An article from the Chicago Tribune about how a neighbourhood email list helped bring neighbours together. “Keith Hampton”:http://mysocialnetwork.net/’s new research appears to “show the same thing”:http://web.mit.edu/giving/spectrum/spring04/internet-connection.html but with a caveat (not noted in the article about it I just linked to). From what I remember of a presentation he gave a while ago online-enhanced networking only seems to take place in areas already conducive to neighbor to neighbor contact – when for example it was tried in an urban apartment block it didn’t take off.
There was a similar earlier article about a virtual community in Orange Country I “blogged about”:http://blog.org/archives/cat_virtual_communities.html#000949 but the LA Times’ link no longer works (curse them!).