Thursday, January 21, 2010

From my friend Steven Clift, Neighborhood e-mail list host for

Steven writes:

Do you host a ...

... neighborhood e-mail list?
... highly interactive placeblog?
... local social network on Ning?
... a private Facebook group for nearest neighbors?
... a local online community of any kind?

Then join your peers on this new peer-to-peer online group for local hosts:

One of the buried factoids from the Pew Internet and American Life Project last year is that 4% of American adults or 8 million people are members of good old neighborhood e-mail lists. If the average neighborhood e-mail list is 200 people (no idea what it is) that means 40,000 people have step up to successfully create an online public space for their neighbors.  However whether it is on YahooGroups, Google Groups, Ning, or Facebook a quick hunt for local online groups brings up perhaps 10 empty shells with just a few members.

The technology made it easy for 360,000 people to fail at a low cost and 40,000 of us broke through and managed to convince our neighbors to join us online (very much a close to one person a time adventure from my  experience) to the tune of 8 million overall. The neighbors movement online is completely below the radar and most succesful efforts barely know about the local online spaces beyond their immediate area. I want to change that by gathering a few hundred hosts of online neighborhood efforts in a space we can use to exchange stories, lessons, and advice.

Imagine if we simply captured our top ten lessons and the success rate for new neighborhood spaces went from 10% to 20% by spreading our collective advice. We'd serve another 8 million people (far more globally for that
matter) in no time. Wow!

That might be the easy part. The real challenge is finding the first few hundred online neighborhood hosts who don't yet know they are part of a movement. Can you help by sending the local revolutionaries you know to:

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