Online Neighbourhoods Networks Conference, Research Findings


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The Online neighbourhood networks conference was the launch event for the Online neighbourhood networks research by the Networked Neighbourhood Group.

The research can be downloaded at

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  • As a result of using the local website:
    contacted in past 12 months:
    council officers
  • Improved perception of:
    council officers
  • Online Neighbourhoods Networks Conference, Research Findings

    1. 1. Twitter: Hashtag: #ONNC10 @NetwkdNeighds
    2. 2. London’s Digital Neighbourhoods
    3. 3. Neighbourhood websites • have been established and are run by local residents • most of the content relates to local issues or interests • are open to discussion and contributions from anyone living in the area or with an interest in the area.
    4. 4. Scale of London ecosystem • Citizen-led sites - >160 • Twitter - >180 neighbourhood-based • Resident Associations / Friends of groups – 1,320 (est.) • Commercial local sites
    5. 5. User scale 3,500 / 17,000 members 15,000 members 400 visitors a day 2,500 a day
    6. 6. New groups Only 13% involved in formal local decision making bodies
    7. 7. CivilSocialNetwork
    8. 8. LocalDiscussionSite
    9. 9. Placeblog
    10. 10. Study focus • Social capital and cohesion • Supportive and negative online behaviour • Empowerment, civic involvement and co- production • Relations with councils • Implications for councils
    11. 11. Neighbourliness and belonging • Has participation on the site strengthened sense of belonging to the neighbourhood? • Are neighbours more likely to lend things or exchange favours as a result of participating on the site? 69% 44% ‘I can't walk down the road these days without bumping into 1 or 2 people I've met directly or indirectly through the forum.’
    12. 12. ‘Have made lots of new friends for social meet ups. I knew none of the neighbours before I joined the site.’ ‘Met the HOL crew through the drinks. Met N and A through it too - and got an action group together as a result.ʼ Asked somebody to seeʻ work done in their house by a workman recommended on the forum.ʼ
    13. 13. BC EDF HOL All Lurkers 10% 15% 18% 14% Contributors 45% 55% 60% 54% More likely to see someone you recognise in the neighbourhood as a direct consequence of using the website?
    14. 14. Information sharing • People are helpful if someone asks for advice • Useful information gets shared efficiently • Feel much more informed about neighbourhood • 92% • 92% • 95%
    15. 15. ‘yes, there's the occasional idiot, but they are normally shot down by the majority.’
    16. 16. People showʻ support for one another - 79ʼ per cent of respondents agree
    17. 17. Pulling Together
    18. 18. Findings     ? • Information sharing • Neighbourly relations • Collective efficacy • Belonging and attachment • Social Inclusion and diversity
    19. 19. Feelings of Influence As a result of using the local website: •a little or much more able to influence decisions in area 68%
    20. 20. Influence
    21. 21. Influence through information ‘I just had interesting meeting with new officer in charge of one of the local safer neighbourhood teams. In order to get up to speed on what the crime and anti-social behaviour issues are he said that he simply read through the entire correspondence on our local web site. He now knows where the hot spots are, speeding traffic issues, mugging etc etc. ‘He uses the postings and info on the site as part of his evidence gathering for getting resource to be allocated to an issue or area. ‘His previous area he was posted to he said, had no local community web site and he was so glad that there was one in his new location as it made their job so much easier.’ Herne Hill Forum Queenie, Have you reported this to police? I can't find any trace of it on our crime system. If you haven't reported it please call 0300 123 1212 and they will arrange for officers to attend and report it.’
    22. 22. “Interactive surgery”*? *Cllr Alan Stanton commenting on Harringay Online in a BBC article, “The rise of citizen-run websites”, June 2010
    23. 23. East Dulwich councillor - can we help? Posted by James Barber 02 September, 2009 10:05 Hi, My name is James Barber and I am one of the three East Dulwich ward councillors. My two colleagues are cllrs Rosie Shimell and Jonathan Mitchell. We're Liberal Democrats and part of Southwark Liberal Democrats. If you have any issues or concerns related to East Dulwich or Southwark Council then please let me or one of my colleagues know. I guarantee we will listen and answer all ideas and issues raised and hopefully help you solve them. Normally I will look in two or three times a week to see any new postings. Alternatively you can email me directly on I look forward to hearing from you, James Barber
    24. 24. ‘Citizens will still use these networks to talk about you, whether you add your voice to the conversation or not... It is becoming increasingly clear that if councils don’t use these tools, the citizens will do it for them, and bypass the council entirely.' (Gibson 2010)
    25. 25. Link to video clip of Cllr James Barber. Full version viewable at
    26. 26. Sharing council news and information (…and correcting misinformation)
    27. 27. Delivering Services?
    28. 28. Engagement
    29. 29. Link to video clip of Liz Dart, Head of Neighbourhoods & Communities sat London Borough of Lewisham. Full version viewable at