Google has come out with a wonderful new search tool, Google Scholar. I have always lauded the importance of the Social Science Citation Index to my students, but it is very possible that Google has out done the SSCI. According to the About Google Scholars webpage, Google includes \”peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.\” On the surface it sounds far more complete than the SSCI.

As discussed in a recent article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution i-neighbors continues to grow and prosper with over 3,000 neighborhoods up and running in the United States and Canada. I was also excited by a report from Patti Waldmeir of the Financial Times who describes the pre and post election aftermath of a Bush-Kerry debate on her neighborhood email list (not i-neighbors). Interesting to note that political discussions – although usually local politics – often crop into neighborhood email lists. These discussions are usually accompanied by a debate about the appropriateness of talking about political issues with neighbors – can you think of anything more appropriate! The good news is that I have yet to see such a neighborhood email discussion turn into a flame war. In the end it general increases familiarity with local people, local issues and possibly even leads to a few new social ties. (Important note, I have seen things turn ugly on local bulletin boards and neighborhood lists that grow to big – my advice continues to be that neighborhood lists should only be about 300 homes.)