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Newsletter, July 2007

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Community cohesion down the pub

Our article last month about social networking systems and community cohesion was initiated by a piece on the Radio 4 Today programme by Rory Cellan-Jones. Rory made the following comments on our article, which rather reinforce what we were saying.

“Interesting piece... I think so far the internet has proved better at magnifying differences and disputes rather than promoting cohesion - just look at the heat and noise generated by blogs…

“I think social networks can bring together and improve communication between like-minded people - not quite so clear how they reach out across social divides… I think that has to happen in the real world first - then perhaps be reflected in online groups. I visited a village in Cheshire recently that was striving to be carbon-neutral - the campaign had brought the village together... but it was quiz nights in the pub that were helping rather than facebook or myspace.”


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