I've been working to catch up on the emergent and growing interest in the use of social media in local communities in the UK
. Some newer efforts have their roots in local e-democracy initiatives and more seem to take their inspiration from community journalism online. Regardless, it is exciting to see.
As a Minnesota-based charity with four partner UK communities
has focused on deepening our Issues Forum model
where we've had funding - in rural Minnesota communities
and in urban lower income, high immigrant/diverse neighborhoods
in St. Paul
We are about to announce a new funded Participation 3.0 initiative
that while launching U.S.-focused, could use some cousin connections across the Atlantic.
At this point, I am specifically interested in identifying a highly diverse, lower income neighbourhood (under 20,000 residents, ideally under 10,000) in the UK that we can connect to our deepening inclusive social media
Participation 3.0 effort. At a minimum, a local partner needs to provide the in-kind capacity required to do effective outreach (in-person that is) for local online communities that are designed to build new social capital. Ideally, some UK funding would be secured to document lessons and do some comparative analysis of both our U.S. and other UK neighborhood forums like the Headington and Marston forum in Oxford
. Interested? Contact us.