• dotNeighborhood - Content Guidelines

last modified January 7, 2016 by tomlowenhaupt

The stewards for dotNeighborhoods must assure that content about the resources and issues of interest to residents is available. Here we review the information and services that meet the needs of city residents.

What We See & How We Connect


(Commons Photo courtesy of sporkwrapper.) 

Benefits of the Networked Neighborhood
A multitude of benefits are derived from improved local networking. E.Factor points to these:
      • ­Improve your emotional ties and bonds with other people, whilst being connected to them.
      • Share your thoughts and perceptions with a larger community.
      • Connect yourself to those whom you have never seen or heard in your life.
      • Do business­ by sharing your information about the particular concept.
      • Criticize a concept or a product.
      • Understand things from others vision or perspective.
      • Open your mind towards new ideas.
Also, the dotNeighborhoods will enhance the creation of social capital. Here are a few examples of the role social networks can play in our neighborhoods (thanks Social Capital):
  • enable individuals to access valuable information: how to get something done, hear of job leads, learn how better to promote one’s health, find out what is happening in the neighborhood, etc. (see http://NYCwiki.org);  or
  • help individuals find partners for joint economic transactions (e.g., to know with whom to partner in business, to close a sale to a friend or a friend of a friend, to locate a neighbor with whom one can exchange tools or expertise); or
  • spread reputations of members (or neighbors or local merchants) which causes all people in these networks to behave in a more trustworthy manner and facilitates altruism. ….
  • facilitate collective action: it is easier to mobilize others around some shared goal like education, zoning, or improving trash pick-up if others in the neighborhood already know and trust you, rather than your having to build those social relationships from scratch.
Content - Other Local Media

With local media promising untold riches, many entities have explored the area. Here are a few.

  • Fort Green Local - A collaboration between the New York Times and CUNY Journalism. (Reportedly closing down as of mid-2012.)
  • Ditmars Park Patch - As per its About Page, it is run by "professional editors, writers, photographers and videographers who live in or near the communities we serve, and is supported by a great team in our New York City headquarters. Patch also gets advice from our Editorial Advisory Board and from many members of the community." AOL was or is behind it.
  • Sheepshead Bites - Sheepshead Bay's Only Independent Blog, since 2008
Other Content Elements








































The city's dotNeighborhoods will be building on generations of communication systems in their local communities: the language(s), social norms and relationships, and media (both traditional and digital). Identifying content, features, and services that complement and supplement the traditional will be an ongoing responsibility of the stewards and operators of the dotNeighborhoods.


One of the great advantages of being local media is the ability to reach out to residents to determine needs and identify resources. The history and size of neighborhoods provides a variety of resources and outreach opportunities, from churches, schools, and libraries to signs in retail store windows, word of mouth and tabling in front of the local post office. And in an emerging digital age the inclusion of local media will be an evolving responsibility.

The stewards of the neighborhood domain name will come from the following:

  • businesses
  • property owners
  • institutions
  • local government
  • parent associations
  • renters
  • schools
  • students
  • and residents

they will provide access to vital local information and guidance on appropriate content.

Content Layers

There will be four layers to the site's content:

  • Collaborative Memory - A wiki with local information / resources / history. Residents will be trained in the local library or other community facility on editing the wiki.
  • Official Information - School, health, voting, safety, and other government services.
  • Communication - Users should be able to find and connect with everyone and everything in neighborhood.
  • Decision Making - The capacity to identify issues and opportunities and to organize online and off should be facilitated. Sophisticated discussion and decision making tools will be a central tool.
  • Story Making - A feature that, like storify and storymaps, enables residents to contribute to ongoing stories. Think IBM's Watson as a partner. 


Neighborhood maps should have many layers including the following:

  • Streets
  • Parks
  • Public access centers - libraries, schools...
  • Wi-fi hot spots
  • Zoning
  • Retail


Site information will be of a wide variety of types, some will be provided by residents - wiki-fashion, official information, and collaborative resources. Local information will be provided through an ever changing array of devices operated by people and machines - e.g., air quality, traffic, and city services status. This information is to include:

  • Neighborhood map­ (See these Stamen maps for inspiration.)
  • ­Neighborhood history
  • Demographics­
  • ­School­s
  • Parks
  • Hospitals
  • Government offices - police, fire, representatives
  • Crime statistics
  • Local businesses
  • 24-hour pharmacies
  • Vistas, landmarks, monuments, and points of interest
  • Museums and cultural centers
  • Religious centers
  • Restaurants, bars, night spots
  • Local cuisine and fast food
  • Civic organizations and clubs
  • Bus, cab, bike maps
  • Visitors blog and fun facts
  • Flea markets and barter networks
  • etc. 

Civic Applications

  • Issue identification
  • Issue-Communities
  • Preference notation
  • Decision making
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability programs
  • Calendar of event­s
  • Local jobs - paid / volunteer
  • Offer/Request Assistance
  • Map your business

Determining Priorities & Organizing For Action

Training Sites

  • Libraries
  • Schools
  • Public wi-fi areas (parks, plazas...)
  • Retail Internet access providers
  • Senior centers
  • Other computing centers

Local Sensitivities

The prurient, the political, and the commercial content on the system will be of differing concerns to different neighborhoods.  

Related Resources

  • dotNeighborhoods - Content Guidelines (This page)

Key .nyc Pages