Laying The Neighborhood Foundation


In the last page I explained the origin of Melvin was due to my idea of Community Healthcare Concierge (CHcC). During the first step in the CHcC process, a person/patient has their Concierge interview them to help them articulate where they want their journey to take them. In the world of Melvin and his Neighborhood, this interview process takes place in the form of a “Look in the Mirror”; online questionnaire.

“The Mirror” is a series of twenty questions that aims to assess where you are in the world in terms of making an effort to better your life. It’s not a picture of where you’re at (like how most all self-improvement assessments operate), but how much you’re trying. There is no perfect “you” and we’re sure not going to try to tell you what it is. But what we in the form of Melvin can do is help you on your journey to improve your plight in life and maybe make that journey a little less bumpy and more enjoyable. “The Mirror” is the map that will help show you the way.

Please take a diversion for a few minutes, and “Look In The Mirror” if you dare. What reflects back on you might not be what you expected.


The next step is to now use the information you provided while looking in “The Mirror”, and connect it with the resources in your community. Your community and its various neighborhoods are composed of what we call Front Porches. A Front Porch can be your favorite local restaurant, your neighborhood community center, that grocery store down the street or any place you and your friends use to gather and informally plan your comings and goings. Front Porches are what really makes up your life; and they are the lifeblood that makes up Melvin’s Neighborhood. It’s these Front Porches that provide the basis for you to personally build the environment you really want, your Perfect World.

Based on the answers provided in “A Look In The Mirror” and the relationships you, as Resident of Melvin’s Neighborhood, have developed with your community’s Front Porches (merchants and other organizations), each morning Melvin packages four to six suggestions from your neighborhood Front Porches in an email that will nudge you towards activity that will better your human condition. We cal this morning nudge “Opening The Shades”. The suggestions just don’t randomly come from a Front Porch though. They are triggered by activity and past engagements you’ve had with them (there are sixteen triggers in all). For example, your favorite restaurant could send you a VIP offer for a free caesar salad (healthy of course) if you spent a inordinate amount of money the last time you were in. Or your local hardware store could make sure you knew about their spring public gardens planting with an offer of discounted seed for your own garden. Melvin’s goal is to use the Front Porch community to better your physical, mental and social well-being. Melvin is your guide on the road to your Perfect World as navigate your way through your daily routine, and it starts with “Opening The Shades”.

Each Front Porch will choose a package or subscription of nudge campaigns that will have the opportunity to make it into “Opening The Shades” (based on relevance). A subscription, which will be customized, represents a Front Porch’s intended contribution to the neighborhood and its Residents along with acting as a personalized marketing vehicle. Each subscription is templated, yet modified to the Front Porch. A subscription package normally consists of different nudges and offers that not only promote their establishment but forward a volunteer cause that is near and dear to them. These causes, whether they be cleaning up a local vacant lot or organizing blood drives are what drive the purpose of Melvin’s Neighborhood and what makes it a unique alternative to the institutionally-driven civic society we currently inhabit. Through Resident engagement with Melvin’s Neighborhood’s Front Porches; social and civic needs will be uncovered and met that normally lie ignored.

For a deep dive into how Front Porches and businesses in Melvin’s Neighborhood implement a cause-driven subscription-based marketing strategy, please click here.


The third part of Melvin’s Neighborhood’s civic and personal enfranchisement strategy is called Nests. Nests are strategic geofences placed throughout the community. A Nest is activated when one steps through the invisible parameters of its geofenced boundaries. A nest can be sponsored by a Front Porch, an individual Resident (an Associate Community Empowerment Concierge) or even by the Neighborhood itself. They are designed to act as a spontaneous nudge, versus the morning email which is set in its timing and format; combining the static with the dynamic. Who sponsors a Nest is ultimately determined by the Neighborhood Lead CEC. They work look at each Front Porch (and/or Resident) and their contribution to the community (normally through the volunteer causes they sponsor). The more a Front Porch does for the Neighborhood, the more the Neighborhood should do for that Front Porch. Other evaluating conditions might also be taken into account on a case by case basis.

Once a Nest is activated, the Resident might or might not be sent a text message suggesting they do something or think about something – depending on whether a specific set of conditions exists relevant to the Resident, as determined by their latest “Look In The Mirror”, engagement history with the Front Porch network or any other factor the Neighborhood may feel appropriate. Responses from Nests should work in conjunction with a sponsoring Front Porch’s overall marketing strategy (as would subscripti-based campaigns contributing to morning emails); and help further positive societal norms and expectations of the Neighborhood. Nest campaigns can be sponsored singularly or in collaboration with other Neighborhood entities.


Building Melvin