Using New Technology for Community Building


Published on

A presentation on using technology in neighborhoods and local communities to build community. Presented by Steven Clift as a webinar hosted by Grassroots Grantmakers.

Published in: Technology
1 Comment
  • Great webinar. Very insightful. Thank you for sharing and including
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Using New Technology for Community Building

  1. 1. High Tech Meets High Touch: Using New Technology for Community Building<br />Steven Clift<br />Executive Director<br /><br />
  2. 2. The “default” local online news discussion experience is …<br />Most people see, expect public conflict.Sharp contrast with private social networking.<br />
  3. 3. Unlocking community …<br />Connecting people who live near one another.<br />
  4. 4. Growing community…<br />Opening “organic” hot topic on Standish Ericsson Neighbors Forum in Dec. 2008:<br />Dear Neighbors, My name is Michael and I'm interested in establishing a community garden in our neighborhood. <br />Dozens of messages, offers to help, and a call for a meeting.<br />Radical idea!? Local people online can meet in-person.<br />500 members, 10%+ of households in May 2010<br />This month the Southside Star Community Garden opened!<br />
  5. 5. Introduction<br />30+ Issues Forums serve 15 communities in 3 countries <br />Ford Foundation funded “Participation 3.0” start-up - includes two lower income, high immigrant neighborhood forums.<br />Ashoka Fellow <br />Hi, I am Steven Clift<br />Executive Director, E-Democracy.orghttp://e-democracy.org<br />Created world’s first election information website in 1994<br />Spoken across 26 countries, 27th with Libya in two weeks<br />
  6. 6. Presentation Outline<br />Two-Way Tools<br />Assumption: “Community building” not just informing<br />CC: e-mail<br />E-mail Discussion Lists<br />“Place” Blogs<br />Facebook Groups/Pages<br />Ning Social Networks<br />Video and Photo Sharing<br />Twitter Local #hashtags<br />Interesting meta-sites<br />More Issues Forums<br />Many Purposes<br />Meet<br />Communicate<br />Socialize<br />Share Information, Contacts, Advice<br />Support Neighbors<br />Exchange Opinions<br />Community News<br />Announce/Invite<br />Organize<br />Collaborate<br />Problem-solving<br />Building bridges/Inclusion<br />
  7. 7. But first, Locals Online<br />Connecting a movement that doesn’t know it is one<br />New online community, 40+ introductions last week<br />Join here, links:<br />Related - Two one hour on-demand webinars – Local citizen media, and Issues Forums:<br /><br />Different flavors and approaches now coalescing<br />Community builders <br />Citizen news<br />Single block, neighborhood, community-wide<br />“Local everywhere”<br />Online-based promoting in-person<br />Off-line model moving online<br />General versus specific niche<br />
  8. 8. First Secret<br />It is not about technology.<br />It is not about waiting for the new new idea.<br />It is about desire, outreach, and execution<br />If you have the desire, with community building intent, then your technology choices will matter.<br />
  9. 9. CC:, E-Lists, Placeblogs<br />CC: E-mail <br />The simple sheet of paper passed around at National Night Out saves a stray dog from the frigid cold months later.<br />E-mail Discussion Lists<br />8 million American adults or 4% are members of nhood discussion lists or forums – Pew Internet and American Life Project 2008, K. Hampton<br />Google/YahooGroups, DC nhoods, Brooklyn parents<br />Hard to find, below the radar, stunningly powerful<br />Placeblogs<br />Cornerstone of “citizen journalism” online, sometimes “watch dog” protest sites<br />Highly interactive examples<br /> – Real comment community<br /> – Excellent forums too<br />
  10. 10. Facebook Pages and Groups<br />Facebook Pages and Groups<br />Publicizing “private life” is NOT building “public life” online<br />Neighbors who are “friends” are connecting<br />Some blocks, nhoods use Facebook Groups, often private<br />Some neighborhood associations and gov’ts create Facebook Pages, “Walls” allow place-based interactivity <br />Useful “gov” reports:<br />
  11. 11. Ning Social Networks<br />Ning (and Drupal too) have made better looking sites easier to create <br />Foster more two-way user content<br />The “there there” needs critical mass, lead “host”who animates exchange<br />Some leading sites<br />Boston –<br />Harringay (UK) -<br />
  12. 12. Video, Pics, Tweets<br />Use of place-based Twitter hashtags like #nemplssupport real-time organic groups<br />Use of video and pictures on the rise<br />Many leverage YouTube, Flickr, etc.<br />Don’t let pretty pictures obscure analysis of “there there”<br />
  13. 13. Interesting sites …<br />Connecting “builders”<br />Locals Online<br />Democracies Online<br /> Blog<br />Neighbourhoods Blog UK<br />Networked Nhoods UK<br />Leaders for Communities<br />ABCD in Action<br />Comm-Org E-List<br />Nat Co Dialogue Delib<br />Talk About Local UKResearchers too …<br />Keith Hampton’s Blog<br />Connecting “folks”<br />Front Porch Forum (VT biz)<br />i-Neighbors (Univ-based)<br />ToolzDo (biz)<br />GoodNeighbors (np)<br /> (np)<br />MN Idea Open (np)<br />And many manymore – “Social media in local public life” link on the right at:<br />
  14. 14. Neighbor Issues Forums Stories<br />More Stories from our Neighbor Issues Forum<br />Somali community – 20 missing youth to crosswalks<br />“Little Mekong” and BoaLee’s lessons<br />Powderhorn Cinco de Mayoviolence<br />Chickens in Bemidji<br />Leech Lake Native American majority rural forum<br />Inclusion evaluation in progress:<br />
  15. 15. Secret Sauce<br />Key Lessons<br />Civility and real names builds trust, real community<br />Outreach matters – Use paper!<br />Real inclusion is “work”<br />Multi-tech - Reach people where they are online – E-mail, web, FB, Twitter – we syndicate content<br />E-mail “reply” publishing is key to inclusion<br />
  16. 16. Secret Sauce 2<br />Key Lessons<br />Facebook increasingly used by immigrant communities<br />Elected officials participate with their voters<br />People LOVE neighbor forums<br />37 Blog posts sharing Lessons<br />Missing gap at block/building/township level? – opportunity<br />
  17. 17. Many Purposes Reflections<br />Meet<br />Communicate<br />Socialize<br />Share Information, Contacts, Advice<br />Support Neighbors<br />Exchange Opinions<br />Community News<br />Announce/Invite<br />Organize<br />Collaborate<br />Problem-solving<br />Building bridges/Inclusion<br />
  18. 18. Advice for Funders<br />Promote online community building idea<br />Find and encourage good local examples, counter terrible online news commenting trend<br />Convene and seed new efforts<br />Get lessons to local “hosts” – increase success rate<br />Real inclusion will NOT happen without initiative<br />
  19. 19. Advice for Funders 2<br />Don’t wait - technology and models will NEVER stabilize – constant evolution and opportunity to learn<br />Create two-way online connections among grantees with “host” e-facilitators<br />Consider options to connect people (the “builders”) across different cities looking for great ideas and lessons to apply locally<br />Pool resources - help people find (or create) local online spaces from national look-ups – Why not 8%, then 16% of Americans?<br />
  20. 20. Further Information<br />As part of Participation 3.0 we are:<br />Convening and working to “move the field”<br />Plotting a “Locals Online” roll call webinar<br />Working with League of Women Voters on “Sunshine 2.0” guide for local evaluation of govs online support for democracy<br />Working with on “DemocracyMap”<br />Really pushing inclusion in online civic engagement <br />Developing next generation partnership proposals by 4Q<br />Steven Clift<br /><br />@democracy on Twitter<br />612-234-7072<br />Join Locals Online:<br /><br />More Links<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Slides also available from:<br /><br />