All (Digital) Power to the People
October 2nd, 2006 by JTJ

One of the major aspects of the Digital Revolution that has long intrigued us is how it is driving a shift in power away from institutions and people of traditional authortiy to the individual. 

A great example of how this is happening was reported in today's (1 Oct. 2006) NYTimes.  “A Town’s Architectural Shift, Chronicled Online” was started by Montclair, New Jersey resident Liz George.  She is  managing editor of Baristanet, a community Web site and forum, added an
interactive map to the site to keep a record of teardowns in her town.  The NYT reports:

“On Sept. 22, the Web site started a new feature to chart the town’s
changing architectural landscape — an interactive map that shows
teardowns, homes with historic designations and recent construction.

something like this will give people pause,' said Ms. George, 39, in
her office at her gracious 100-year-old home. 'Knowing you’re having
your house on the teardown map, knowing it will be part of this trend,
I don’t think it has a positive implication.'

'The teardown
issue has taken on a sense of urgency here after a developer bought the
blue-shuttered Colonial-style house, on North Mountain Avenue, for
$870,000 last fall and demolished it this summer with plans to build
six town homes. The action led town officials to rezone about 200 lots
— including the North Mountain Avenue property — from a designation
that allows up to eight units on a single lot to a designation that
allows only two. The developer has since dropped his plans and has put
the empty lot up for sale.

Of course, a newspaper could have done the same thing, but so far as we know, none has.  So the least the industry could do is supply the software apps, and maybe some instruction, to let citizens build their local databases.

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