Hyper-local Social Media

A “Facebook for the Neighborhood” Expands St. Paul

Excerpt from a feature by Julie Kendrick

“The average person who is on Facebook has 229 friends, but only five of those Facebook friends are neighbors,” says Steve Clift, Executive Director of E-Democracy and the driving force behindBeNeighbors.org. “If you want to talk about neighborhood crime statistics, start a community garden, or compare notes about the new restaurant on the corner, your high school buddy or old college roommate aren’t the ones to ask–your neighbors are.”

From Talk to Action

For now, the focus is on getting the word out that BeNeighbors.org exists, and that it’s a safe and friendly place to get to know the people who live nearby. Clift believes that a civil or helpful exchange on the forum can foster in-person cooperation. “At the neighborhood level, people move from talk to action more frequently. When you build trust by finding a lost dog, or loaning someone a tool they’ve asked for on the forum, you’re more likely to take the next step and go to that meeting at the library to discuss a crime wave, combating noise pollution, or the logistics of creating a community garden. Proximity helps people cross barriers and neighborliness helps build trust,” he says.

See Julie’s full feature here.

Comments Closed