Local Communities & Neighbours.

Local Communities & Neighbours.
By Dan Street.
Neighbourhoods are in a tough spot these days. Neighbours are increasingly less likely to involve in their local communities. Neighbourhood association involvement is at an all time low. Civic and community organizers have increasingly difficult jobs, as people change their focus from physical to virtual engagement.
In the online world, people are trying to meet neighbourhood needs, yet it isn’t easy. In the increasingly social media world, neighbours have a distinct relationship that isn’t captured well by traditional tools. The relationship is strange: neighbours are not friends, and yet they are not strangers. They share a lot in common, yet they also keep many areas of their life private. They are not served by search, nor are they served by Face book. And Yahoo Groups is a rudimentary tool, not specifically made for the neighbourhood context.
It’s just a matter of time before somebody solves this need. In my opinion, it comes down to sparking and hosting conversations. Neighbours don’t talk about each other (at least to somebody’s face), they talk about other things. The weather, construction, crime, or local businesses.
However, our technology and social media relationships have to change to make room for physical neighbours in our virtual world. People will have to become accustomed to conversations and dialogue online, not just consuming content. In a self oriented world where micro blogging about your bathing habits gets followers, can we create a space for more meaningful and local, dialog? Or will people continue to look for meaningful debate in forums with only like-minded peers, and not engage locally?
I think the answer is clear. People want to engage in their neighbourhood, and our society is not in peril. We just haven’t found our answer; we haven’t found our new online social medium.
It’s coming, people. The tools are on their way. But will we rise up and use these new tools, or will we continue to dwell in our own worlds, and our own minds?
Article Source:
That new online social medium is now available right here on
Just do a search for your local community on this site and join the conversation. Or start your own private or public group.

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