On Civic Minded: Jane Jacobs drew the map on online community

From my Civic Minded blog on Corante: 

Today marked the end of Jane Jacobs' life, but not of her work. Jacobs' pioneering work in urban planning changed the way we think about cities — and by redefining our ideas about how cities work as communities, she set the stage for the best thinking about online community today….

Jacobs' death reminds me how much my own work in online community, and the work of Internet community-builders in general, owes to that earlier generation who reclaimed urban centres as living communities. The most important principles of online community building and online dialogue grow out of the experiences of urban community planners and participation planners: Communities are about people, not structures. Healthy communities are owned and shaped by their members, not by some team of expert planners. Communities thrive on activity and diversity. And if many of the most influential experiments in online community are those that tie online communities to real-world towns and cities — projects like Die Digitale Stadt, MeetUp or even craigslist — they also owe a debt to Jacobs for helping to keep those real-world communities vital.

Read the whole post on Civic Minded.

Online community camp, May 25th in San Francisco

Forum One is hosting a one-day Online Community Camp in San Francisco on May 25th. According to the preliminary schedule, planned topics include:

 * Community management issues;
* Online community business models and ROI; * Online community marketing;
* Online community performance metrics;
* Review of community tools;
* Tactics for smoothly changing community platforms;
* Online communities and advertising;
* Technical standards to allow communities to share members;
* Effective use of volunteers;
* Reputation and ranking strategies
* Legal issues
* Using online communities to enhance interaction within physical communities like neighborhoods, towns, and cities. 

While registration is almost full, there are some spaces yet (and some scholarships still available), so if you're interested contact Jim Cashel asap.

Ode to Aggregator2 on WorldChanging

I have a piece on WorldChanging today about using Drupal's Aggregator2 module as a news tracking tool. The piece was partly inspired by a recent inquiry about why to use Aggregator2 rather than Drupal's default: 

Aggregator2 turns the Drupal platform into a powerful tool for news tracking and republishing by offering options for customizing news feeds, tagging news items, and moderating incoming news. That feature set makes Aggregator2 an exceptionally flexible choice for setting up a nonprofit news tracker that aggregates news from a wide range of blogs, news sites and search engines. Because Aggregator2 saves each individual item as an independent node (like a web page) in Drupal, you can edit or annotate news items after you bring them onto your site. Because Aggregator2 lets you assign different tags to different incoming feeds, you can set up different news pages for different topics, and direct news to show up on the appropriate pages. And Aggregator2 is also a terrific tool for integrating content from multiple related web sites or overlapping organizations.

Read the whole story on WorldChanging

Social Tech Brewing Vancouver: May 4 at the Whip

If you work at the intersection of technology and community-building, we hope you'll join us for a May 4th gathering of Social Tech Brewing's Vancouver chapter. Social Tech Brewing brings together folks from nonprofit organizations, community service, social activism, social ventures and technology to share ideas — and beer!

Our May 4th event will look forward to the June meeting of the UN's World Urban Forum (WUF) here in Vancouver. WUF will bring a remarkable range of government leaders, community development workers and urban activists to Vancouver to talk about the future of sustainable cities. And the lead-up to WUF has already featured one of the Net's most ambitious online dialogue efforts to date, the Habitat Jam.

The STB meeting on May 4th will feature a short panel and Q&A session to illuminate some of the innovative technology projects that are happneing around the WUF meeting. We'll hear from one of the members of the Habitat Jam team about what was learned from the Jam experiment. And we'll also hear from Steven Forth of the Global Urban Sustainable Solutions Exchange, a Vancouver-based information and social networking resource that will launch at the WUF in June.

The panel will start at 6:15 and wrap by 6:45, so please come early so you can be part of the discussion. And plan to stick around for another hour after the panel to be part of the beer drinking, gossip exchange, and general consipracy-hatching.

We hope to see you there! Please RSVP on Upcoming.org 

 Event details

Social Tech Brewing Vancouver
Thurday, May 4th
The Whip (map)
209 6th Avenue East (at Main), Vancouver

RSVP on Upcoming.org 

Any questions? Email info@socialsignal.com