Connecting local voices

When it comes to national or global issues, the conversation and debate gets loud and active.

Sometimes too loud due to special interest groups and such.

But our individual and collective voice can break through.

Just look at what’s going on with the #SOPA backlash and the impact that Twitter and Tumblr have had. Bottoms up. It’s real and it’s inspiring. 

However when it comes to hyperlocal issues, we often don’t have that level of awareness or conversation.

The reason is because the data/facts/information doesn’t see the light of the day.

I live in a sleepy little town outside of Boston. I’m pretty sure that most folks in our town don’t quite understand how the board of selectmen work and function. I know there have been been things proposed that impact the lives of the elderly, education, home ownership, land development, security, transportation, communication issues that have enormous impact – but with little voter turnout or awareness. 

We need our connected web and the mobile web to change this and turn it around. The opportunity is simply too massive. 

In previous times, the national and global conversation was controlled by powerful gatekeepers. Now we know we can break through.

The same thing has to happen at a hyperlocal level. Members of each community have a voice and have real connective tissue to each other. Sometimes I feel more connected globally than the things happening down the street. That’s not right. 

You can see things happening when efforts become organized. Just look at the private/public efforts in NYC with things like the High Line. Or things like Neighborland that allows members of the community have a voice in urban planning. Or SeeClickFix which feels like the GetSatisfaction of towns and cities. 

It’s an exciting start.

We need more things that are bottoms up and less about coddling the status quo.

Local issues are critical and we need more ways to go from simply caring to real action.