0270: /take.back.lakeview

lakeview

Organizing your neighborhood with out jumping through hoops

Lake View is a community on Chicago’s North Side.  It’s home to Wrigley’s Field and also a 100,000 residents.  It doesn’t get the     attention for it crime that the South Side does, but that doesn’t       mean it’s residents haven’t had enough.  They have.

And when the residents feel as if the local politicians and police     aren’t listening, it’s time to take matters into their own hands             and get organized.

At a community meeting with over 100 residents in attendance, the ‘slash’ /take.back.lakeview was shared as a way to communicate.   There are other platforms to communicate on, but many platforms require onerous sign up and confirmation processes which can       hold things up and slow momentum.  If you were at this meeting,     and you had a browser on your phone, you could participate in /take.back.lakeview within a few seconds.  You don’t even have to   sign up to read what’s being said.

Communicating among each other is good, but what about spreading the word?   By simply posting in /take.back.lakeview, residents are pushing that slash to the top of the frontpage on Localweb.is on the north side of Chicago.  If you check the local web there, you will see this slash at number one.   This serves to bring in new residents who may be out of reach of the other organizing tools which don’t serve location particularly well.

The Localweb front page is a snapshot of what people in the area are thinking and talking about.   In the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago, it’s about taking back their community.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day..

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Image via Joven J on Flickr

0264: /borderlands.gathering

borderlands

Getting the gang together               online, then offline

PAX East is a big video game show and conference where hundreds of people dress up as their favorite game characters.  Borderlands has a massive following and PAX will be full of both Borderlands cosplayers and fans alike.  But how do they all find each other?  A Borderlands PAX takeover won’t be very effective if they can’t all assemble for maximum impact.  Sure there is a Facebook group, but tons of Borderlands fans won’t know about that or will be too busy to be checking Facebook at PAX.

That is why the organizers of the Borderlands Gathering are using the local web to not only round up all the stray Borderland fans, but mobilize them as well.  They are using a local web slash, localweb.is /borderlands.gathering to organize and communicate when they are on the ground in Boston.  It’s not just about organizing either.  /borderlands.gathering becomes this instant local community where people can talk about anything… among other Borderlands fans, be it where to eat dinner or how they design aspects of their cosplay.

All this communicating on /borderlands.gathering causes that slash to rise to the top of the frontpage at localweb.is.  PAX attendees are checking out the front page to see what is active and hot for the day.   Any Borderlands fan can’t resist seeing what is going on in /borderlands.gathering and even people who don’t know what Borderlands is are wondering why this slash is so popular.  There is a lot of exposure going on for Borderlands on the local web and it’s time to turn that online activity into offline madness.

When you have hundreds of Borderlands fans all checking /borderlands.gathering to see whats going, it’s much easier to mobilize people on the ground.  Because it’s the local web, you know that everyone who is watching or has posted is in walking distance.  It’s not like they said they were going on Facebook, then didn’t show up.  On the local web, they are already there.

The organizers of /Borderlands.Gathering have to get multiple meetups going over the course of the three days of PAX.  By Sunday, /borderlands.gathering is so active, that multiple meetups are planned for the final day, including a mega-meetup, which might just break the record for most Borderlands fans and cosplayers in one photo shoot.   It’s all a bit of pandemonium which is exactly the way Borderlands players like it.

This wasn’t planned months in advanced.  It all came together   because the local web allows for ad hoc communities to form     quickly and easily, and get exposure from the people around           them — the people that matter.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image via L & M Cosplays via Facebook

0249: /wheres.link

link

Local hashtag?  Try local instant communities.

At the PAX conference in Boston there are many ways to use the local web to enhance your experience.  If cosplay is your thing there is /pax.cosplay for general cosplay action, or /bonnie.aether.wing.kayle for a specific cosplayer, but what about a specific character?  Thats where /wheres.link comes in.

If Link is your favorite video game character you really don’t want to miss any Link cosplay at the event.  Others at PAX are taking photos of Link cosplay they see and posting to instagram and twitter, but the real magic is when they post to /wheres.link on the local web.  On /wheres.link you can find all the Link cosplay to be found at PAX and people are discussing and asking questions of the players.  “Slash wheres Link” becauses a pop-up community for all the Link fans at PAX.  By posting on /wheres.link all the Link cosplayers become…well… linked… and decide to get together for a massive Link photo shoot at noon on Saturday.  This becomes an historic event and /wheres.link shoots to the top of the front page of the local web.  Others at PAX see it at the top and get hyped about the photo shoot and being in the presence of 100+ Links.

This event wasn’t listed on the PAX website, or mobile app.  It wasn’t on a schedule or attached to a twitter hashtag.  It was the product of the type of organic community that can happen on the local web.

The first step to getting an instant community like this is to bring people together in the same place, which PAX has done.  But the local web allows people to find others with similar interests and interact and organize.  No app needed except a web browser.  /wheres.link wasn’t in planning for months before PAX.  It happened when one person posted a photo of Link to the url localweb.is/wheres.link. One Link fan browsing the local web noticed it and thought it was a cool idea so posted a photo too.  Then another.

There is a sense of spontaneity and DIY attitude that is missing from our current online life.  We have tons of apps with narrow and carefully curated experiences, but few opportunities to break out of those boxes and do what we want, whatever it is.

The local web as far as social media goes is a sandbox experience.  It is what you make of it, whether that is for gathering 100 Links together into the most epic of photos… or any of the other 248 uses currently listed here.

And we are just getting started.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Ryan Quick on Flickr

0244: /pantry

pantry

What would a shared neighborhood pantry look like?  This.

You just got a great recipe online for jambalaya and you have all the ingredients needed to pull it off… except one.  One bay leaf.   Now you are left with some choices.  Get yourself down to the grocery store, fighting 6 pm rush hour traffic, and grab a $7 container of bay leaves of which you may use three single leaves over the next year.  Or don’t include the bay leaf, and always wonder what your dish would have tasted like if you had made it properly.

With the local web, there is a third option.  Post your request for a single bay leaf to localweb.is/pantry.   There is a good chance that someone within a 3 minute walk has a single bay leaf they can spare. /pantry or “slash pantry” is an experiment and a movement.  It’s a way to share the items in your cupboards with your neighbors but without some centralized pantry or food bank.  People post requests of what they need and others offer to help.  Or if you are going on vacation and you just got a dozen eggs that won’t last, offer it up to /pantry.  Or you thought you were being adventurous with those kale chips but it turns out they aren’t your thing.  Well someone on /pantry might want them, or at least try them.

/pantry works well in suburban neighborhoods but really shines in urban cities where it feels as if an entire apartment building is pooling resources.  While sharing food stuffs is convenient, in the process of doing so residents are also sharing recipes, cooking tips, and interactions that is bringing everyone a little bit closer together.

A few generations ago people would think nothing of going next door to borrow a cup of sugar.  Then the internet happened and things changed and people became siloed.  Then the local web happened and the silos were opened up and sugar again flows freely with the magic of /pantry.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image via Joanna Alderson on Flickr

0241: /lost.at.pax

lostpax

Local help on your phone

PAX East is a gigantic sprawling video game conference held in Boston each year.  The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is over a half million square feet.  At PAX, you will occupy one of those square feet. Despite the best efforts of maps, both physical and online, it can be daunting to know where you are, where you want to go and how to get there.  And because the maps were printed weeks ago, it can all be a bit out of date.  So if you find your self a few wrong turns deep and down a deserted hallway, who do you turn to?  The local web.

Simply drop a post on /lost.at.pax about your prediciment and someone will quickly point you in the right direction.  PAX has people monitoring that slash officially, but there are also lots of people checking it out during their down time who can lend a hand as well. Where is the nearest bathroom that has a baby change table?  A PAX volunteer might direct you to the closest but another momma attendee will direct you to closest one that works because she just visited the one the volunteer suggested and the latch is broken.

At a conference like this people are always looking to help others, but surprisingly it can be hard to find the person who needs help.  But at /lost.at.pax those needing help can find those willing to give it and more attendees can have an awesome experience.  /lost.at.pax isn’t the first line of defense for those in need as the PAX officials have done a good job at providing adequate resources.  But it’s an effective last   line of defense in which crowdsourced volunteers instill a sense of togetherness in all attendees and make sure no one goes home frustrated and overwhelmed.

Note: PAX is not officially affiliated with the local web.  The above is just an example of what could happen when the local web launches at PAX East in April.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

Signup at localweb.is

Image via Colin Taber on Flickr

0127:  /veggie-trade

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Trading a little kale for                     some swiss chard

Summertime is filled with barbeques, kids running around, and,     with a bit of luck (and hard work), a garden bursting with vegetables. Usually someone ends up with the lion’s share of kale or carrots, so     it helps to be able to balance out your supply by trading with gardeners nearby.

But unless they’re right next door, you may not have peeked over the fence or chatted with your fellow vegetable growers.  Websites and social platforms mostly connect you to people you already know, some of whom might not be gardeners or might not live nearby.  /veggie-trade is an easy way to post a note about what you’ve got on surplus, and see what others are working on.  Got plenty of butter lettuce but want to round out that salad with some green onions?  Easy enough. Have a ton of beets and could use a trade + recipe ideas?  Post a note and you’ll quickly be talking with someone nearby who’s got the perfect recipe for you to use.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image courtesy of mercedesfromtheeighties on Wikipedia.org | Licensed by CC2.0

0124:  /shakesinthepark

image

Good neighbors wherever a neighborhood pops up

One of the benchmarks of a strong city is arts & culture programming. New York City may be known as the home of acting, but its sister city Buffalo has a Shakespeare in the Park series that rivals any in the country.

Each summer Delaware Park is turned into an outdoor stage and this year around 50,000 people are expected to come by to see productions of Romeo & Juliet and 12th Night. The best part?  It’s all free.

/shakesinthepark is the perfect way to communicate in this environment.  Dropping by the drug store on your way over?  Quickly check to see if people who are already there recommend a blanket or mat to cover wet grass from last night’s rain.  Or if you’ve got an extra and want to see if anyone in the rows behind you needs to borrow one, simply post a note.

That’s the power of community and of people connecting when and where it matters.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image courtesy of shakespeareindelawarepark.org

0100: /doing-good

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Giving back and building community

Doing good is something most people think about.  We want to help each other, it’s a key part of the human experience.  But while we       see TV commercials about hunger and water conservation halfway across the world, we often struggle to connect to and help the people right around us.

In many cases it’s useful and important for non-profits and other charitable organizations to be a clearing house for good works.  But what if the 78 year old woman a couple of blocks over just needs help clearing trees after a storm?  Wouldn’t neighbors be the best people to help and get the most out of connecting to and developing a friendship with her and with each other?  /doing-good is a way to change that and to build community with those people right around us.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org | Public Domain

0064: /littleart

image

A guide to the little things

Not all art lives in a museum or gallery.  While it may not inspire documentaries, books or essays, a chalk drawing, a carefully crafted adobe wall, or an iron sculpture that’s a couple of blocks over can change our mental or emotional landscape.  This art can give us room to breathe and to enjoy all of the little things in life.

/littleart can be used as a source of inspiration, a chance to get away from the day’s pressures, or a guide to plan your next walk around the neighborhood.

We are building the local web, and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Img via Joe Cardillo

0059: /scam-alerts

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Local alert system

Getting information out quickly about scams is important.  By the time the local newspaper or the police department is aware of a problem, the scammers are often long gone.

With /scam-alerts neighbors can share information and keep an eye out for each other.  Someone spending a little too much time in a yard that’s not theirs?  Neighbors can quickly confirm if that person lives in the area, and someone can politely but firmly say hi to let him / her know that residents are on the lookout for each other.  Someone offering to do yard work but you’re not sure if they’re reliable?  Check in on /scam-alerts to see if anyone’s reported back on them.

We are building the local web, and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Img via Joe Cardillo

0055: /weight-loss

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Local support for your goals

Effective weight loss isn’t about your crash diet or how much individual willpower you have.  The most important ingredient is   your support system.  A group of people trying to reach a goal alone will have a high rate of failure.  But get them together on /weight-loss and you have a strong dynamic for success.

On /weight-loss you can post your progress and setbacks and know there are people going through the same struggle.  There are millions of people attempting weight loss on any given day, but these people go to the same gyms, walk the same trails, and shop at the same grocery stores as you, often without ever having a moment to connect over the day’s frustration or success.

We are building the local web, and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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Image courtesy of Arya Ziai on Flickr

0009: /critical-mass-miami

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Informal gatherings

Started in 1992 in San Francisco, Critical Mass is a loosely       organized ride that happens the last Friday of each month in           cities around the world.

The rides range from a few hundred to a few thousand people, and   are a way for both experienced and new riders to meet each other   and develop a community around cycling.  /critical-mass-miami is       an example of how you might use Localweb.is for casual meetups – enabling members of the group to quickly post directions, add     photos of safety and traffic conditions, and agree on a place to hangout afterwards.

We are building the local web and sharing a new way to use it each day.

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