Community Connectors Notebook

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Hi All.

I am looking for people who would like to join me in studying the role that Information Advocates might play in neighborhoods, community centers and churches. This role might include ordinary neighborhood news, but in addition, it might also work on a personal, one-on-one "real needs" counseling and "match making" level to help people find the social supports and material connections needed to make their everyday living work more smoothly. Please write back if you'd like to learn more...

I currently manage an email list with over 60 participants who have shown some interest in Information Advocacy.

See the email list on the Web here: InfoAdvocates Email List

Stan <>

The Notebook

This page and the associated links and materials are available as a method for collecting resources that Information Advocates might use in the course of their work. This notebook can also serve as an outline for the further study towards the design and implementation of a network of Information Advocates. The network will need communication tools of its own to compliment existing information resources on the Internet and in existing institutions around the city. Interested people can help by considering how we can assemble a white paper on the effect a network of Information Advocates might have on the social and economic life of the city.

Information Advocates Byline

A network of dedicated matchmakers intelligently connecting resources to requests.


Information Advocate

A person who helps their neighbors, community members, or any other group of people learn about the resources, skills and needs of other members of the community and the world. They provide access to social supports and help the community to build social capital by listening to their constituents and converting what they learn into information that can be shared in ways that are appropriate to each person's needs. They help people to conduct research and teach people how to use information and communication tools. Their importance lies in the fact that they are a person who is available to be helpful in using modern technology and knowing who does what in the community.

Social Support is defined as "help in difficult life situations"

Social support is a concept that is generally understood in an intuitive sense, as the help from other people in a difficult life situation. One of the first definitions was put forward by Cobb (Cobb, 1976). He defined social support as ‘the individual belief that one is cared for and loved, esteemed and valued, and belongs to a network of communication and mutual obligations’. In the MINDFUL project social support is defined as ‘the perceived availability of people whom the individual trusts and who make one feel cared for and valued as a person’ (MINDFUL, 2008). 

The above definition is continued here:

Social Capital
... the central thesis of social capital theory is that 'relationships matter'. The central idea is that 'social networks are a valuable asset'. Interaction enables people to build communities, to commit themselves to each other, and to knit the social fabric. A sense of belonging and the concrete experience of social networks (and the relationships of trust and tolerance that can be involved) can, it is argued, bring great benefits to people.

Trust between individuals thus becomes trust between strangers and trust of a broad fabric of social institutions; ultimately, it becomes a shared set of values, virtues, and expectations within society as a whole. Without this interaction, on the other hand, trust decays; at a certain point, this decay begins to manifest itself in serious social problems… The concept of social capital contends that building or rebuilding community and trust requires face-to-face encounters. (Beem 1999: 20)

The above discussion is taken from this page:


Everything for Everybody

The blog post about the Temple U meeting last Spring.

I met Jack Scully in 1970. I ran the Everything for Everybody shop on South Street in Philly from June of 1970 to June of 1971. The following year we called ourselves the "Information Store Collective." Alec Claton's experience as revealed in the essay below, happened between three and six years later. Stan 19:06, 19 August 2011 (EDT)

Alec Claton's article about his experience with Everything for Everybody in New York. 

Civic Consciousness: Increasing Self-Sufficiency in the Complex Adaptive City

Jennifer Pahlka believes that the value of a city reaches far beyond its borders.  (video)


  • Augmented social complexity
  • Consciously increasing the complexity of social consciousness.
  • Increasing self-sufficiency in the complex adaptive city

Network Theory

Alternative Currencies

Timebanks are systems that allow people to obtain & offer services without using cash. Learn more about them at the links below. These services offer the ability to keep track of the value of the services that are exchanged.

Ithaca HOURS 

Hometown Money: How to Enrich Your Community with Local Currency 

Jem Bendell - The Money Myth (video)

overview of information on local currencies

Philadelphia area timebanks are listed here: Is-Timebank

Resources Exchanges

Resource Exchanges provide ways for people to exchange goods or services, but without providing a method for keeping track of the value of the exchange. 

See Is-Resource Exchange Network

Qualities of An Information Advocate

Community members may wish to nominate Information Advocates to be their representative in a regional (city wide) advocate network. Nominations might take the form of a nominating survey style document that will ask the nominators to rate the nominee's virtues. The virtues that an advocate should possess might include:

  • Honesty
  • Reliability
  • Clarity
  • Sincerity
  • Discression
  • Graciousness
  • Knowledgeable
  • Values


  • The Challenge of the Resource Exchange Network - Seymour B. Sarason & Elizabeth Lorentz (Jossey-Bass, 1979)
  • The Future of Money - Creating New Wealth, Work and a Wiser World - Bernard Lietaer (Random House, 1988)
  • Complexity - The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos - M. Mitchell Waldrop (Simon & Schuster, 1992)
  • Arcicle: Vision of a Neighborhood Office