Having written extensively about the potential power of online neighborhoods nationally, I'm pleased to see the extent of electronic democracy in Chatham County, NC, where I now live. Though Chatham is a relatively rural community, it seems to have thriving online communities.
"I look at it like neighbors talking across the fence, but instead of the fence being in your yard, it's all the way across Chatham County," said Gene Galin, in a 2002 Independent Week profile, when he was given a "Citizen Award" by the paper for his efforts online. He's the creator of the Chatham Chat e-list, the Chatham Journal, the Chatham County Bulletin Board, not to mention ChathamNCBlogs.
Chatham County has recently added an e-mail service to let people know about important happenings and events.
These online lists don't include discussion groups for specific Chatham County neighborhoods.
I bet such examples of electronic communications on the county and neighborhood level are springing up across the country. Do you know of others?