Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Katrin Verclas speaks on mobile technologies for social impact

This talk was filmed as part of Chris Csikszentmihalyi's "Call for Action!" class during MIT's independent activities period, winter 2009. The class studied and built mobile tools for community organization.

Co-Founder/Editor, MobileActive.org

Katrin Verclas speaks on mobile technologies for social impact

This talk was filmed as part of Chris Csikszentmihalyi's "Call for Action!" class during MIT's independent activities period, winter 2009. The class studied and built mobile tools for community organization.

Co-Founder/Editor, MobileActive.org

Katrin Verclas is co-founder and editor of MobileActive.org, a global network of practitioners using mobile phones in social change work. She was, until recently, also the Executive Director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, the national association of IT professionals working in the more than one million nonprofit organizations in the United States.

Katrin is passionate about the use of technology in democratic participation, economic empowerment, community organizing, and government accountability.

She believes in the importance of community, the power of networks, the good will of people, our ability to collaborate for a common good, the inherent political-ness of everyday life, and the power of people using technology to better this world.

Four Social Cues for News

Over the past few years, a great deal of effort has been invested by traditional news organizations in making their websites look and feel more "social."

I suspect that many within the industry have moments of doubt about the whole process, especially when they compare their industry's own efforts with those of companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter. These companies appear to have more resources and fewer constraints, and add features in a rapid and casual manner that sometimes looks effortless to the outside observer. (It isn't.)

However, if we compare CNN's website today to that of CNN five years ago -- or do the same thing with many other newspaper websites -- we can see that there's been significant progress.

In 2004, most newspaper websites were vehicles for one-way communication; there was no way for a reader to leave a comment. Many sites were even frustrating to link to, as stories had permalinks that weren't so permanent.

"Geeking Out" For Democracy (Part Two)

A close look at the recent presidential election shows that young people are more politically engaged now than at any point since the end of the Vietnam War era. 54.5 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 voted last November, constituting a larger proportion of the total electorate -- 18 percent -- then Putnam's bowlers, people 65-years-and-older (16 percent). The youth vote was a decisive factor in Obama's victories in several states, including Indiana, North Carolina, and possibly Florida. John Della Volpe, director of polling for the Harvard Institute of Politics, told U.S.

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