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Revision as of 15:54, 13 September 2010 by Admin (Talk | contribs) (Background - Details from our Blog)

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In 2010 we are deepening our Issues Forum start-up efforts in the lower income, high immigrant Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Greater Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul.

Our overall neighbors forums network is growing and these efforts were recently featured in the news.

These forums serve the kinds of neighborhoods are the least likely to have local community building efforts that use social media while wealthier, more homogeneous areas are benefiting from a mix of neighborhood e-mail lists, blogs, Ning sites, and Facebook Groups.

From gathering lessons on effective community outreach (we do extensive in-person outreach) to building content and forum participant engagement that reflects the diversity of those successfully recruited, this work is being watched. This seems to be a nut that no one has cracked. What good is online engagement if it simply helps those communities that need the least relative help while completely passing over those diverse/lower income areas that could benefit the most?


Our Community Outreach and Information Leaders (up to 7 hours a week) are working to both increase the number of participants but to also lead aggressive information seeking and discussion seeding that brings out the diverse of the community in the dialogue and exchange. We are also working to evaluate and document this ongoing work for broad sharing.

We are also seeking to confirm potential funding to include our Native American majority rural Minnesota Cass Lake Leech Lake community Issues Forum in this enhanced effort. Our volunteer-based 25+ forum network continues and will also benefit from efforts to increase the diversity of new voices.


This work is built on our past Neighborhood Forums and Rural Voices grants and ongoing Issues Forum work. It is informing our exploratory Neighborly effort to build a tool that helps connect you with your nearest neighbors online via electronic block clubs of sorts (for all kinds of block activities).

We will seek project input and share lessons via the new/updated Digital Inclusion Network and Locals Online that we are hosting as part of the Participation 3.0 initiative.

Background - Details from our Blog

For further background on this evolving work, see the following blog posts on our project blog:


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