Andrew's blog | MIT Center for Civic Media

Knight Foundation's assessment of the Center for [Future] Civic Media

Coinciding with the announcement of its new $3.76 million investment in the MIT Center for Civic Media, Knight Foundation has published its assessment -- carried out by the Berkman Center's John Palfrey -- of the Center's first four years:

Ethan Zuckerman, cyberscholar and activist, to lead MIT Center for Civic Media

Ethan Zuckerman -- scholar of the global blogosphere, free expression, and social translation -- will be introduced today as the new director of MIT’s Center for Civic Media. He will lead an influential group of technologists and academics committed to empowering communities around the globe by inventing and testing civic media tools and practices.

The announcement is to be made at the Center’s annual Civic Media Conference, co-hosted with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

This Week in Civic Media: In less than two weeks, a new website and the Knight News Challenge announcement

From the Center

  • Prep for bean spillage: new website, News Challenge announcement, new everything

The Future of News May Be Too Fast

  • Slow down and smell the facts: In rush, national media reports local media's gory but 100% untrue story

Censorship and Transparency

  • MT @jayrosen_nyu: Turns out the Palin emails are a kind of milestone in pro-am journalism, as an inflection point.
  • "It's long past time for government to get over its skittishness about digital redaction."

Shadow Internet for dissidents

More reason we need

Prep for bean spillage: new website, News Challenge announcement, new everything

On June 22, a lot happens. Don't freak out.

By then, we'll have a new website launched -- courtesy of our fantastic Drupal design team at Civic Actions -- and at 2:30pm that day, Knight Foundation will unveil its 2011 Knight News Challenge winners at our annual MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference. In fact, even though it's a small invitation-only conference, we want to make sure you can watch the announcement live:

But by way of a teaser, on that same day, we'll have major announcements of our own. Two of them. Probably the biggest pieces of news since Chris, Mitch, and Henry Jenkins proposed the idea for the Center four years ago.

So keep your eyes here, even though they'll have to adjust to Civic Actions' brilliant new design.

This Week in Civic Media: VoIP Drupal workshop Wednesday

From the Center

  • Mitch Resnick named one of @fastcompany's 100 Most Creative People
  • Jeffrey Yoo Warren Grapples With the Enormity of Gulf Spill @grassrootsmapping
  • Congrats to our colleagues @amerigo, Ryan O'Toole, Jeff Warren, and @jlev on MIT Commencement

Center Events: VoIP Drupal workshop Wednesday

  • Make and receive phone calls from a website: join us for a #voipDrupal workshop in NYC Wednesday


Video: Civic Media Session, "Civic Disobedience"

(For great detail about the "Civic Disobedience" session, check out moderator Ethan Zuckerman's write-up.)

Watch the full video...

This Week in Civic Media: "Will I Fit In?", Post Secret via QR

From the Center

Media in Transition 7

  • Podcast: "Media in Transition 7: Unstable Platforms" with @jbenton @mleccese and more #MiT7

Future of News

This Week in Civic Media: Video, "Design for Vulnerable Populations"; VoIP Drupal webinar Thursday

From the Center

  • Video: Civic Media Session, "Design for Vulnerable Populations" moderated by @cdetar

Events this week

  • VoIP Drupal webinar, Thursday 1pm. Learn how easy it is to use VoIP Drupal to build websites that pick up the phone, make calls, record messages, broadcast audio, and more.

More on VoIP Drupal

  • Leo Burd and Owen Barton discuss VoIP Drupal, a platform to integrate voice and web through Drupal...

Between the Bars, our prison blogging platform

  • @ReganStP: New Site Helps Inmates Blog from Behind Bars via @TechNewsDaily @c4fcm

Bin Laden death

Video: Civic Media Session, "Design for Vulnerable Populations"

Designers often want to help people that they perceive as being in need -- whether those affected by natural or human-caused disasters, the economically or physically disadvantaged, or those who are on the losing end of a cultural power dynamic. However, naive attempts to "help" through simplistic techno-centric design can be at best ineffective, and at worst counter-productive.

What can designers do to better connect with the communities and individuals they wish to serve? How can design projects avoid patronizing attitudes and economic colonialization? How can a designer be effective in promoting social change while following their conscience?

This panel brings together designers who have worked in the mental health industry, international development, the prison system, and community environmental action to discuss what has worked and what hasn't, and what approaches designers can take to increase their chances of success.

  • Charlie DeTar (Moderator) Co-founder of Between the Bars, a blogging platform for prisoners. Fellow at the Center for Future Civic Media, and PhD student at the MIT Media Lab.
  • Patricia Deegan Creator of the CommonGround web application which supports shared decision making in psychopharmacology consultation. Adjunct Professor at the Dartmouth College School of Medicine and at Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
  • Liz Barry Director of Urban Environment at Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, a collaborative developing inexpensive and community-led means to explore environmental and social issues; Co-founder of TreeKIT, an initiative to collaboratively measure, map, and manage urban forests.
  • Nathan Cooke Born and raised in California, USA, Cooke works at MIT’s D-Lab documenting technologies and working with students on design projects. He has previous experience working for Frog Design in San Francisco and at Autodesk as part of their Sustainability division.