Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Thesis Proposal Critique

I gave a presentation on my thesis today to the entire Media Lab (eek!) I think it went well. There was lots of good questions from my critics and readers (thank you!). I'll try to summarize:

1) David Reed seemed to think that the financial data would be self-reported by the users. Not true! Expensify grabs the transaction data directly from the banks and we do the filtering. We get direct access to the whole raw feed.

2) Sandy Pentland wanted to know why we didn't just ask for all of the data then parse out what we need after the fact. Maybe some campaigns will ask for this, but I think it would be a major hurdle for most people for adoption. My mom would be very uncomfortable giving access to all her data, especially without any constraints on what I could look at or do with it.

3) Henry Holtzmann suggested we try to aggregate as much data together as possible, even across campaigns that were not related. I tried to defend why I thought that would also be an inappropriate invasion of privacy, but outlined some scenarios were campaigns that made their data public could do something like that.

Balloon Boys

Helping Jeff with his experiments in low cost aerial photography. More pictures on Christina’s Flickr page. Balloon Inflation Jeff Attaching the Payload Liftoff Walking down the Charles MIT Suspenders The somewhat finished product

Communications Forum: "What's New at the Center for Future Civic Media"

MIT Tech TV

MIT Center for Future Civic Media Director Chris Csikszentmihalyi presents the Center's most recent projects. From community mapping to news tracking, from collective action to rural empowerment, from cultural mixing to carbon consciousness, civic media is any technology or technique that strengthens a geographic community. Civic media researchers will demonstrate their projects in a lightning-round format, with time for discussion and questions following each presentation listed below.

Communications Forum: "What's New at the Center for Future Civic Media"

MIT Center for Future Civic Media Director Chris Csikszentmihalyi presents the Center's most recent projects. From community mapping to news tracking, from collective action to rural empowerment, from cultural mixing to carbon consciousness, civic media is any technology or technique that strengthens a geographic community. Civic media researchers will demonstrate their projects in a lightning-round format, with time for discussion and questions following each presentation listed below.

Presentations include:

Counting on Twitter: Harvard's Web Ecology Project (Part Two)

Last time, I shared with you some of the work being done by Harvard University's Web Ecology Project, specifically focusing on the use of Twitter in the aftermath of the Iran Elections and around the death of Michael Jackson. Through qualitative and quantitative research, the team is seeking to develop a better understanding of the flow of ideas through the social networking world and how different participants exert influence on Twitter. My respondent last time was Dharmishta Rood, who I worked with when I was back at MIT. Today, I am showcasing the research being conducted by three other researchers on the Web Ecology team -- Erhardt Graeff, Tim Hwang and Alex Leavitt. I asked them each to share some of their current research and explain why they think it can contribute to our understanding of the new media environment. For more on the Web Ecologies Project, check out Alex Leavitt's recent post on the Convergence Culture Consortium Blog.

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