way to respond to a post is to hit the light green “Reply” button. Before you do that, there are options to replying that may be more appropriate. You may simply want to thank someone for a post. To do this just hit the dark green “Thank” button; this is equivalent to a Facebook “like." This lets the person that generated the post know that their post was read and appreciated without generating spam email as was previously the case with TRIO. If you have something to say, e.g. a comment, addition, or difference of opinion, by all means reply. If you want your reply to be posted to the community as a part of the discussion, just Hit the “Reply” button and enter your comment followed by “Submit." Sometimes a direct personal reply is in order, e.g., “I am interested in your free item, when can I stop by?” To do this simply select the pull down menu to the right of the “Reply” button and select “Send private message." A dialog box appears and you compose your response pretty much as you would to send a personal email. Notice that neither of your email addresses are visible.
Who is a Reply responding to?
That is a good question as strings with multiple posts often get confusing. When writing a Reply it is good form to state to who or what you are responding. The default is that you are responding to the original post not a Reply, which you may be intending.
How do I respond to XXXX XXXX joined ECHOES?
You can politely “Welcome” them or do nothing. The number of people who have welcomed them is displayed.
Can I add an attachment or image to my Reply?
Yes, while you are composing your reply, there is a camera icon to the right of the Reply box for adding an image (jpg file). Click on this and you can browse your computer for a saved image. After you find the file of interest click on the “Open” box and the image will be added. You cannot attach a document, e.g., pdf file, to an ECHOES reply.
Can I put a link into my Reply?
Yes, you can insert a link, e.g., web page address directly into your Reply or new post text. This will become a clickable link when posted.
Can I make a shorter alias for my link?
Unfortunately Nextdoor does not support this feature which is available in gmail, for example. The best thing to do is use an online link or url shortener like Google’s https://goo.gl/. A page similar to that below will appear. Simply paste your long unwieldy link into the “Paste your long URL” here box, hit the blue “Shorten URL” box and a compact link will appear to the right. You can copy this link by Pressing CTRL c and then paste it directly into your Reply (CNTL v). It will act the same as your long link. The Google link shortener https://goo.gl/ is a good thing to bookmark.
Can I format text when posting?
No, formatting is not available in Nextdoor such as bold, italics, color, size, or font. The best you can do is SHOUT in caps, not normally good form. If you format in another document, like MS Word, and copy it to the post, all formatting will disappear, so don’t bother to try it.
Can I edit or delete a post?
If you generated a post or reply, you and only you can edit it for up to 30 days or until someone replies or thanks you. Both “edit” and “delete” are available at the bottom of your post. The Publications and Communications Committee recommends that you delete your posts for items “for sale” or “free items” that are no longer available; also your event posts that have already occurred.
How can I turn off (mute) discussions that are of no interest to me?
If there are discussions about topics that are not of interest to you, you can mute those discussions. Beside a post’s Reply button is a caret. Click on it and you will see a menu. If you select “Mute discussion” (unless you originated the post) you will remove all the content in that discussion (the initial post and associated reply comments) from your view of ECHOES. You will also no longer receive email notifications or digest updates about discussions you've muted. Note: you can’t reverse a mute. You can still search for that topic, however.
Can an objectionable post be removed?
Yes, an objectionable or inappropriate post or series of posts can be deleted by the ECHOES Leader(s). There is currently only one Leader, Gil Hoffman, the originator of the Nextdoor ECHOES site. To date this has not been necessary, so let us all remain civil and polite.
How do I post a new topic?
Posting a new topic is not much harder than replying to an existing post. By all means, please please generate a new post when you want to change topics; don’t change topics by just using replying to a previous post. Near the top of every Home Page is a box labeled “Post a message, event, poll or urgent alert to neighbors." This is where new posts are entered.
If you click on the box to the right of the blue arrow above, a new screen will appear that will look like that below. The default is to post a Message and that is what we will now discuss. Posting an Event, Poll, or Urgent Alert are also available and will be discussed later. The first thing you have to decide is to whom you want to receive your post.
When you click on the “Choose neighbors” box the choices will be expanded similar to that of the next screen. If you want the post to go to the entire ECHOES community, then simply select that choice, i.e. ECHOES (348 neighbors). The other choices include the ECHOES groups that you belong to (more on this later). If you belong to the Publications & Communications Committee group for example, you could select that and your message would only be seen by members of that group.
The next step is to add a brief attention getting and relevant subject in the “Add subject” box. This is the first thing you see in any string of posts. I wouldn’t make the subject or topic line any longer than one line.
After that, write your text to be posted in the “Write message” space. I don’t know if there is any limit to the length of your text but when it is posted the visible text will be truncated if too long.
The last step before posting is to select a category. Picking the right category will help you and others in finding posts (more later). Many posts fall into the “General” category and if in doubt, select that. All categories will be included in the news feed. When done, hit the green “Post” button and your message will be immediately posted.
What are categories?
Categories is pretty much like an organized filing system or sections of a newspaper. The benefit is in locating posts of interest. If you select the correct category then you can see all the posts in that category by just selecting it under Categories in the menu to the left of an ECHOES page. The Categories selections are shown in the image below in the dotted box. Most categories are self-explanatory. This view has “Lost & Found” selected. All posts that were categorized as “Lost & Found” when posted are displayed in chronological order, newest at the top. The number to the right of the caption balloons represents the number of posts on that subject. If you click on the balloon, you will see all of those posts.
What is the Recommendations category?
The recommendations category has sub-categories which make it a little different when posting or viewing. Selecting the Recommendations category brings up a view with all the subcategories as shown below. Want to find out what your neighbors are recommending for restaurants, click on “Food and entertainment." When you post under the Recommendations category, it will ask you what sub-category you wish to post under. The Recommendations view also has the most recent recommendations listed under the sub-category menu.
A little more advanced features of ECHOES
What are groups?
Groups are a great and underutilized Nextdoor feature that provides a way for ECHOES members who share common interests to communicate without sharing that information with the community in general. A group could be those interested in a hobby, a club, committee, or street event, as examples. Group communications do not appear on everyone’s news feed nor in everyone’s emails; only those that are members of a group see the posts or are sent email notifications of posts. Groups can be either public or private.
What are public groups?
Public groups are open to anyone in who is a member of ECHOES. Anyone can join a public group immediately without waiting for approval. The group member list is made public. You can view posts within a group without joining that group. You will only see posts on your news feed and be given email notification of posts by joining that group, however. Ladies Golf is an example of an ECHOES public group.
What are private groups?
Private groups are limited to just the people a moderator(s) adds or approves. Private group messages are only viewable by the members of the group and have private member lists (except for the moderators who are always listed). The Publications & Communications Committee uses a group to communicate and only members of the committee are allowed to participate.
How can I find groups that I might want to join?
On the left, there is a menu item under “Your Groups” called “Browse all XX Groups." Click on that and you will see a page similar to that below which lists all the current ECHOES groups. The number to the right of the face icon represents the number of current members in that group while the number to the right of the text balloon icon represents the number of posts in that group. The padlock icon next to the Publications & Communications Committee indicates that it is a private group. Without that icon, the group is public and may be viewed and joined by anyone.
How do I join a group?
If you click on any one of the group titles, you will see an invitation to join the group, unless you are already a member. Aqua Classes with Caryn is used in the example below. If you click on either the green “JOIN” button or the “JOIN GROUP” button, you will be immediately admitted as a member. You will then be able to post to that group, see posts from that group in your news feed, and receive email notifications of new posts (if you elect to receive emails).
How do I know who are members of a group?
In the above screen, if you click on the double face icon where it says 5 Members, a listing of the current members of that group will appear. This is not accessible if it is a private group of which you are not a member.
Can I create my own group?
Absolutely, you can create your own group to share your interests with anyone in the village with similar interests. No one needs to give you any permission. Click on the “ADD NEW GROUP” on the groups view page. This will bring up a box similar to below. Simply give your group a name, add an enticing description, and select whether you want it to be a public or a private group.
After you click on Add, you will get another welcoming screen that looks similar to that below. It is advisable to post an invitation to the group (if public) on the general news feed so that others know that the group exists. If it is a private group, you might want to send others whom you wish to invite a personal email. You can also directly add members to either public or private groups by selecting “Add new members” in the pull down menu by clicking on “ACTIONS." You can start typing their name and their name should appear in a list if they are currently a member of ECHOES. You can only directly add a person if you are a moderator of that group. You are automatically a moderator if you created the group. When you directly add a member to a group, they will be informed, with a link to opt out if desired.
What is a group moderator?
A moderator of a group is simply a group member who can add, accept (for private groups), or delete new members. If you created a new group, you are automatically a moderator. You as creator may promote other members to be additional moderators if you need help.
How do I join a private group?
You can request to become a member of a private group but a moderator of that group will have to accept your membership. The response is not immediate as a moderator has to receive and evaluate the request. The moderator can deny your request if not appropriate. You will be informed either way.
How do I post an event?
Posting an event is similar to the Message post. Near the top of every Home Page is a box labeled “Post a message, event, poll or urgent alert to neighbors." This is where new posts are entered. After you enter this box, select “EVENT” rather than “MESSAGE."
You will now see an Event posting box like this. Choose neighbors and Add subject like before. Use the DATE AND TIME boxes to enter the event start time. If you have an end time, you can add that by clicking on “Add an end time." Enter the location; it can be as simple as the Clubhouse or a complete address. A description of the event can be added with as much detail as you want. Category is the same as with other posts. If you want it to be spiffy, add a photo or choose a theme (both optional). I highly advise that you uncheck the box “Allow anyone on Nextdoor to view or share this event." Otherwise it may end up on Facebook or someone in Easton, for example, could Google your event and show up.
Who can post an event?
Any resident who is a member of ECHOES can post an event.
Does the event have to be an HOA approved event?
No, a resident can post any event. To be relevant, it should be of interest to residents of Symphony Village, e.g. Centreville Christmas Parade.
Can I keep track of event attendees?
Yes, but not very well. Event posts have response buttons of “Going” and “Maybe." These response options are not seen for an Events post in the news feed view, however. These buttons are available in the Event view which is seen when you select Events Calendar from the menu on the left hand side. If you receive an Event announcement via email, you can click on the “View Detail and Respond” green button and this will give you the options of “Going” and “Maybe." Responding has been routinely ignored and is not particularly useful, unless the Accept options become available on the news feed; a request to do this has been sent to Nextdoor support.
Can I just post events to a group rather than to everyone?
Yes, when you “Choose neighbors” at the beginning of an events post, the groups that you belong to are an option. You can only select one, however.
What is the Events Calendar?
The Events Calendar is a scrollable listing of posted events in chronological order with the next event posted first at the top. You select the “Events Calendar” with the menu on the left. The default view is “Upcoming Events." You can also select “My Events,” or “Past Events” tabs, which are pretty much self-explanatory.
The “Map View” tab is also available and shows the location of events. This isn’t very useful for many Symphony Village events that are held at the Clubhouse. The view looks something like below. In this example the Lunch Bunch for October was clicked on in the event listing to the left of the map and the location of that restaurant (near the Naval Academy) is shown on the map.
How do I post a poll?
Posting a poll is similar to the Message post. Near the top of every Home Page is a box labeled “Post a message, event, poll or urgent alert to neighbors." This is where new posts are entered. After you enter this box, select “POLL” rather than “MESSAGE." A Poll box like below appears. “Choose neighbors” as in other posts. In the “Ask a question” box clearly state your question. You can follow this with a description, if desired, that gives background or clarifies why the question is being asked or for what the responses might be used, for example. I suggest you put a termination time or date for the poll in the description. You can also select a graphic or picture to be displayed in your poll by clicking on the large + sign in the description box. You can then give up to ten choices to answer your question. This could be as simple as a “yes” or “no” response or it could be multiple choices with responses like (a) plus (d). When finished, be sure to click on “POST."
How many questions can be posed in the poll?
Unfortunately, Nextdoor polling only allows one question to be asked per poll. If you want more questions or other polling features there are free online tools like Google Forms and Survey Monkey that can be used to create the poll or survey. A link can be posted in ECHOES but remember ECHOES only reaches about 67 % of the community.
How many different responses can there be to the poll?
Nextdoor polling can have up to 10 responses. A responder can select only one of the possible responses. If you have the possibility of multiple responses you have to have selections like “a, b and d” or “all of the above." Google Forms and Survey Monkey include other types of responses including free form text.
Who can post a poll?
Any member of ECHOES can post a poll.
Are the results of the poll visible to everyone?
Yes, the poll results are visible to all ECHOES members and posted in real time. An example of the poll results is shown below. The total number that voted is displayed along with a graph of the percentage of respondents to each poll question.
Can the poll be used to gauge Symphony Village opinion?
By all means use the poll to gauge opinions like how the HOA should or should not spend our HOA dues, for example. I would consider it an informal poll since not all residences participate in ECHOES and there may also be multiple responses per household. If you want one response per household, you can request that but there is no guarantee that will happen.
Can the poll be used for HOA voting?
Unfortunately not. Nextdoor will accept responses from more than one account in a household (HOA voting only allows one vote per household). Furthermore, ECHOES only represents about 67% of residences in the community. The HOA Board has not approved any formal electronic voting.
Can I post a poll to a group rather than everyone?
Yes, you select who you want to poll when you “Choose neighbors." You can select ECHOES or anyone of the groups of which you are a member. Only one selection can be made, however.
Who can respond to a poll?
Any member of ECHOES can respond to a poll; this includes multiple ECHOES accounts (members) per household.
Are the results of the poll anonymous?
Yes, no one knows who voted nor who voted for what in the poll.
How many times can I vote in the poll?
You can only vote once per account. Thus if you and your spouse, for example, both have ECHOES accounts, you can each respond to the poll. There is currently no way to limit the poll to one response per residence so please honor that request if stated in the poll description.
How many residences can vote in a poll?
Only residences that have Nextdoor ECHOES accounts can participate in a poll. There are currently 252 residences (households) on our Nextdoor site which is about 67 % of the existing homes.
Can I close a poll?
If you were the originator of the poll, you can terminate responses at any time. I would give a date/time for closing the poll in the poll description, however, so people know how long they have to decide and respond.
How can I manage my email?
You have a great amount of control over your email in ECHOES. I hear many neighbors say they don’t want all the email from this site and therefore don’t join ECHOES. You can completely turn off email and just view/respond to posts whenever you want. To manage your email from ECHOES, first click on the caret to the right of your name in the Nextdoor green banner at the top of the page. You will see a menu; select “Settings” from this menu as seen below.
You will then see a display like below; this has recently changed and probably accounts for any difference you may have noticed in receiving emails from ECHOES.
This explanation is from Nextdoor HELP:
“Select your desired email notification settings:
Any change you make to your email settings will update automatically. After you change an email preference, you will see a yellow bar at the top of the page that says "Your settings have been updated."“
What is Immediate Updates?
Immediate Updates means that you'll receive an email as soon as that type of message is posted by one of your neighbors. You'll receive an email for every individual post. This is what some people object to.
What is Daily Digest?
By selecting “Daily Digest” you receive a summary email that is sent to you each afternoon or evening. It contains all of the updates from ECHOES since the last digest was sent the previous day. This email is formatted to help you quickly access the content that you're interested in reading. You will see in this order: a table of contents that allows you to scan for interesting messages; the ECHOES newsfeed and then group posts in a combined section; and finally ECHOES classifieds. You can click on any of these to see more on the ECHOES website.
What is No emails?
No email means just that, you won’t receive an email about that type of activity – you’ll have to visit the website or the app to read messages from your neighbors.
What emails do I receive from ECHOES?
You receive only emails that you select in your settings (see previous). They stay that way until you change your settings which can be done at any time.
Can I respond to an email?
Yes, you have the same options in email as you would by viewing a post in the ECHOES news feed. There is a box to VIEW OR REPLY. Selecting this brings up the post and you respond the same way you normally would. There is a link to just “Thank” and also a link to send a private email to the neighbor that posted the message. I suspect that some people only view ECHOES via email. If so they are missing a lot that is available by visiting the ECHOES website at https://echoesmd.nextdoor.com/news_feed/.
How can I manage my profile?
“Your profile” is a selection on the pull down menu accessed by clicking on the caret to the right of your name in the green banner. This brings up a profile of information that you have chosen to share with your ECHOES neighbors including your ID photo. All this is optional, including photo, and you can add, delete, or edit your profile information at any time. Your profile also includes a lot about your ECHOES participation such as how many accepted your invitations, how many posts you have made, etc.
How do I retrieve a forgotten password?
If you try to sign into ECHOES and forgot your password, there is a link to follow that will ask for your email and provide information to reset your password.
How do I sign out of ECHOES?
You can sign out of ECHOES by accessing a pull down menu by clicking on the carat to the right of your name. This is useful if multiple people in your household access ECHOES with the same computer and different accounts. I personally remain continually signed into ECHOES.
Who are members of ECHOES?
The easiest way to see if your neighbor is a member is to go to the directory “Neighbors” on the left of the page. This brings up a list of neighbors that are currently ECHOES neighbors as shown below. You can select the list to be sorted alphabetically by “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Street Name,” or “Newest."
What is the map view?
The ECHOES map view is a full map of Symphony Village with residences color coded to identify them as members (green), invited but have not yet accepted (tan), or not currently a member nor invited (red). You can zoom in or out by using the + and – icons at the lower left. You can move your view around by holding your right mouse key down and moving the mouse around to get to the place of interest. Note: the lots are mostly correct but there are some errors as to the correct location; this is particularly true of newer residences on Orchestra and Concerto. As you zoom in, you will see house numbers which may also have errors. The important thing is that Nextdoor recognizes you as a legitimate resident of Symphony Village; this protects our privacy and keeps posts limited to our neighborhood only. You will also notice that the current number of residents and households are included in the box. The percentage participation is fairly accurate, but Nextdoor doesn’t have the final residence count correct.
How do I get to the map view?
You can get to the map view by clicking on the map icon at the top right of the ECHOES page or by clicking on “Map” in the left menu. You can get back to the normal news feed view by clicking on the Nextdoor icon in the green banner at the top of the page.
Can I send a personal email via ECHOES?
Yes, you can send personal emails via ECHOES without knowing the email address of the recipient. When in the map view, you can click on any member location (green). This will bring up a box with the residents name(s) and address with a blue underlined “message” link which you can click on. This will bring up an email box with subject and message lines. When finished, click on the green Send button. You can also elect to have a copy sent to yourself. I don’t know of a way to send email to multiple recipients via ECHOES email. In general, you are probably better off sending normal emails with the web page directory. Sometimes you can inadvertently post to everyone in ECHOES.
You can also send an email by clicking on the green “Message” box to the right of a resident’s name in the ECHOES directory.
Where do I view ECHOES email replies?
If you are electing to receive ECHOES emails, you will receive a reply in your normal email inbox. ECHOES also has an “Inbox” in the left menu. If you have unread ECHOES emails, the number of unread emails will be indicated next to the “Inbox” icon.
Can I get an email address from ECHOES?
In general, Nextdoor does not share email addresses. If you click on a name in the ECHOES directory, some residents have chosen to include their email address and/or phone number in their ECHOES profile. The most complete directory is the Symphony Village website Directories page.
What are the methods to communicate using personal emails?
There are at least two ways to communicate via email within Symphony Village: normal email and via ECHOES Nextdoor. You should be aware of issues with each so that you can choose wisely.
When should I use normal email?
Most people are familiar with normal emails, but there are a few important precautions when doing this. Protecting resident’s email addresses and associated privacy is of paramount importance. Personal communications with one or more residents in the To: or cc: address list is perfectly fine. Every resident within the village has access to the Directory which has these email addresses (at least the ones that residents elected to share). Be very wary and careful about including your neighbor’s email address(es) in communications that are also sent to external friends and family. Subsequent “Reply to All” can easily spread your neighbor’s email address, literally across the country inviting spam or worse; this happened with the previous TRIO.
Normal email is the only way that I know of that can include multiple addressees. If you ever send out blast emails, like we did for propane meetings, please put all addressees in “bcc." Your neighbors email addresses are not visible and the receiver can only respond to the sender even if they “Reply to All."
Most normal email services, e.g. gmail, also have archive and search functions for retrieval of previous emails. This is often useful.
When should I use ECHOES for email?
ECHOES is convenient for sending a quick message to a neighbor when you are working in ECHOES and don’t want to take the time to access the Symphony Village Website and enter the password to get to the Directory. It is very appropriate to send a private reply to a post, e.g. “I am interested in your posted item. When can I stop by to look at it?” ECHOES emails are limited to ECHOES members only, however. ECHOES only covers about 67% of Symphony Village residences and is not as extensive as the website Directory which covers over 90% of residences.
These are the limitations and disadvantages of using ECHOES for email commutations: 1) you cannot include multiple people in your email messages; 2) you cannot include attachments with your replies; 3) you cannot format your messages, e.g. using bold for emphasis; and, 4) it is harder to include links, e.g. link shortened aliases are not available. Finally, it is easy to inadvertently post something when you think you are in a private conversation.