Welcome to the Neighbor.be development wiki. Neighborly is an open source coding project launched at the Minnesota Civic Hackathon on Dec. 12, 2009. Many hackathons later the effort continues. Read on below and be sure to join our online working group.
The working domain name for this project is Neighbor.be (and Neighbour.be.)
Are you neighborly?
Would you like to build connections with your neighbors ...
- to make your block safer and prevent crime
- to "break the ice" and meet your neighbors
- to communicate easily as a group with the neighbors you know
- to share experiences and tips answering "who can recommend a good plumber"
- to connect with other parents nearby organize fun activities for your kids
- to organize a spontaneous neighborhood block party on an especially nice spring day
- to do any of the scores of block activities we've identified
- and find geographically relevant information and connections to online community groups in your broader area
Neighbor.be is a simple idea - use online tools to connect people to their nearest neighbors.
How it might work
This experience is simple:
1. Sign-up - Including your full street address.
2. Get Listed - You are listed in your custom directory of nearest neighbors (site participants) in a circle around you covering 25 to 100 people. Target members: "neighborly" people open to private small group connections
3. Connect - Use your neighbor directory to connect with others via their preference (login required, reciprocity ensured). Determine how you want to connect one to one whether by telephone, e-mail or a web form, encouraging neighbors to friend you on Facebook or follow on Twitter, or none of the above.
4. Discuss - Easily share information (about a break-in on your block), ask questions (who can recommend a good plumber), etc. in private group setting with those in your neighbor circle (directory). Post via e-mail or web. Read via e-mail or web. Topics you start are restricted to just those in your circle. You own the topic and may delete it or comments at anytime. You may only comment on topics started by people in your directory as well.
5. Explore Locally - Based on your location, find other opportunities for broader public engagement from wider community e-mail lists and neighborhood blogs to aggregated place-based government and community information and links connecting you to civic life. Neighbor.be seeks to introduce you to broader public life with you at the center.
- Neighborly Online Group - Join the two-way exchange among developers.
- Neighbor.be specification
- Neighborly on GitHub - where the technical development is happening
- Block activities - things people have done somewhere with their neighbors
- Neighborly Input Survey/Beta Tester Sign-up
- Related Knight News Challenge Submission - Imagining our volunteer driven idea as a funded initiative
A bit of fun ...
Depending upon how the system in designed, we may or may not need detailed address data (parcels, addresses points, government jurisdiction, etc.).
- Google Maps API - Converting addresses to estimated longitude and latitude via their GeoCoder
- YahooMaps GeoCoder API
- Reserve GeoCoder
- Minnesota Voter Registration and Polling Place Finder Data - A way to extrapolate addresses generically and potentially to make registration easier for those who are registered to vote. As a political engagement project, we qualify under state law to use this data.
- MetoGis GeoCoder
- Minnesota GIS DataFinder - Data from the Twin Cities Metro area including various services.
- UK GeoCoder? - In case we want to experiment in our UK Issues Forum communities.
- geocoder.us A geocoder service that is free for noncommercial use.
- Projects Online Group - General volunteers (including non-programmers) are encouraged to join this all encompassing online group.
- Project Blog - Neighborhood-related posts
- Inclusive Social Media - Details on our "public" level of neighborhood-wide social networking in lower income, highly diverse neighborhoods.
- E-Democracy.org's new Participation 3.0 initiative is supporting coordination of the Neighborly effort and will inform our open specification process development.
- According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project about 8 million American adults or 4% of people belong to a neighborhood e-mail lists. Now that is the beginning of a movement. Growing interest in using blogs, Facebook, and social networking sites like Ning to connect neighbors further increases the momentum. Let's take it up to 8%, then 20% and higher.
- Social media in local public life - Extensive links to related projects
Text to Move
The online service will allow people to define their own "neighbor circle" with 25 to 100 nearest people (in the system so we can serve sparsely populated areas as well as very dense areas alike). People will then be able to exchange private group messages with their nearest neighbors as well as be connected up into broader community and public life through a directory of neighborhood-wide place to interact (including E-Democracy.org's Issues Forum and lots of Locals Online spaces hosted by others.
Based on each person's community engagement preference each person will have their own circle of neighbors in a simple neighbor directory. Only those whose engagement circles overlap will be able to see each others' information and exchange group messages. The key innovation is that people will select the number of nearest people in the system, NOT actual address points, allowing us to technically serve any area. The challenge will be outreach. In phase two we also envision supporting block leaders in their online communication with bounded areas.