[Air-L] Neighbor to Neighbor Networking Online, Reaching Diverse and Immigrant Communities

Steven Clift slc at publicus.net
Fri Jun 24 05:45:53 PDT 2011

We have a new in-depth presentation on our neighborhood-level Issues
Forum work: http://blog.e-democracy.org/posts/1215 (the audio version
is at the bottom)

While Hampton's i-neighbors.org site and the practice of Front Porch
Forum recommends small typically private (not in Google) covering
areas with around 500 residents, we've found our sweet spot at ~10,000
residents, in very public (therefore accessible) online spaces. We've
further found that when you reach 10% of households (one member ~one
household) the online exchange becomes quite self-generative.

I am curious if others have explored these variables and compared
either the user satisfaction with these differing models or any
differences in the content exchanged?

We do see real value private small scale electronic block clubs
(covering under 100 households) out there that we are exploring -
http://beneighbors.org - but with our Inclusive Social Media work -
http://e-democracy.org/inclusion -with lower income, high immigrant
communities, the word of mouth "virtual gated community" approach in
larger areas seems to work against that goal. (On the other hand, the
concern about over exposure online can be a limiting factor for many,
but our foundation is civic engagement in public life.)

So any researchers working on these questions out there? Let's connect
offline and here: http://e-democracy.org/locals

We'd love to see some deeper analysis of what is going on across our
dynamic network - http://tcneighbors.org including my own neighborhood
with over 750 members reaching ~17% of households -
http://e-democracy.org/se .

On a related note, I'd love to put a number to the comparable "likers"
needed on a community-based Facebook Page, then Groups and
neighborhood e-mail lists to generate similar traffic. Perhaps the
best against the best ... my sense is that you need 10+ likers to
generate the value of one e-list member in critical mass online
spaces. It could be much higher.

Steven Clift

P.S. Please cc: clift at e-democracy.org

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