The Hyperlocal Movement Takes off in the UK and Around the World
One of the new buzzwords in social media and journalism in the UK is “Hyperlocal Neighbourhoods.” In California, the site OhSoWe calls its members “Homesteaders.” Homesteaders, as you may recall, were those who settled the “Wild West” of the US, daring to build communities, townships and societies from the wreckage left in the wake of the anarchy and lawlessness that ruled the day.
The “Homesteaders” from that bygone era were much like today’s “Homesteaders” in that they were attempting to create meaning and social cohesion from a violent and untamed terrain. Today’s homesteaders live online and inside a universe which, thus far, appears to have no boundries.
The hyperlocal networks and homestead communities which have sprouted up around (or perhaps have defined this movement) include Vermont’s Front Porch or London’s Harringay Online. New sites and communities are constantly popping up – all looking to fill the gap that has been left in the wake “Internet Revolution.”
With this revolution, our ideas of what community means have been and continue to be tested and our individual and collective worldviews and identities seem, at times, to have been irrevocably expanded or lost in a vast, unquantifiable space.
Hyperlocal Network initiatives like Networked Neighborhoods or Harringay Online are helping to break that space down into more manageable bits. These networks are cropping up all over the UK. In fact, the UK seems to be leading the effort to encourage citizens to engage in shaping a new collaborative and communicative democracy.
Jabbakam is also working towards making its contribution to these ideals. Have you read the Jabbakam White Paper? It has much to say about the future of democracy, the future of CCTV and the future of our real world communities and relationships.