Hack the hood, see http://oaklandlocal.com/content/hack-hood-fall-2012-get-your-business-visible-google-web
How do you find local businesses and services online?
If you're like 97 percent of all Americans you search online - and on your phone - for companies within your zip code or neighborhood. But if you've tried searching for local Oakland businesses - you will notice that many of them are missing.
A search for bookkeeper, 94619, for example, brings up just ONE Oakland bookkeeper; is that really all the people who do bookkeeping in the Laurel, Allendale, Maxwell Park areas, which have more than 23,000 households?
As a way to address this problem Oakland Local has created a new program called Hack the Hood. Hack the Hood sends volunteers - both youth and adults - to work with merchants and small business people in Oakland's undeserved communities and help the businesses become listed in Google pages and maps. The goal: To make sure they become visible in search listings, maps and Google Places.
The volunteers also create simple one-page websites using responsive mobile themes so that local business people can also better show up in mobile search.
In the pilot stage of Hack the Hood, happening right now, the Oakland Local team is using seed money and support from Google to work with local merchant and community organizations in East Oakland to connect with and serve local merchants. Working in partnership with OCCUR/Heartland Merchant's Association, The Unity Council/Fruitvale Merchant's BID and the Laurel District Business Association, we're collecting basic data from roughly 150 merchants, getting it listed and helping them with basic websites.
As we get the merchants' listings up, we will monitor and evaluate the impact on their businesses - hopefully, more calls, more visits and more customers.
We need more volunteers RIGHT NOW to help with data entry and web page building. Oakland Local is looking for some volunteers who would like to come out for a Hack the Hood work party this Wednesday night, Oct. 3.
Ideal volunteers are web literate, can bring a laptop, and can spend two hours with us working. Oakland Local will provide training and snacks. Meeting is at a downtown Oakland location.
If you can make it, email Hackthehood@Oaklandlocal.com.
If you are an East Oakland merchant who would like to participate, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill our this form HERE.
Phase 2 - 2013
We're going to be continuing this program in partnership with youth organizations in 2013. We'll be training youth in core tech and media skills we they can work with us and their local communities to help small businesses get more visibility on the web.
If you're interested in supporting 2013's Phase 2, and/and would like participate, help fund the project or be involved in some other way, great!
To be on a mailing list to get updates about this project, email email@example.com.
ARE YOU A BUSINESS PERSON WHO LIVES IN EAST OAKLAND?
FILL OUT THE FORM HERE: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHRURnZBSG1nR1E3a09adTZ0YVlqU3c6MQ#gid=0