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

Who’s talking? Social media audits and finding the conversations

As regular readers will be aware….I have a bee in my bonnet about the need for someone to start building civic spaces online – spaces which are designed to support civic and political discourse rather than designed to sell us stuff. However it’s all very well having the idea – you then have to figure out how to build it. This post provides an overview of the social media audit – a piece of research...

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...

Let politicians be politicians – and make way for the banana eaters….

This post is focused on exploring the differences between civic and democratic behaviours and was drawn into focus by some really interesting conversations I have had this week while doing a short but perfectly formed trip to Yorkshire for various projects. One of the major elements of the model which I am trying to develop is the drawing of a distinction between formal and informal modes of behaviour. This is...

Virtual Town Hall – long overdue update

You have all been too polite to ask but some of you may have been wondering what has been happening with the Virtual Town Hall project that kicked all of this off. This post is intended to explain where are with the project and why things have been rather quiet. We have been making some progress behind the scenes but things have been delayed for two main reasons: My new job has taken a lot of my focus and I have...

Categorisation and other exciting details…..

Scarily enough I am now starting to write up my thesis – the aim is a chapter a month – and I have been blogging a bit less as a result (though have a few posts queued up – its addictive you know.  Below is some of the ideas from the theoretical framework I have been building and I wanted to put them out in the world to see how people reacted….. Part of the reason for wanting wider comment...

Republic 2.0 – reading and appreciating

It is hardly possible to overstate the value, in the present low state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar (J.S. Mill) This is a proper essay I am afraid – I wanted to write up my notes so that I have them to drop into my literature review.  I have to say that Cass...

Law and social media – dull but important

Last week I spent a day at a social media legal masterclass (details are here if you want them ) with an excellent presenter in Kathryn Corrick. I attended as I wanted to make sure I have a proper overview of what the legal issues are and to get a bit more detail where possible. I was fairly relieved to find that I do have a grasp of the essentials and that actually anyone with a fair amount of common sense and...

Website or webspace?

Or how to avoid sounding like a social media guru …… I realise that I have drifted into the habit of talking about webspace rather than websites and I wanted to work through why this is – mainly to make sure it’s not just an abuse of the English language. I’m a big supporter of the idea that language evolves in order to reflect social changes – but also concerned that that is very easy...

Who should build the building???

Ok then – I am going to try and reach past the gadget haze that my new iPhone has left me with in order to try and put some thoughts together. But it is a thing of great beauty which works very nicely indeed – I’m impressed – can’t wait to start really exploring what it can do (I have already learned that it can act as a torch and a mirror – who knows what other secrets may be uncovered when...

Turns out what I am really interested in is civic spaces

I’ve had a really interesting week meeting all kinds of people – and as a result have had to talk a lot about what we are doing with the virtual town hall and the citizenscape product launch (I say had to – its very difficult to get me to stop talking as anyone who has met me will tell you).  Anyway – this has really distilled my description rather and I wanted to capture this – and it’s a nice change...

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