Life in Melvin’s Neighborhood


Alex is a young woman who is a Resident of Melvin’s Neighborhood in the imaginary city of Elysia. She grew up in a small town approximately 200 miles from Elysia. Currently Alex is attending Rocky College as a junior. She is on a full scholarship, majoring in Cultural Economics. Her life goal is create an alternative type of society that governs from the bottom up by empowering residents to select and implement their own local civic priorities.

In addition to attending college full time, she works part time as a paid intern at a behavioral modification consulting firm, The Malleable Mind. Her internship takes her out in the community quite a bit, but she still isn’t satisfied with her level of civic contribution. Her hectic schedule has not been advantageous to her dietary habits either. She knows she should eat better, but too much of the time she just falls back on fast food. This ‘junk food’ proclivity not only takes its toll on her physically – but also mentally as her mood seems to be on a roller coaster.

Alex is very technical and active on social media. As most her age, she prefers YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok as social platforms. She’s especially interested in the role of AR and VR, especially as it pertains to behavioral change and assisting in the movement towards an evolved more equitable society.

As a Resident of Melvin’s Neighborhood, Alex routinely takes “A Look In The Mirror” to help the bleedingEDGE experience platform (Melvin’s technical access) prioritize the nudges she receives in her morning email alert. Most recently the Action Points “the mirror” revealed were as follows. The top “point” (in bold) is her primary area of attention. Please take look at the full roster of Elysia’s Front Porches, the locally-owned businesses and non-profits that fuel the nudges in Alex’s morning email of well-being suggestions.

  • Nutrition
  • Psychological replenishment
  • Civic participation/civic self-efficacy


The Life of Alex

Below are three typical days in the life of Alex. The dramatization includes two week days (Monday and Thursday) and one off day (Saturday). Each of the days includes a sample of a typical nudge email Alex may get each morning based on her well-being priorities and previous engagements with Neighborhood Front Porches.



Morning email

The Bench Press (“We want your suggestion”)

“We’re bored over here at the “bench”. It seems like everything has been too much the same for way too long — and we want your help figuring how to change it. What can we add (or subtract) from the experience at the “bench” to make good great. If we use your suggestion then we’ll reward you with a full year membership … plus you’ll know you’re truly part of the The Bench Press.

Court and Trail (“Join our Team”)

“First of all, we totally love you are a great customer. In fact we’re so in love with you – we want you on our team. We have a great team, but we’re just a little shorthanded and we’ll take any level of time commitment you’re willing to give us. Our compensation entails more than just your standard good pay. Give us a call and we’ll tell you about all the other goodies you could be in store for.”

Joe’s Tavern (“Don’t be a Grinch”)

“As you know, all of us at Joe’s are fanatics for the environment around us. Well Earth Day is coming and we’re excited. For our best customers, we’re offering 20% gift certificates that you can give to your friends who don’t already know about all the cool stuff happening at Joe’s.”

Wilma’s General Store (“We got a great deal”)

“You’re not going to believe it, but we just got a great deal on “Impossible Foods” ground beef. The price is practically two for one and you can’t tell me you don’t love those burgers — because we know you do.”

(9:45 am) Walking by Rocky’s Biology building (a route she normally didn’t take), Alex stepped into a geofence nudging her to help with a water sample project testing for possible arsenic seepage from the oil refinery upstream. A link can be activated from text nudge directing to more information on the project sponsored by the Biology Department. The Biology department is listed as a separate Front Porch, and even though Alex hadn’t signed up with them before, activating link directed her to a sign up form authorized future correspondence. (Since Alex activated the text link for more information, she will be sent a nudge (in her daily email) on the day of the collection project.)

(classes during the day)

(3:30 pm) Alex stopped into Wilma’s General Store after classes to pick up taco supplies for an international marketing study group she is holding later that night at 5:30 pm. (Aside from more Gems (Melvin’s loyalty points) logged and last visit reset, there will be no effect on future nudges.)

(9:00 pm) After the study group, the team went down to their favorite hangout, Joe’s Tavern, for a beverage and some slam poetry. (They spent quite a lot and Alex paid for it (everyone else paid her so she could load up on her Gems since she hosted the study group prior to the outing. This purchase will activate a “You must have been hungry” trigger that will appear in as future email nudge.)



Morning email

Joe’s Tavern (“You must have been hungry”)

“We totally appreciate you coming the other night and spending your life savings with us. As a thank you from us, we’d like to invite you to a dinner for two on us when we are having our special plant-based five course feast. Please come and see all the wonderment our chef Stuart has been concocting in his kitchen. He won’t even tell us what’s included in the feast. Just click on the link below and a table for you and your guest is all yours.

Building The Future (“We would like to meet your friends”)

“Spring time is time to build. We know you have projects coming up; but what about your friends. I’m sure there’s a deck that needs repainting, a fence that needs a section rebuilt or even a new shower head installed. Bring your friends in and if we’ll give you $20 worth of Gems for each one you help us sign up.”

Herbs, Snakes and Puppy Dog Tails (“Haven’t seen you in a while”)

“It’s been so long Alex. Did we do something wrong last time you were in. Please tell us what we can do win you back. Stop back in check out our new self-branded wellness department and we’ll give you 25% off you’re next purchase (up to $100).”

Melvin’s Neighborhood (general announcement)

“Jupiter and Saturn will have their 2021 great conjunction today. These two worlds will be visibly closer in our sky than they’ve been since 1226. At their closest, Jupiter and Saturn will be only 0.1 degree apart. Sidewinder Hill will be set up for telescope viewing (by the Astronomy Department) for all to partake in this once in a lifetime event.”

(8:30 am) Nothing special, just the normal morning coffee run at Casey’s Coffee if Alex gets up in time or decides not to make it at home. That said, Casey’s once a year shipment of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is due any day now. Casey’s not taking pre-orders, so it’s first come, first serve on whatever day it arrives. (Aside from more Gems logged and last visit reset, there will be no effect on future nudges.)

(work at the Malleable Mind during the day)

(4:00 pm) This is the first time Alex has been to this spin class at her fitness club, The Bench Press. The trainer just moved to town and is supposed to be great – if you consider bone braking exhaustion great. 🙂 (Aside from more Gems logged and last visit reset, there will be no effect on future nudges.)

(8:30 pm) Going for an evening walk around downtown, Alex steps into a geofence in front of an abandon building that text’s her about a pop-up art gallery show featuring homeless people in Melvin’s Neighborhood. The show is sponsored by Joe’s Tavern. A link in the email takes her to a a description URL. There had been some rumors at Joe’s of some super cool event – but this is even better than expected.(Because Alex activated the link in the text, she will be sent a reminder text in her morning email in about a week, right before the show opening.)



Morning email

Rocky Mountain College Biology Department (event announcement)

“Today we do our part in saving the world. At 10:00 am we’re all getting together at the Melvin’s Rapids parking lot. From there we’ll hoof it to our testing stations. We can’t say enough that you’ve chosen to spend a Saturday with us in the muck.”

Casey’s Coffee (“You’re on the Threshold”)

“Alex you’re so close. Or as we in the Neighborhood like to say, “you’re on the threshold”. Only 50 more Gems and you’ll be part of our VIP Club. Being a VIP entitles you to so much stuff. Just stop in and will tell you all about it.”

Bangs and Beyond (“Haven’t seen you in a while”)

“Hey Alex, you must be looking like a sheepdog. It’s been three months since we’ve seen that lovely smile of yours. We don’t think Spring cleaning stops at your house. We all need to clean ourselves up for the summer; so why not start with your hair. We’ll give you half off on product up to $30 if you get in in the next 15 days.”

Melvin’s Neighborhood blood bank (“For Your Information”)

“Please help us out. We know it’s been a crazy winter and giving blood probably isn’t a top priority; that’s why we’re coming to you. Below is a schedule when our blood mobile will be in your neighborhood. And while you’re at it — bring a friend. As always you’ll get a free Tootsie Pop when you’re done. :-)”

(8:15 am) Casey’s Coffee. Well today’s is it. The Blue Mountain is in. And thanks to the Biology Department, Alex is up early on a Saturday, because there’s already a line for that coveted elixir. No fears, Alex grabbed her two pound limit and off she goes to save the world. (No real effect on future nudges except to add to her cumulative Gem total and get her closer to the VIP level. She did ask about the perks of being a VIP though. The one that really peaked her interest was a youth writing project and how being a VIP she could lead the group from Devil’s High School. Devil’s is only a few blocks from her apartment.)

(10:00 am) Rocky College Biology Department. A geofence was created at the water collection site for a coop deal with “Curtains Up” (local theatre group) to publicize their upcoming production of Erin Brockovich. Activation of the link in the geofence nudge take you to the information on the production and entitles you to a two for one deal on tickets. (An email nudge will be sent the day the production run starts (2 weeks).)

(3:00 pm) On the way home from the Biology Department’s water collection Alex stopped in at Meow Heaven, her favorite pet store, to pick up some cat food for Whiskers and crickets for her leopard gecko, Tom. (Being a gecko mom, Alex was triggered to receive a notification nudge on a new pair of crested geckos that are due in in two weeks.)


Melvin’s Neighborhood runs on the bleedingEDGE marketing and engagement platform. It’s that which generates each Resident’s morning email nudges that hopefully directs the Residents towards a life of well-being, altruism and contribution. From this, Melvin’s Neighborhood will also collectively grow and inclusively evolve through the collaborative engagements of its Front Porches and Residents.

During Alex’s personal assessment at the beginning of the week (“A Look In The Mirror”), the bleedingEDGE uncovered her need to work on the following Action Points; Nutrition, Civic self-efficacy and Psychological Replenishment. When Alex looked again into the “Mirror” on Sunday night, at the week’s completion; Nutrition was still a priority, but Psychological Replenishment and Civic Self-efficacy had showed improvement (and dropped out of priority) due to her involvement with the water testing project and her anticipation of having an opportunity to work with the students at Devil’s High School on “This Is What I Think …”, the youth writing project. Taking their place in the “Mirror’s” priorities were Organization and Physical Activity. Those are for another week; but for Alex’s work this week … she deserves many props. 🙂