How cities can serve as a model for social media platforms to build better community spaces

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How cities can serve as a model for social media platforms to build better community spaces

Take a hard look at FBook’s NextDoor app, and do everything humanly possible to NOT be like it.


Good fences make good neighbors.


Let’s not forget that the Freenet Movement preceeded Internet access. It was about using online for community, though maybekind of vague at tge time. As the internet became more available, Freenet got lost into providing cheap access.

It helped in some places, the Ottawa Freenet took off almost immediately in 1993, bout here in Montreal we waited three years till 1996, and it lasted four months.

So too often instead of at least trying to.set a standard, it was washed over by commerce that came soon after.

Now it’s just forgotten, but lots of papers written at the time.


A design-centred contextual approach is always useful, and I like how he approaches it here. I’m positive that Jane Jacobs, if she was alive today, would be more amenable to the decentralised and federated model than to FB’s and Twitter’s walled-garden/gated-community model.

His discussion of “loose” and structureless societies (the U.S. and California within it) could lead to a deeper interrogation of the outcomes (both good and bad) of the Californian Ideology and how they affect our on-line social spaces.

Also, his discussion about the need to replicate the visible gestures of exhaustion and impatience and ennui that he saw in town meetings in the digital social realm brings to mind the fact that users have jumped in where the platforms won’t, using the reaction GIFs (of the sort so disdained here by our more supremely rational users).


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