NEXT POSTA post about a website Checking the e-democracy page on social media in public life, I learned that the, uh, unfortunate Rotten Neighbor website is closed. Heck, it's only one of those places people are encouraged to make unsubstantiated remarks about others around them, or beyond them. But in case you thought someone had seen the light, or a successful court case had been brought against them, no, it seems the owner is out to make it bigger and inevitably better. It says here: 'This site rottenneighbor dot com does not exist anymore, but I wish to use it as a model for a new site. The basic idea is to have a website where users can type in their address or zip code and it will pull up a google map of the area, users can mark points on the map and leave comments about people that live at the houses there. Marking them as either as good or bad.' I suppose the new site could have its own social capital calculator in the corner of the screen, a realtime index of the negativity - or possibly positivity, which do you think? - that it generates. For sure, the owner knows that lots of people will want to find out where he or she lives.
PREVIOUS POSTSome things that fire people and book people have in common I was at a meeting about care in the home for older people the other day, where one of the speakers mentioned a key source of information about people's care needs, for housing and adult care services: fire service personnel. The point being that firemen and women frequently visit older people in their homes to check on safety and give advice, and are trusted public service professionals so they often come away with important information that is relevant to other services. Just a question of joining up. Then yesterday I was talking to some community service librarians about their contribution to quality of life at local level, and their interests also are in effective partnerships to share information. Their staff too are trusted, although not usually uniformed; they too visit people in their homes and have a role in passing on information, although numbers are sure to be lower than they would be for the fire service. Curiously, this morning I discovered a printed bookmark in the house, the sort you might pick up in your local library, which I hadn't noticed before. It promotes the library service on one side, and advertises for fire service personnel on the other. All of which can be added to these thoughts about the role of fire stations and library buildings, to provoke thought about the overlapping reach of local services. And nothing to do with Fahrenheit 451.