Limitations of networks unanchored to geography

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:51.
Services like Craigslist have local incarnations -- Craigslist New York, say -- which are essentially convenient abstractions of geography in order to control the nature of the content. That's ideal for selling stuff, finding a job, or renting an apartment -- for transactional interactions. Ten years after Netscape went public, I can still get a little thrill at how easy it's become to find out that someone in Sydney needs a rideshare, or a date, but some of the limitations of networks unanchored to geography are also more apparent. I and millions like me can look at this board from anywhere on the globe, and the chances that I'm going to connect with someone around the corner are correspondingly small.
From finding out why the nearest laundromat has shut down (big local quality of life issue, trust me!) to why the cops were on the block last night, from where the good yard sale is to changes in local zoning, to simply making a few friends right nearby, there are all sorts of down-to-earth reasons it might be good to shift attention from the cross-continental, trans-oceanic network for a bit, and get better connected with the local neighborhood.

 
Full article

Archives are at the heart of decentralized communities

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:44.
In decentralized, emergent communities, the community archive defines the community over time. Therefore, designers of such communities need to pay attention to the processes by which these archives emerge. The ongoing debate over folksonomy provides us with a public record of decentralized archiving strategies that do and don't work.

 
Link

Communities and governments

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:35.
Relationships - family and community - preceded governance and markets. This view from Jeremy Rifkin is in an interview published in May 2000:

"What I say to business leaders is "understand that your sector and the government sector are derivatives, not primary institutions." There is no example in history where you first create a government or establish a market, then you create a community. It's always the other way around, although we have lost sight of that lesson. First people establish communities, then they create social exchange, shared metaphors, shared meetings in life. Only when the social capital is well developed do communities create markets for trade and establish governments."

 
The full interview

"Individuals are the engine that makes a healthy local economy grow."

Thu, 2005-09-15 00:09.
Quotings from "A Global Look to the Local" by Colin Hines:
A Focus on the Individual and Taking Control of the Economy

‘Individuals are the engine that makes a healthy local economy grow. It is individuals, working independently and collectively, that form the fabric of community life. It is the skills, abilities, and experience of these individuals that can be mobilized to develop a vibrant local economy.’
Historically, significant community development tends mostly to take place when people in a local community are committed to investing their time, skills and resources in the effort. In the US, John Kretzman and John McKnight summarised successful community-building initiatives in hundreds of neighbourhoods across America.
They found that a key was to ‘map’ their local human, institutional and resource assets and to combine and mobilise these strengths to build stronger, more self-reliant communities and hence local economies. This consists of drawing on individual’s skills, the local associations where people assemble to solve problems or share common interests, and the more formal institutions that are located in the community. These include private businesses and public institutions such as schools, libraries, hospitals and social service agencies.
This drawing on local capacity is the start of a process which reinvigorates local economic and physical assets. Local government officials have been most useful when their role has been to support local problem solvers and strengthen and connect other local assets. The most helpful approach has been one where local government representatives have asked how they can assist local citizens in their development efforts. (The more usual approach has been to ask how local citizens can participate in the government’s efforts.) At a national government level a primary role is to ensure that a substantial part of government expenditures provides direct economic benefits in terms of local jobs, contracts and purchases .

 
A Global Look to the Local - pdf

The Globalist - Beyond the Nation State

Wed, 2005-09-14 23:48.

The ongoing integration of the global economy will lead to an inevitable undermining of the nation state in favor of the region. This is anathema to those who believe that a big, centralized state is the only way to run a territory. In "The Next Global Stage," Kenichi Ohmae argues that nation states are declining because their fixation on borders is not in line with today's transnational world.

Full article

The citizens' media industry

Tue, 2005-09-13 12:29.
Jeff Jarvis: I asked Jonathan Miller, the head of AOL, how much of his audience's time is spent with audience-generated content.
He replied: 60-70 percent.
Think about that: Two-thirds of the time, the audience is looking at the audience's own content, not the pro's.
There's an industry there, an industry that has barely been born.

 
Full article