Using New Technology for Community Building
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Using New Technology for Community Building

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

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

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  • Great webinar. Very insightful. Thank you for sharing and including ToolzDO.com.
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Using New Technology for Community Building Presentation Transcript

  • 1. High Tech Meets High Touch: Using New Technology for Community Building
    Steven Clift
    Executive Director
    E-Democracy.org
  • 2. The “default” local online news discussion experience is …
    Most people see, expect public conflict.Sharp contrast with private social networking.
  • 3. Unlocking community …
    Connecting people who live near one another.
  • 4. Growing community…
    Opening “organic” hot topic on Standish Ericsson Neighbors Forum in Dec. 2008: http://e-democracy.org/se
    Dear Neighbors, My name is Michael and I'm interested in establishing a community garden in our neighborhood.
    Dozens of messages, offers to help, and a call for a meeting.
    Radical idea!? Local people online can meet in-person.
    500 members, 10%+ of households in May 2010
    This month the Southside Star Community Garden opened!
  • 5. Introduction
    30+ Issues Forums serve 15 communities in 3 countries
    Ford Foundation funded “Participation 3.0” start-up - includes two lower income, high immigrant neighborhood forums. http://e-democracy.org/p3
    Ashoka Fellow
    Hi, I am Steven Clift
    Executive Director, E-Democracy.orghttp://e-democracy.orghttp://stevenclift.com
    Created world’s first election information website in 1994
    Spoken across 26 countries, 27th with Libya in two weeks
  • 6. Presentation Outline
    Two-Way Tools
    Assumption: “Community building” not just informing
    CC: e-mail
    E-mail Discussion Lists
    “Place” Blogs
    Facebook Groups/Pages
    Ning Social Networks
    Video and Photo Sharing
    Twitter Local #hashtags
    Interesting meta-sites
    More Issues Forums
    Many Purposes
    Meet
    Communicate
    Socialize
    Share Information, Contacts, Advice
    Support Neighbors
    Exchange Opinions
    Community News
    Announce/Invite
    Organize
    Collaborate
    Problem-solving
    Building bridges/Inclusion
  • 7. But first, Locals Online
    Connecting a movement that doesn’t know it is one
    New online community, 40+ introductions last week
    Join here, links:http://e-democracy.org/locals
    Related - Two one hour on-demand webinars – Local citizen media, and Issues Forums:
    http://e-democracy.org/webinars
    Different flavors and approaches now coalescing
    Community builders
    Citizen news
    Single block, neighborhood, community-wide
    “Local everywhere”
    Online-based promoting in-person
    Off-line model moving online
    General versus specific niche
  • 8. First Secret
    It is not about technology.
    It is not about waiting for the new new idea.
    It is about desire, outreach, and execution
    If you have the desire, with community building intent, then your technology choices will matter.
  • 9. CC:, E-Lists, Placeblogs
    CC: E-mail
    The simple sheet of paper passed around at National Night Out saves a stray dog from the frigid cold months later.
    E-mail Discussion Lists
    8 million American adults or 4% are members of nhood discussion lists or forums – Pew Internet and American Life Project 2008, K. Hampton
    Google/YahooGroups, DC nhoods, Brooklyn parents
    Hard to find, below the radar, stunningly powerful
    Placeblogs
    Cornerstone of “citizen journalism” online, sometimes “watch dog” protest sites
    Highly interactive examples
    http://locallygrownnorthfield.org – Real comment community
    http://westseattleblog.com – Excellent forums too
  • 10. Facebook Pages and Groups
    Facebook Pages and Groups
    Publicizing “private life” is NOT building “public life” online
    Neighbors who are “friends” are connecting
    Some blocks, nhoods use Facebook Groups, often private
    Some neighborhood associations and gov’ts create Facebook Pages, “Walls” allow place-based interactivity
    Useful “gov” reports:http://bit.ly/socmedgov
  • 11. Ning Social Networks
    Ning (and Drupal too) have made better looking sites easier to create
    Foster more two-way user content
    The “there there” needs critical mass, lead “host”who animates exchange
    Some leading sites
    Boston – http://neighborsforneighbors.com
    Harringay (UK) - http://harringayonline.com
  • 12. Video, Pics, Tweets
    Use of place-based Twitter hashtags like #nemplssupport real-time organic groups
    Use of video and pictures on the rise
    Many leverage YouTube, Flickr, etc.
    Don’t let pretty pictures obscure analysis of “there there”
  • 13. Interesting sites …
    Connecting “builders”
    Locals Online
    Democracies Online
    OurBlocks.net Blog
    Neighbourhoods Blog UK
    Networked Nhoods UK
    Leaders for Communities
    ABCD in Action
    Comm-Org E-List
    Nat Co Dialogue Delib
    Talk About Local UKResearchers too …
    Keith Hampton’s Blog
    Connecting “folks”
    Front Porch Forum (VT biz)
    i-Neighbors (Univ-based)
    ToolzDo (biz)
    GoodNeighbors (np)
    E-Democracy.org (np)
    MN Idea Open (np)
    And many manymore – “Social media in local public life” link on the right at:http://e-democracy.org/locals
  • 14. Neighbor Issues Forums Stories
    More Stories from our Neighbor Issues Forum
    Somali community – 20 missing youth to crosswalks
    “Little Mekong” and BoaLee’s lessons
    Powderhorn Cinco de Mayoviolence
    Chickens in Bemidji
    Leech Lake Native American majority rural forum
    Inclusion evaluation in progress:http://e-democracy.org/inclusion
  • 15. Secret Sauce
    Key Lessons
    Civility and real names builds trust, real community
    Outreach matters – Use paper!
    Real inclusion is “work”
    Multi-tech - Reach people where they are online – E-mail, web, FB, Twitter – we syndicate content
    E-mail “reply” publishing is key to inclusion
  • 16. Secret Sauce 2
    Key Lessons
    Facebook increasingly used by immigrant communities
    Elected officials participate with their voters
    People LOVE neighbor forums
    37 Blog posts sharing Lessons
    Missing gap at block/building/township level? – http://neighbor.be opportunity
  • 17. Many Purposes Reflections
    Meet
    Communicate
    Socialize
    Share Information, Contacts, Advice
    Support Neighbors
    Exchange Opinions
    Community News
    Announce/Invite
    Organize
    Collaborate
    Problem-solving
    Building bridges/Inclusion
  • 18. Advice for Funders
    Promote online community building idea
    Find and encourage good local examples, counter terrible online news commenting trend
    Convene and seed new efforts
    Get lessons to local “hosts” – increase success rate
    Real inclusion will NOT happen without initiative
  • 19. Advice for Funders 2
    Don’t wait - technology and models will NEVER stabilize – constant evolution and opportunity to learn
    Create two-way online connections among grantees with “host” e-facilitators
    Consider options to connect people (the “builders”) across different cities looking for great ideas and lessons to apply locally
    Pool resources - help people find (or create) local online spaces from national look-ups – Why not 8%, then 16% of Americans?
  • 20. Further Information
    As part of Participation 3.0 we are:
    Convening and working to “move the field”
    Plotting a “Locals Online” roll call webinar
    Working with League of Women Voters on “Sunshine 2.0” guide for local evaluation of govs online support for democracy
    Working with OpenPlans.org on “DemocracyMap”
    Really pushing inclusion in online civic engagement
    Developing next generation partnership proposals by 4Q
    Steven Clift
    clift@e-democracy.org
    @democracy on Twitter
    612-234-7072
    Join Locals Online:
    http://e-democracy.org/locals
    More Links
    http://blog.e-democracy.org
    http://e-democracy.org/nf
    http://e-democracy.org/p3
    http://stevenclift.com
    Slides also available from:
    http://www.slideshare.net/netclift