Purposive representation of groups
Clay Shirky has an intriguing thought about formalizing and legitimating groups:
to create a corporate form that allows groups to come together easily and quickly in the ways now made possible by our digital and social tools, while giving those groups the legitimacy that incorporation provides, which includes the ability to raise and spend money, to offer and enter into contracts, and to adopt binding forms of governance.
My interest is more in how groups can be represented and interact with other groups - how systems of groups are represented and defined.
One thought that has occurred to me, and I am curious what others might think, is to look at something like the AllVoices map, above. Suppose your neighborhood - the one where your body, not your avatar, actually lives - wanted to share and explore common issues, problems, with other neighborhoods in your area.
Such a map could serve to show which other neighborhoods in your locality (however defined - county, city, state, province etc.) were bringing up news from their locations. This would be the awareness function.
Then, the various items posted by the neighborhoods could be tagged and searched -- enabling discovery of common ground. "Oh, they have the same problem with speeders/road deterioration/code enforcement laggardness etc. that we have!"
Then those neighborhood groups could move into a forum where ideas, best practices, planned actions are shared. "We will all meet next Tuesday at the county - bring your brickbats."
[add: Neighborhood" is merely par exemple. Could of course be any kind of group or constellated entities seeking relations with other entities with similar concerns.]