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

Networks of Outrage and Hope

This is the first of a number of posts I plan to write as I prep for my viva*. If you prefer my less academic stuff then look away now! The prep involves re-reading the thesis and noting all the bits I would now like to have done differently (eurgh) as well catching up on the reading that would have been in the literature review if it had been published before I finished writing up. I have been gathering this...

Tracking a democratic conversation across different online media

This post is an outline of one of the policy question that we are discussing that the Master of Networks event (in Venice!!) next week. While not a proper paper as its an academic audience you may find this slightly more referenced than usual…its really lazy referencing with just signposts to literature rather than a proper review. Master of Networks is “…. is a workshop that brings together cutting-edge...

Net Smart – next steps for the virtual frontier

Howard Rheingold was one of the first people who articulated the promise of the social web. With “Homesteading on the Virtual Frontier” he literally wrote the book on online community. Rheingold is an unapologetic enthusiast for the potential of digital community and the network society but he is also thoughtful and balanced in his examination of how we are now using social media. In the same way as...

Democracy is what you make of it – Elected Police and Crime Commissioners

I have been dithering about this post and this issue for a while now but thanks to a brilliantly interesting meeting with the team at the South Yorkshire Joint Secretariat (thank you folks) and also a couple of conversations with other Police Authority clients its time to get something out in the world I think. In November 2012 we will be electing 41 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) who will be the custodian of...

We Still Live Here even after going to Birmingham

I spent a couple of days last week with the We Live Here Team at the Creative Councils Camp in Birmingham so this post is an attempt to capture some thoughts from the experience.  My first thought is that I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the team – thank you all…. The point of the camp was to help the 17 ideas that have been chosen for development time to explore their projects and to start...

Dunbar’s number – networks are not all rational you know

How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks This is brief write up of the Robin Dunbar book “How many friends does one person need?”.  I read the book as a balance to the way in which its very easy to start thinking of networks mathematically and systemically even though its incredibly important to remember the fact that social networks are made up of people and...

Civic Creation – what is it and who does it?

This post is a good example of where my work and research start to come together.  Over at Public-i we have been working on a number of social media audits for clients and I have been working on a more formal framework to deliver this (white paper on this soon) and so I have been thinking more detail about the content that we are interested in when we talk about the local civic conversation. Much of my interest in...

The Network Society and your local neighbourhood

The ability to reach the other side of the world without leaving your sofa brings changes beyond saving the cost of a stamp. The ability to share data and content without doing so in person or setting it in the aspic of print gives it a life of its own which starts to interweave with the relationships that the internet allows us to build. As I have discussed previously the internet changes the dynamics of place...

It turns out we are living in an Internet Galaxy – notes from the amazing Manual Castells

I have been working on my literature review – this post is focused on Manuel Castells who is a Sociologist / Communications academic and a major commentator on the Information Society. You can find out more about him here. Lots of things interest me about Castells; the scope of his work is vast and he is comfortable (and credible) in his attempt to create a unified view on the effect that the internet and the...

Why we all need to read the people we disagree with

I wrote this last weekend but didn’t get round to making it live – its is a proper research diary post – so look away if you are not in an academic frame of mind….. Main feature of the weekend has been Cass Sunsteins’ Republic 2.0 as well as some fairly recent journal papers from Stephen Coleman. This all brought on an urge to read some more Manuel Castells on the networked society which...

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