Thinking about using the social web to do democratic things…..
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Birmingham maptastic

This is a slightly belated write up from the NHS Citizen event in Birmingham (details here) and is just intended to capture my reflections on the mapping exercise. Sometimes its good to let these things sit for a bit and so here are my observations: We can’t map everything. Both of the mapping sessions we have done really illustrate the richness and complexity of the relationships within the NHS system but outside...

Mapping the NHS: Prototype questionnaire

So, this post is a run through of what we plan to do to test the mapping process which evolved from the mapping event I blogged about here. We are going to test a paper based process with the intention of turning this into an online data collection tool. We will try two different things at this next workshop: Ask people to map the system based on their own perspective Some group work to see if we can create a...

Surveillance or Participation?

This is going to be one of those annoying posts which strays between research stuff and more practical things. I’m writing it to tease out an inconsistency in my thinking around both the thesis and also our design work for Citizenscape. It really is thinking in public so please feel free to look away and leave me quietly muttering to myself…… I am just neurotically tweaking (with heroic help from the...

Re-examining the digital divide

In my last post I talked about why I believe our leaders need be able to think strategically about what it means to be digital by default if we are going to use the power of digital networked technologies to transform the way we live. This post is about the the counterweight to this – the issue of digital exclusion. I am often out in the world evangelising about the opportunity which the network society offers...

Build relationships not structures

The Fremont Troll – Community co-production at its finest. I went to hear Jim Diers speak last week – it was brilliant – many thanks to Colin Miller and BHCC for arranging it. I am still trying to get hold of the slides and will share them when I do but I wanted to blog about the event while it was still fresh in my mind. Jim Diers  was Director of the Office of Neighbourhoods in Seattle,...

Civic architecture – in pictures

So – yesterday’s post on civic architecture was I have to confess a little text heavy – below is the diagram which I think encapsulates the different areas of the digital ecosystem which we need to consider the need to create civic architecture online: The Machine layer refers to protocols and TCPIP or the convention of things like HTTP. The infrastructure layer refers to choices of operating...

Civic architecture in cyberspace

My thesis is (currently but persistently) titled “Civic Architecture in Cyberspace” and this post is an attempt to explain what I mean by this. Be warned that this also a draft for a section in the final document so may be a little slow…. When William Mitchell described his ‘City of Bits‘ in 1996 he recreated the physical city with retail, educational civic and commercial elements. He was...

Where are the politicians?

Here’s the thing. I have tremendous respect and appreciation for people who choose to stand in local elections. Local politics is a fairly thankless task however with a few exceptions we see exceptional public service from our local politicians. At the same time I find it screamingly frustrating as to how slow the adoption of new approaches and behaviours can be within this group. This is an action research...

Brunswick community meeting and the promise of cake

Last night we held our second community meeting for We Live Here in the lovely Electika Cafe on Western Road (yes – that was a plug – it is lovely and they were kind enough to open for us in the evening – they also followed through on our project meeting promise of cake at every meeting). This was for the Brunswick site – which was originally Brunswick and Regency until we realised (though...

Digital relics and persistence of narrative

Just when you thought it was enough trouble to try and get your community to create a hyperlocal website then you realise that you also need to create a process of renewal and regeneration.  This post has followed on from a social media audit we have been doing up in Cumbria which has given me a new aspect of civic space to consider for the thesis. Cybermoor in  Alston Moor was created as a government-funded...

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