Congratulations to UK’s Hugh Flouch and Kevin Harris on the publication of the results of their new study…
Do neighbourhood websites have a positive social impact locally? For those who’ve suspected and long wanted convincing evidence, we think the wait is over.
The report of the Online neighbourhood networks study was launched yesterday during a lively conference in London…
Our study looked at three neighbourhood sites in London. The research shows that they serve to enhance the sense of belonging, democratic influence, neighbourliness and involvement in their area. Participants claim more positive attitudes towards public agencies where representatives of those agencies are engaging online.
We’ve produced a short (4-page) summary, an extended summary, a full report divided into digestible chunks, a selection of video interviews, together a number of other papers, and we will continue to add to these.
We see similar trends with Front Porch Forum in our pilot region. That is, FPF members report… (1) better connection to neighbors and neighborhood, (2) a more prominent voice in local decision-making, (3) a friendlier environment, and (4) increased civic engagement.
Miscellaneous findings from the UK report…
95% – Feel more informed about neighborhood
92% – Neighbors are helpful if asked for advice
69% – Increased sense of belonging within neighborhood
92% – Useful information gets shared efficiently
82% – People pull together to improve neighborhood
63% – Main source of local news
44% – Neighbors more likely to lend items or exchange favors
42% – Met a neighbor
54% – More likely to see a neighbor you recognize due to website – Active member
14% – More likely to see a neighbor you recognize due to website – Passive member
This collection of materials is worth a close look!