Web-based Neighborhood Sites

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"I-neighbors.org is still larger than any other U.S. / Canadian neighborhood based web service that I know of, but the number of sites similar to i-neighbors.org continues to grow. Backfence.com is focused on the Washington D.C. area, they currently support only three neighborhoods but intend to expand across the U.S. Their website mentions that they recently received 3 million dollars in start-up funds. Nice website, surprisingly consistent with the features offered at i-neighbors.org, although it appears to focus on a bulletin board type system rather than email lists. eBlock is a similar for-profit initiative. While not yet available for wide spread public use, they are currently running trials on a few "blocks." Blocks are their unit of organizing, limiting each neighborhood group in size to rather small predefined geographic areas. They are still looking for funding before they expand. I'm still not convinced that there is a for-profit model for this type of site, but I am really interested to see how these sites progress. I am also surprisingly conflicted, i-neighbors.org is a non-profit research project designed both to build neighborhood interactions and to encourage the development of other local social capital Internet initiatives, but I feel a surprising need to compete. If the site is to continue to grow I think it needs to evolve. It will become increasingly difficult to remain competitive with other sites based on my shoe string academic funding, especially when other sites can attract venture capital, but stay tuned for i-neighbors.org v.2.0 some time early next year." (cited by http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2005/10/21/webbased_neigh.html)




ilesansfil.org and wirelesstoronto.ca