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Back to Barnraising: Why Hyperlocal Is The Future for Online Civic Engagement and Philanthropy
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Back to Barnraising: Why Hyperlocal Is The Future for Online Civic Engagement and Philanthropy

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DCIgnite presentation about ACTion Alexandria, an new online civic engagement and grassroots philanthropy project based in Alexandria, Virginia

DCIgnite presentation about ACTion Alexandria, an new online civic engagement and grassroots philanthropy project based in Alexandria, Virginia

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  • Only a few can actually have an impact.

Back to Barnraising: Why Hyperlocal Is The Future for Online Civic Engagement and Philanthropy Back to Barnraising: Why Hyperlocal Is The Future for Online Civic Engagement and Philanthropy Presentation Transcript

  • Barn raising was born of necessity
    Universal need in small, rural community = many hands
  • Community need +lack of resources= organized collective action
  • Barn raising worked then because
    Communities were small and well organized
    Communities were homogeneous
    Barns were recognized as a necessary common good.
  • “Barn raising” in the future? Communities are more complex
    With simple problems
    And complex problems
  • As long as communities have finite resources, collective action will be a necessity
  • Barn raising on(line) steroids
    New technology = easy distributed networks = focus shifts to HUGE collective action
  • So, what’s missing?
    High risk/
  • Distributed projects make impact questions harder to answer
    What did I do?
    Who did I help?
    What difference did I make?
  • Local social action makes impact questions easy to answer
    I helped build a community playground
    I delivered food to families in my neighborhood
  • The easier it is for us to answer these questions; the more likely we are to act again.
    test
  • How people choose a social action
    It’s easy to find
    It speaks to their personal background
    A desire to ‘personally make a difference.’ 
    http://www.kent.ac.uk/research/stories/why-donors-choose-charities/2010
    In your neighborhood perhaps?
  • Hyperlocal civic engagement: don’t call it a comeback
    Community listserves
    Civic associations
    City commissions & boards
    The PTA
  • Local civic engagement goes online in 2010
    22% of all adults (28% of internet users) signed up to receive alerts about local issues via email or text messaging.
    20% of all adults (27% of internet users) used digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.
    Pew Internet: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Neighbors-Online.aspx
  • Local civic engagement goes online cont.
    Urbanites, suburbanites, and women are joining neighborhood email lists at higher rates
    Nearly in 1 in 10 social network users (8%) joined an online group focused on community issues in the past year
    Individuals who don’t know neighbors by name (15%) are as likely to keep up with community events by reading community blogs or by joining an online group
    Pew Internet: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Neighbors-Online.aspx
  • Societal complexity requires solutions
    Communities still have finite resources
    People don’t know where to go FOR help
    People don’t know where to go TO help
  • Community need +lack of resources= organized collective action
  • The future is community barn raising
  • Connecting people and institutions online and off
    Local
  • Potholes ahead
    Diversity
    Accessibility
    Privacy
    Accountability
  • Thanks
    Tracy Viselli
    Community Manager: ACTion Alexandria http://actionalexandria.org
    Tracy.viselli@actforalexandria.org
    @myrnatheminx and @ACTionAlexVA