It is still early days for the tech world. I would call these the “Gee Wizz!” days. We get very excited about the novelty of each new tech solution, and we often do not seriously address where the “solution” is taking us. Jenka Roettgers writes about the downside of this for GigaOm.
As Jenka notes, the problem arises from the tech side. Tech startups seek to disrupt markets — and communities — from the outside. As a result, we should not expect their solutions to be community building.
This explains — I think — whey “hyper-local” has had a hard time getting off the ground. Hyper-local news and services are defined as community enhancing. As such, scaling from them is secondary. That means, there is less chance of scaling the models.
The solution is clear, if not easy. Folks who believe in locality and community will need to find their own digital platforms to advance their agendas. Silicon Valley won’t help.