As of September 2006, Monticello, Ark., joined the rest of the world in cyberspace thanks to the efforts of Jeff Noble, the creator, owner and publisher of MonticelloLive, an online community.
“I think in small rural communities, the communication is not ideal. MonticelloLive can be a network for citizens to be able to find what they need faster and easier,” Noble said.
The MonticelloLive staff currently consists of Noble and his wife Carolyn. Noble, who has a background in graphic design and communications, does the majority of the work maintaining the site. His wife, who has a background in communications, media and photography, writes for the feature “One Monticello Life” as well as assuming the role of head photographer.
A Little Rock native now living in Monticello, Noble created MonticelloLive as a blog or web log through WordPress. According to the site, a blog operates as an online journal, conversation or community, which an individual or group creates.
Users can join the MonticelloLive blog by clicking on the register tab and providing a username and e-mail address. For those who do not know how to blog, Noble will offer a seminar on blogging in the near future. Stay posted to MonticelloLive for details.
By clicking on the news tab, users can also subscribe to the MonticelloLive calendar, which supplies information on all upcoming events in the area, and/or subscribe to a daily e-mail from the site.
Noble says, “MonticelloLive is not just news and stories; it’s an ongoing conversation. The site becomes better when you participate in its dialogue. So feel free to voice your comments and thoughts.”
This online community has a variety of features and information for citizens of Monticello and even for out-of-towners. The site features links to organizations, businesses, bloggers, schools and government of Monticello. The site also provides recent community news and entertainment opportunities.
By clicking on the business tab, users can not only find links to Monticello businesses, but they can also find out information on sponsorship and advertising information. Noble currently has corporate sponsorships and regular advertisements available. From this tab, users can also link up with the Buy It Find It Sell It network, which publishes inexpensive classifieds for the region.
The city information tab provides users with information on the city government, including names of elected officials, the chamber of commerce and the Monticello Economic Development Commission. This tab also provides city links, health links and school links.
The schools tab supplies a venue for school news and announcements as well as supplying links to student organizations and school websites. The organization tab supplies links to churches and organizations in the community.
By clicking on the entertainment tab, users can access the garage sales links and the lending library. This page provides a form for users to list their upcoming garage sales. MonticelloLive networks with LibraryThing, which enables Monticellonians to list and share their books. This page also provides links to the Hollywood Cinema, Timberlodge Lanes and the Monticello Speedway.
Noble also offers website services and community website services through his company Noble Design. Noble Design will build or redesign sites for businesses as well as building interactive websites for communities.
According to Noble’s ad, “With such a site (like MonticelloLive), you will suddenly increase citizen communication and participation in important community events, build awareness of civic achievements and promote your community to outside interests and industry for the purpose of community and economic development. It’s a vibrant and necessary ‘front porch’ for your city.”
Carolyn Noble maintains two of the unique features of MonticelloLive – the Monticello Shots and the One Monticello Life. Monticello Shots provides a slideshow of photography featuring areas in the town. One Monticello Life provides an in-depth look at Monticello by featuring citizens and unique places in town.
MonticelloLive offers an array of information for locals and people in the surrounding areas. Any interested individuals, businesses, organizations or citizens are encouraged to contact Noble by clicking on the contact tab and filling out the form. MonticelloLive accepts any ideas and suggestions as well as accepting news, information and reports from people in the community.
“We depend on community contributors and local authors to make the site as interactive and participatory as possible,” Noble said.
For more information, contact Jeff Noble at 870-460-4217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ŠThe Voice 2006
Revised 10/24/2007 02:38:14 PM — http://www.uamont.edu/Organizations/TheVoice/4_10/live.htm