eDemocracy

eDemocracyCamp - a barcamp on e-democracy

March 1-2, 2008
Washington DC
http://barcamp.org/eDemocracyCamp
http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/297865/
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=6660332063
http://twitter.com/edemocracycamp

This is the weekend immediately prior to Politics Online Conference 2008, March 4-5, 2008 (http://polc.ipdi.org).

What is a barcamp?  A barcamp is a free, open, and highly participatory conference/workshop, at which both the agenda and the content are completely attendee-driven (oftentimes in an ad hoc fashion the day of the event).  The barcamp movement started in 2005 in Palo Alto, CA, and barcamps are now being held all across the world.  Read this description on Wikipedia for more details and the history of this format: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BarCamp

Also check Tim's blog for updates

Online Dialogue - Berlin Tempelhof hosted by Zebralog

My colleagues at Zebralog in Berlin have recently released a great video clip showcasing the online dialogue they hosted about the reuse of Flughafen Tempelhof, formerly Berlin's biggest inner city airport. It shows the on-site workshops they organized which accompanied the online discussion to inform and educate participants. The end of the clip demonstrates the importance of public kiosks to reach a less tech-savvy crowd and include their opinions into online processes. 

Jott the Vote - Messages to Presidential Campaign Via Phone to Text

A while back I started using Jott.com, a voice to email service to update my personal todo list from m­y phone. I was amazed about how accurate most of the calls are transcribed and kept watching future development closely.

Just recently, they introduced Jott the Vote™, a free and politically nonpartisanservice that allows anyone with a phone to send a jott email messagedirectly to a presidential campaign.

"We have used Jott technology toallow voters all over our great country to easily and readilycommunicate with those running for President.

When asked, “Who do you want to Jott?” say a candidate’s name andleave a message that will be emailed to their campaign. Unlike yournormal jotts, these messages will also be made part of a publicconversation on www.jottthevote.com.

The website features:

  • Individual presidential candidate pages.
  • Candidate Jott polls.
  • A campaign question of the week."

The result can be found at www.jottthevote.com. I must say, I really like the voice to text part of it, which would be useful for any online dialogue to include people without internet access, whether that's in general or just because they are sitting at the bus station. Nonetheless, it also shows the shortcomings of phone integration, since an exchange of opinions is basically non-existent - if users reply to posts, barely ever does the author get back to them (could be a sign on lack of interest or significance of the discussion too).

Bringing comments submitted via phone or snail mail into an online deliberation with two way feedback/true exchange of opinions stays a challenging task and I haven't seen any case study successfully address that yet.

Cross-media participation research

A summarizing article of my research on cross-media public participation has been published in the most recent Limehouse publication. It outlines the key findings from the evaluation of two cutting-edge public participation projects in Berlin, Germany and ends with a list of recommendations for successful citizen engagement in an age of rapid technological changes and convergence of communication media. 

You can download a pdf version of the article or go to PlaceMatters' publication section to provide your input and feedback.  

eConsultation Platform for National Leadership Summits

We've been asked by Bill Becker, who's hosting the National Leadership Summits to provide an easy way to collect feedback on a large amount of ideas generated in the past to be included into the next Presidential Climate Action Plan. This is a screencast showcasing the eConsultation platform we built on Drupal. My first screencast... I'll keep practicing:

Some background information on the project:

In 1993, a group of American leaders began a six-year process to create a sustainable development agenda for the nation. The group was the President's Council on Sustainable Development, created during the Clinton Administration. Many of its ideas have remain just that -- ideas. Some have been implemented, but most have not. We need your help updating and refining these ideas to include them into the next Presidential Climate Action Plan.

 

In 2006, the Johnson Foundation began hosting a series of four National Leadership Summits to renew a discussion about U.S. sustainability. The summits, each involving 40 of the country's best thinkers, developed additional ideas about how to advance energy policy, natural resource stewardship and sustainable community development, especially in light of global climate change. (Learn more at www.summits.ncat.org)   The final summit will take place in October. Its mission is to produce a five-year action plan to revitalize the goal of sustainable development and to identify the nation's next steps.
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