Most of the web has figured out by now that any service or software can be copied or reproduced. The “social web” revolution has been an attempt to incorporate an aspect that can’t be spoofed, namely, community. Why do people use facebook? Because all their friends do. Without the friends, facebook is a (bigger) waste of time.
I haven’t seen much evidence of this trend overflowing to the real world, though, which is silly, because even hardware can be copied. In particular, I’ve been thinking about real-estate lately. What would you think of a community where modern technology blended with 1950s-style community.
What if there was a central web page for all your neighbors to sign on, set up a profile, share news, and so forth?
Sure, a lot of people might opt out of this, but I think it would be nice to know my neighbors. There are lots of other ways to get to know people, but in a world where an increasing number of marriages are the result of online dating (including mine!) I don’t think we can count out the value of the electronic introduction.
Ideally, such a program could increase the safety and happiness of a community through knowledge sharing and increased trust.
*To collect the point that may not have made it through: a real-estate developer could set his community apart and give his community non-reproducible value by ingraining a human network.