PreservationNation.org

Our New Direction Online

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Download Main Street News PDF - 2008/03

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently launched its new website, Preservation- Nation.org. While you will immediately notice the new domain (no longer NationalTrust.org) and the new design (yes, those are the colors of our hometown Washington Redskins and no, that was not on purpose), it's the vision the new site represents that is most important.

Simply put, this vision is to create a virtual town square where people share proven tools, make connections, and get inspired to save historic places.

The launch of PreservationNation marks a new direction in our thinking about online communications — one that will position us to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving technology and the Internet revolution. The site will be built on the Social Media (or Web 2.0) concepts of open information and communication, providing users the opportunity for greater participation in the dialogue through blogs, wikis, and other online tools.

What This Means for Main Street

While over the next few months, we will be moving the content from MainStreet.org to the PreservationNation platform. While MainStreet.org will not be going away, it will take on a new form. By becoming part of PreservationNation, we will be able to take advantage of many new opportunities.

Share proven tools. While we Main Streeters are well versed at sharing information among ourselves, this vision for PreservationNation will make us part of a larger conversation — bringing us new ideas and resources and sharing our success with a much broader audience.

Make connections.  By more closely integrating Main Street with the rest of the National Trust and the rest of preservation, we can take our message to a much broader audience. As an example, travelers looking to visit a National Trust site can find a Main Street community on their journey, learn about its revitalization efforts, and even plan a visit to its thriving downtown — all of which helps them better understand the links between all types of preservation.

Get inspired to save historic places. We know that you are already inspired, but convincing others can be a challenge. PreservationNation will be designed to turn online visitors from interested observers into engaged preservation activists. Maybe that same traveler will become inspired to start a program in his or her own town. Or that troublesome property owner in your town — the one who won't support your program but who is interested in Civil War battlefields — will learn how the two are connected and become your next great board member.

As you can see, the opportunities this opens up are practically endless.

What This Means Now

So that's the vision. But what does it mean now? There will be some immediate benefits from  moving to the new platform:

•  Easier access to Main Street News, our Sample Documents, and the rest of our Knowledge Base;

•  Greater access to resources from the rest of the National Trust;

•  More visibility for Main Street communities; and

•  Integrated customer experience — you'll no longer need multiple logins to access everything the Trust has to offer.

But the larger picture is where this will take all of us in the future.

Share Your Thoughts

We welcome your comments and thoughts on PreservationNation. Please send them to us at mswebmaster@nthp.org. Let us know your ideas and help us form the future.