An interesting experiment in bringing Loreto Bay homeowners together to share information took place this evening during a podcast hosted by Richard "Kaz" Kasmier, a Loreto Bay homeowner in northern California.
The podcast format allows for people to listen to and/or participate in conversations via real time streaming audio. In addition, messages can also be posted to the site during the podcast.
Kaz, who has also launched a new Web site, Nopolo News!, started the informal chat by asking those online and on the phone about their reactions to Michael Coyle's letter to homeowners updating Replay's plans and the progress of the development.
He noted that he had attempted to get Michael Coyle to participate in the debut podcast but Coyle ultimately bowed out and offered a PR representative in his stead. Unfortunately, that substitute also fell through, which left Kaz to moderate without a guest. However, his previous radio experience was in evidence as he adroitly dealt with the flow of conversation as it moved from topic to topic.
Those participating agreed that the communication flow from Replay/LBC to homeowners needs improvement, with Kaz noting that information seems to trickle down from homeowner to homeowner, not a very effective means of communication.
There was also discussion of Bill Doyle and the update he sent to homeowners about a week before Replay's official response. One caller noted that many homeowners were unjustly angry at Bill for disseminating the information. Other callers agreed that Bill shouldn't be blamed as the messenger. As a side note, George and I were both worried about the position Bill was putting himself in by releasing his update. We thought - and rightly so it turns out - that some folks might very well blame the messenger. It is our opinion that Replay is at fault for not providing regular, detailed accountings of the progress of the development.
Discussion also focused on the status of Hurricane Norbert and exactly what LBC property management is doing to prepare for the storm's landfall Saturday morning. And what homeowners should do to prepare for storms during hurricane season. One suggestion was to stow patio furniture and outdoor items inside when the home is not in use. It was interesting to see a post appear online from a listener while this conversation was taking place, informing that Norbert has been downgraded a bit with winds now below 100 mph. A good example of how effective this format can be.
A good deal of talk also centered around the proposed Cortez Explorer's Club (what homeowners previously knew as the "beach club") and just what homeowners can expect in the way of amenities and fees. At this point, however, nothing is known.
George also participated in the online phone chat (while I listened in another room and took notes) relating his conversation with Bill Green about Replay's plans for the development.
Participants also spoke extensively about the airline situation into Loreto, with a couple of callers noting that Alaska Air is increasing flights into Loreto, along with thoughts on how to drive other airlines to Loreto.
George and I both think the format is a good way to get information out to homeowners, but it's obvious that it's going to be something of a problem to control the flow of information. All in all, though, it was a good start and Kaz deserves our thanks for taking on the task of hosting and coordinating the podcast.
The Web site can be found at http://www.nopolonews.com and those interested in participating or just listening in to the podcast can go to http://www.talkshoe.com