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

The Collaborative Manifesto

I was really lucky to be invited to participate in a 2 day workshop in Stockholm the week before last organised and hosted by SALAR, with help from Jeremy Millard and brilliant facilitation from Martin Sande. I have worked with SALAR on and off over the last five years and one of the many things which are impressive about them is there openness to external ideas. This event really came out of this as they gathered a...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Open source – or “Why have we done all that work and then given it away”

We (that’s the Public-i ‘we’ not a royal one) have recently put our ePetitions software into an open source repository (full details on this can be found here). I know this is a little off topic for this blog but I wanted to comment on it as I get asked why we did this fairly often (both from clients and from shareholders!) and I thought it would be useful (for me at least) to answer that...

Easy Barnet – a new relationship with citizens?

I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks – ever since I saw an excellent presentation on the work at Barnet at a session at the SOLACE annual conference.  the workshop was shared between Max Wilde (who in the Barnet lead for the project) and Nicola Millard (who is the excellently titled BT futurologist).  One of the striking things about this combination was the balance between commercial...

Smart phones by Christmas…..

Ok then – this is not just a continuation of my “I need an iphone” lament but here is a quick article on the BBC site talking about the growth of the smart phone market. The striking quote is about the fact that mobile internet is poised for the kind of growth we saw for the internet as a whole in the late ’90s.  Mobile web means realtime practical applications which deliver data and service...

Social Web Framework: Version 0.5

This post is really about trying to explain the mental framework by which I ‘organise’ the social web into different categories of behaviour and types of technologies. This is very much my own view but builds on frameworks and analysis by others which I referenced. I have written it as a glossary – please shout if you think it should have extra words or if you disagree / want to refine any...

#tal09 – good piece in the guardian

Good piece in the guradian about the Talk about Local unconference – you can read about it here. Perhaps its my reaction to reading the Coleman book this weekend but I think this hyperlocalism is very important and very much the approach we are taking with the virtual town hall pilot.  You can read about the organisers...

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