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

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...

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...

Of course we have an agenda

Happy New year! I have been off in a Christmas and PHD (and drink) filled bubble for the last few weeks but as I am back in the office on the 9th I need to catch up on some blogging – which is a welcome change from the tedious but necessary process of brutally editing the thesis. First up is a belated action research post about We Live Here – so Here we go…. Status update We are still in the process of...

Open by default and design

I’ve been mentally hibernating for the last couple of weeks after some rather robust feedback from my supervisor on the latest draft of my thesis which means that I have some large rewrites to do – this post is an action research note reflecting on some of these rewrites. As I have been thinking about the implications of this work, as often happens, a couple of the things I have been doing this week have...

New OXIS Data – yum yum

This weekend you’ll be pleased to know I have been reading the recently released update of the OXIS survey (which you can get hold of here – but large thanks to Tim Davies for posting me a copy!).  I have also been updating my Facts Glorious Facts page if you like that kind of thing so this post is really just a few highlights and observations from the report. For those of you who haven’t come across it...

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...

A tale of two networks

I’m not going to try and comment on what has been happening in London and beyond over the last few nights – I don’t feel qualified apart from to express the outrage and sympathy that so many people thankfully share – I do want to add my view though as I think the wider the debate about the causes and solutions the better.  The first step to a good solution is a good analysis of the problem –...

A really quick overview of online communities

This is a brief post giving a quick overview of online or virtual community as I realised I need a few paragraphs as I was putting my thesis together – might add to it at some point.  Online community is such an established idea for anyone who works with the social web but as ever with the academic stuff its not enough to take it at face value. “Virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the...

Networked Public’s and Civic Spaces…or why I don’t want to end up making important decisions while avoiding adverts for viagra

I always feel like a special kind of social media arse when I talk about online spaces rather than websites but I nonetheless believe it is a meaningful distinction (or I really am that social media arse – you judge). I wrote this piece on the website / webspace terminology dilemma and I would still stand by it. In particular I believe the evolution to the language of space rather than talking about websites...

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...

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