media

Media in the context of civic media work refers to all modes of mass communication: print - newspapers and magazines, broadcast - radio and TV, and internet sites - personal and from organizations. <em>Civic Media</em> are those forms of communication that strengthen the social bonds within a community or create a strong sense of civic engagement among its residents.

The Case for Informal Visualization

Data visualization is all over the place. On the hype curve, we’re clearly up in the area of inflated expectations. If you listen to the reporting, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking dataviz is going to bring world peace! I’m writing to beat the drum in favor of more informal presentations.  You can tell better data stories, and engage your audience more, by creating less formal data presentations.

Some Examples

What do I mean by "informal visualization"?  To start, toss out your computer, printer and graph paper. Pull our your crayons, big paper, tape, and your imagination.

From top-left, clockwise: 

More Females on Sina Weibo but Less Influential than Males?

This semester for a class on HCI, I have been looking at dual screen experience that people interact with mobile devices while watching TV in China. I collected over 1 million Sina Weibo messages during 'Chunwan' (春晚), a state sponsored TV program to celebrate Chinese New Year, which is also a popular cultural event that almost everyone in China participates. While the social engagement aspect of this study is still ongoing, for now one of the side findings from this data is quite worth-noting:

Within this data, over 60% users are female on Sina Weibo, but male users are almost twice likely to have a large number of followers(over 5000) than their female counterpart.

Using Tech in Africa as a Lever for Change (Amadou Mahtar)

(Liveblog post from #netexplo)

In the introduction, it's mentioned that AllAfrica is hosting the anniversary of USA4Africa We Are the World, and will promote crowdsourced versions of the song (parody away).

Amadou Mahtar (@amahtarba) of AllAfrica and African Media Initiative speaks on the use of the Internet and technology in Africa as levers for democracy and economic and social change. Technology is pointless, Amadou says, unless it improves human life, particularly in the context of the African continent.

Amadou provides a disclaimer that his talk today is more of a religion than a science. It comes from his personal belief in greater connectivity to provide greater economic and human development.

Crowdfunding an exit strategy for EveryBlock

everyblock_logo

The news that NBC is closing the hyper-local news site EveryBlock has been met with widespread disappointment - rooted as much in the failure of a good brand as the uncomfortable reminder that the hyper-local community is yet to find a business model that pays.

"The Economist" on internet activism

From the defeat of Hollywood-sponsored Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) to the flop of International Telecommunication Union’s crafty treaty, 2012 frustrated many government and company attempts to meddle with the internet. In its first 2013 edition, The Economist presents an interesting balance of what it calls “a big year for online activists”. The British magazine poses a thought-provoking question: are we witnessing the rise of a new organic political power like environmentalism in the 1960s and 1970s?

The analogy is compelling. In its dawn, the environmental movement was an umbrella term for heterogeneous groups: people concerned about nuclear plants, citizens interested in cleaning a particular river, anti-pesticide activists, and so on. Gradually, such different strands came together and eventually formed a complete political platform with a comprehensive discourse­ that went on to wield legislative and executive power – the green parties in Europe and elsewhere.

Two Media Tech Ideas for Distributed Solidarity

In this parallel post alongside one by Denise Cheng, I review the media-making practices of 350.org, who coordinate thousands of events into global days of climate action. I also propose two technology designs for collaboratively tagging and remixing media from an event.

Read Denise's post on the story and mission of 350.org, annotate this post using ReadrBoard, or suggest your own ideas

Here at the Center for Civic Media, we have spent the last year discussing the idea of peer-based politics. In a Media Lab talk at the beginning of the year, Rebecca McKinnon argued that international politics sometimes needs the consent of the networked.

How social media shaped the US election

While the presidential candidates' social media teams spent many hours rebutting factual inaccuracies and publishing lightning-fast infographics, the discourse around this year's election (online, at least) was dominated by social media memes. Critics will be quick to dismiss this as the debasing of political debate by cynical, uninformed observers, or straightforward dumbing down. But it's no accident that Big Bird and Binders Full of Women stole our attention, because the meme form is highly adapted to the social media news feed environment in which most of us consume news online. I've been researching the dynamics of feed culture recently and would like to suggest that we describe that environment as 'hyperoral', in which the ephemerality, brevity and repetition common to oral discourse is given a hypermediated form.

Vojo community call - Office hours

Last Tuesday, Vojo hosted an "office hours" session where anyone who hadn't taken off for Thanksgiving was welcome to dial in with their questions. The Vojo team met Luís Cotto, a Cantabrigian originally from Hartford, CT.

Designing Acknowledgment on the Web

Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

I have a confession to make: my persona

Making radio more spreadable

At last year's Civic Media Conference, I pitched and won a small media innovation grant to make a video based on a public radio piece. The idea was to explore a way to raise radio's profile in an online environment that tends to favor video. Below is cross-posted from the Knight Foundation blog.

The Emperor's New Onesie from Hillary Frank on Vimeo.

The mission: Make a short video based on a public radio piece and launch it into the webosphere.

The update: Mission accomplished.

Well, almost. Today is the launch. So watch, enjoy, share, and read on.

Pages