Harringay Online

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Harringay Online is a hyperlocal social network based in the neighbourhood of Harringay, north London.


Harringay Online

Started on 1 July 2007, Harringay Online was one of the first neighbourhood websites to be set up using social media technology.[1] It was established with the stated aim of strengthening the community in the neighbourhood of Harringay in the north London Borough of Haringey. The site aims to achieve a blend of web-based and real world neighbourhood interactions.[2]

Harringay Online explains its aims as achieving four main outcomes:[2][3]

  • Building a sense of place in a neighbourhood – an understanding and appreciation of the neighbourhood to encourage a feeling of belonging and regarding a place as home.
  • Building social capital in the neighbourhood – building networks, norms and trust that enable people to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives – simply put building community spirit or neighbourliness.
  • Empowering local people to take action to shape their neighbourhood – working to improve local people’s ability to influence local decisions and affect local circumstances.
  • Engaging people in local democratic processes.

The site's main structure is:[2]

  • Main Page - summarising and linking to all content.
  • Forum - for discussions on local and sometimes non-local issues.
  • Blogs - for blog type pieces.
  • Gallery - pictures & videos including an extensive series of film footage and photos on Harringay's history.
  • Local Information - a wide range of local links and information including weekly updates.
  • Events - calendar of local events.
  • Local News - local news stories aggregated from around the internet.

The site is a well used local site and receives between 1500 and 3000 unique users per day.[2] An email update is circulated weekly to all members.[1]

Harringay Online is regularly referenced around the world as an exemplary, community-led, hyperlocal website, being referred to recently by Urban Initiatives as "the gold standard for community websites".[4] It has been recognised by two national awards and was awarded a Judge's Special Commendation by the Prime Minister in the UK's 2008 Catalyst Awards.[4] In June 2009 it was highly commended in the National eWell-Being Awards.[4]

In 2010 it was a focus for the UK-based study on local websites, the Online Neighnourhood Networks Study

With a stated target population of 17,000, by 2016, it had signed up 11,000 members.

The site is somewhat thin- skinned when presented with criticism of local councillors. When a contributor (Stuart Matheson) asked a local Labour councillor (Zena Brabazon) how she could provide more homes if a local proposed development reduced the number of floors, the contributor found his post deleted without explanation. To date he has not been allowed access to the site.

References & notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gibson, Andy (2010). Local By Social. NESTA. 
  2. ^ a b c d Azyan, Liz (2009). Exploring Online Neighbourhoods. LGEO Research. 
  3. ^ Joining the Conversation. Young Foundation, I&DEA, Local Government Association. 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Online Networked Neighbourhoods Study. Capital Ambition, London Councils. 2010. 

External links[edit]