Are you being listserved?(Financial Times, 5/11/07, Holly Yeager) on the social capital impact of listserves, including quotes from Keith Hampton about their general effectiveness. [Results from Keith's e-neighbors experiment on this topic will be printed in Neighborhoods in the Network Society: The e-Neighbors Study. (forthcoming). Information, Communication and Society 10(5). ]
For sure, localized electronic networks are usually more powerful than geographically-distant e-networks since they are more likely to be supplemented by or buttressed by real face-to-face encounters. That said, the story highlights one listserve disaster in NYC where the building’s residents used e-mail as an excuse to say highly uncivil things to their neighbors that they would never say face-to-face.
What is your experience?
If you’re interested in starting a neighborhood listserve, i-neighbors is one way of doing this.