Special thanks to Kimse Yok Mu for inviting me to present at the 2015 International Conference on Social Media for Good in Istanbul, to David Orban and Chris Worman, and to Digital Impact for giving visibility to this topic.
Local Communities and Socialized Citizens
The Role of Social Networks in Sustainable Urban Development
This paper presents the need for distributed social networking for civil society organizations (CSOs) and advances the role of metanetworks in implementing it. Distributed communication would facilitate urban development through civic participation and multi-sector collaboration. I don’t prescribe a methodology for employing an alternative to centralized social networking, but rather convey the viability of distributed communication. CSOs can use this framework as they connect with other organizations. Here, “CSO” is an umbrella term for CSOs and community-based organizations. I begin with an overview of global urbanization as it relates to current social sector initiatives. I present mobile technology as a medium for connecting people and CSOs, and I explain why centralized social networks are insufficient. To illustrate the potential for a distributed social ecosystem, I give hypothetical examples using existing initiatives, and consider participation incentives and the role of metanetworks.