Friday, January 11, 2013 - By Ben Berkowitz - No comments

The Prodigal Mitten

Two days ago New Haven User Natalie reported that the right hand partner to her left hand mitten had gone for walkabout. Her and her Husband walked the whole neighborhood looking for the mitten for hours to no avail so she thought she'd try SeeClickFix.  http://seeclickfix.com/issues/348836


24 hours after the mitten was reported missing EWG chimed in. To follow is the story of the successful return of Righty the Mitten.

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While we could easily chalk this story up to #FirstWorldProblems there is a bigger story to be told here.   In a hyper connected neighborhood we all stand a better chance of helping each other to solve our own problems collectively big or small.  Righty the Mitten could be Pepper the Dog or Your Dad with Alzheimers but the message is the same: your neighbors are there for you and your community is stronger for it.   From the neighbor who returned the gloves facebook wall, "Returned a mitten to its rightful owner this morning. Feeling very cheery about neighborhood life as result."

There's a number of folks smiling a little more in the SeeClickFix office as a result of this story. We hope you enjoy it too. 

Happy Friday Fixers!!

-B

PS/Meta:

The way that EWG found out about the Mitten is through what we call Point of Interest emails at SeeClickFix. When EWG interacted with another issue in the neighborhood we make an assumption  that she probably cares about other small issues nearby that issue.  These emails create a network that is defined by geography. What's important and unique about the network is that the geography is not assigned by artificial neighborhood boundaries, its assigned by an individual's behavior. On a higher level we believe that the fuzzy and individual overlaps that occur in this network have the power to disrupt the physical boundaries in the real world that divide us. In a city train tracks or overpasses make neighbors separated by a city block feel like they are separated by 10 city blocks.  For those that live on the fringes block groups, policing districts, neighborhood schools and aldermanic wards can all strengthen boundaries by preventing communication overlap.  Intersections can be created on the web where none existed before but should have. 





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