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As I posted on JaxScene, there is something new in Jacksonville for all the girls and boys to play with this holiday season.

One of the pillars of JaxScene is community-building. That’s why we tell you where the cool shit is going down each day and post pictures from the events we attend so you can relive the magic of the evening or see what you missed.

Lately we’ve been working on ways to expand the vision beyond the blog. Tom is working on a yearbook project which sounds awesome and is pretty unprecedented as far as I know. My contribution to the project is the JaxScene Network, a social networking site in the vein of MySpace or Facebook hosted by a company called Ning.

I came across this service a few years ago from one of my favorite podcast/web shows, Epic Fu (nee JetSet). They use the forum that Ning provides as a way to connect with their viewers and it works phenomenally well. The show has won several web-related awards and is one of the leaders of New Media. This is something I also am looking to explore in cahoots with JaxScene (stay tuned…).

I’m very excited about this project. It’s very Web 2.0 and a great way to get people to connect. And that is what community-building is all about. I think the network will help propel JaxScene to the next level and make it the premier online resource for all things Jacksonville.

So this is my basic vision for the site and my goals for the future.

  • Forum – This will allow Jaxvillians to discuss local issues as well as share ideas and opinions. Topics could range from serious political issues to favorite local hang-outs or bands. You could even potentially use this to find a job, gig, or recruit employees. Status: ONLINE!
  • Groups – Here you will be able to connect with locals who are into the things you dig and share ideas, network, and meet new people. IMHO, this is the heart and soul of what we are trying to accomplish. I’ve already started a Jax Bloggers group but anyone can start their own based on your personal intersts and passions. Status: ONLINE!
  • Photos – You can always catch great pics on JaxScene from Liam, Amir, and the rest of the gang but here you can post the things we missed and make the scene all your own. In the future Flickr importing will be available and easy as pie. Status: ONLINE but empty.
  • Video – This is my personal passion. I have several ideas on how to incorporate some New Media into the mix but for now feel free to post your own videos. Status: ONLINE but empty.
  • Music Player – My plan is to acquire some choice tracks from local groups who want a way to get their music out to the masses. The potential is there for free downloads if the bands want it. If you have a band or make your own music, contact me and we’ll get your music on there. Status: Coming Soon!
  • Events – JaxScene is the place to find out what is happening in Jacksonville each and every night of the week. This feature will allow you to promote your own events and set up RSVP lists for parties, concerts, showings, whatever. Anyone can host or promote an event and hype it up! Status: ONLINE!
  • Profiles – When you sign up you get a page similar to what you get on MySpace or Facebook. Tell us something about yourself, post a sexy pic, and get to know your neighbors. You can even add your own HTML and third-party widgets if the mood strikes. Status: ONLINE!
  • Chat – I haven’t played with this but it has the potential of being a really cool feature. Find out in real time what your friends are up to or host a live discussion on the topic of your choice. Status: ONLINE!
  • Design – I’m still playing with this so expect to see some changes in the weeks/months to come as we get the feel for the platform and what works best. All the features will still be there, we just like things to look pretty. Status: In flux
  • Badges – You can copy the code and let the world know you belong to this awesome site on your Facebook, MySpace, or blog. There are some design things I’m working on for this but as far as I know you can already use the generic badge and help spread the word! Status: ONLINE but in progress.

Since the news dropped on JaxScene we’ve already had a few bites and big ups to everybody who is onboard. This project has huge potential for the future of Jacksonville but only if you participate. Initially I had planned to do a little Beta-testing with a closed group but the cat is out of the proverbial bag and we’ve hit the ground running. No worries but as a result I ask only for your patience and hope you will stick with it as we tweak it and iron out the kinks. There is an open thread on the forum on how we can make JaxScene better but feel free to offer your two cents on the network as well.

I hope you’ll join us and get in on the ground floor of this exciting new opportunity to make Jax an even better place to live and play than it already is. Ooh, and tell your friends!

In case you missed it, here’s the link