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Archive for April 2007

RSA Conference on The Social Impact of the Web: Society, Government and the Internet

Posted on Tue, Apr 24, 2007 at 12:04 AM by Andrew Chadwick

RSA great hall

I'm one of the speakers at the RSA's special conference on 'The Social Impact of the Web: Society, Government and the Internet' on May 25th. Top of the bill is Professor Cass Sunstein, School of Law, University of Chicago. The other speakers are: Tom Steinberg, founder of the wonderful MySociety, William Davies, Institute for Public Policy Research, Matthew Taylor, Director of the RSA and former Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister, and Georgina Henry, Assistant Editor of The Guardian.

For more information and to book a place (free of charge), see the RSA site.

This promises to be an excellent event. I've been to the RSA a couple of times before and it's a superb venue.

A quote from the original email invitation, courtesy of David Wilcox's blog:

"The RSA is looking to explore the political culture and norms that the internet has been instrumental in fostering, both in relation to centralised democratic politics, and more diffuse social and civic networks, including blogging.
Our view in essence is that the high hopes of the 90s for e-democracy and new forms of on-line consultation and community mobilisation have not been met. Rather than fostering new forms of constructive engagement, dialogue and 'pro-social' community action, the type of politics most favoured by the internet seems to be conversations between fellow believers, anti-establishment cynicism and single issue mobilisation. Too many attempts by public authorities to use the web simply involved putting existing information and processes on-line.
The communication model has been vertical and mainly downward. But we think the emergence of web 2.0 offers an opportunity to revive the idealism of a decade ago. While internet 1.0 continued to reinforce an 'us' versus 'them' divide between citizens and power, we can envisage web 2.0 encouraging a rich and constructive 'us and us' dialogue in which citizens deliberate, innovate and act together."

Fortnightly link roundup for April 20, 2007

Posted on Fri, Apr 20, 2007 at 4:06 PM by Andrew Chadwick

Apologies for missing the last one - I was taking a break.

RSA - Special Events - THE SOCIAL IMPACT OF THE WEB: Society, Government and the Internet
Google buys DoubleClick ad service for $3.1 billion
Operation Ore flawed by fraud
MPs vote for £10,000 web funding
Five Ways to Mark Up the Web
Google Auto Pager
Digital Government Society
New technology, new lows for our political discourse | Guardian daily comment | Guardian Unlimited
Victor Keegan: To the average Joe, blogs aren't cutting it | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology
The blogosphere risks putting off everyone but point-scoring males | Technology | Guardian Unlimited Technology
Comedy of manners
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
Int. J. of Electronic Democracy - IJED
Pipes: Politickr.net | All Candidates
Program on Networked Governance - John F. Kennedy School of Government
Newmark: Keep the Internet neutral, fair and free
Nice and Free CSS Templates
Susan Crawford blog :: Why I Voted For XXX
OpenNet Initiative :: Documenting Internet Content Filtering Worldwide
Proposal for porn domain rejected
Cambodia bans texts for elections
Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Myspace, YouTube & the Yankees; An interview with Romney's guy, Kevin Madden - Right Wing News (Conservative News and Views)
Blog death threats spark debate
MoveOn and BraveNewFilms Sue Viacom Over YouTube Takedown
MoveOn moves in with Pelosi
Google canvasses for political ads
Ming Campbell's on Facebook
News Corp., NBC pull together to challenge YouTube
Arianna Huffington: Who Created "Hillary 1984"? Mystery Solved!

Blogs: the British backlash

Posted on Wed, Apr 18, 2007 at 10:41 AM by Andrew Chadwick

Over the last few weeks, a number of articles have appeared in the mainstream media commenting on the attempt by Jimmy Wales and Tim O'Reilly to create a civility code of practice for bloggers. In the UK, this debate was sparked off late last year by Matthew Taylor, outgoing adviser to Number 10. Wales' and O'Reilly's well-meaning article has given it a new lease of life.

One of the things that surprises me about the framing of these articles is how so many of them begin from the assumption that the blog format is 'now a decade old', or how it's somehow 'ten years on' and we need to 'take stock' because blogging hasn't 'taken off'. Victor Keegan writes in The Guardian that Technorati finds that there are 'only' 70 million blogs. I find this incredible. First, Radio Userland was invented in 1997 but had a miniscule user base for the first five years. Blogger.com was founded in 1999 and it too did not take off until 2002-2003. The RSS standard, arguably one of the only things that really defines what a blog actually is, was not even settled on until late 1999. The most successful all-round blogging applications were founded well after the turn of the century: Moveable Type (2001), Wordpress and Typepad (2003). Second, that there are 70 million more people (or groups of people) publishing their thoughts in a globally accessible medium than there were ten years ago strikes me as quite a significant change.

I was presenting at the UK Political Studies Association last Friday in Bath, and Dr Scott Wright made the excellent point that this framing is occurring all over the place now. He brought up the example of the finding that 17 per cent of the british public have visited the Conservative Party's website. This, too, is usually framed as 'only 17 per cent'. But if you turn it around the other way, the very fact that 17 per cent of the British public have bothered to 'lean forward' and use this purposive medium to visit the site is pretty significant, don't you think?

Crossposted at the New Political Communication Unit blog.

Politickr.net Yahoo Pipes campaign sites mashup

Posted on Tue, Apr 10, 2007 at 11:30 PM by Andrew Chadwick

This is in the same vein as David Silver's and David de Ugarte's wannabepresidents aggregator, only more so, with flickr photos, youtube videos and blog posts from all the current US presidential candidates. Built with Yahoo Pipes, so you'll be able to customise it if you have the time and the patience.


Posted on Tue, Apr 03, 2007 at 7:37 PM by Andrew Chadwick

Andrew Chadwick at MIT's Ray and Maria Stata Center, 2007  

Me looking up at one of the reflective surfaces of the Ray and Maria Stata Center at MIT, April 2007.


Posted on Sun, Apr 01, 2007 at 3:57 PM by Andrew Chadwick

Politicopia is a new e-democracy initiative founded by Steve Urquhart and Utah citizens. It is a simple wiki based setup which enables debate on real and potential state legislature bills and other issues. As the site says, "Users create summaries of bills, pro and con arguments, comments, links, and more." My first impression is that the rigid formula for presenting the items might work against it, but it seems to working well so far. The idea of presenting contextual links is a good one.

Crossposted at the New Political Communication Unit blog.

Edited on: Thu, Feb 19, 2009 1:14 AM

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