Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

VIDEO: Mapping Media Ecosystems

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While you view our video below, read Ethan's rundown of our superb event, Mapping Media Ecosystems. It featured Hal Roberts, of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; Erhardt Graeff, founding member of the Web Ecology Project; and Gilad Lotan, VP of Research and Development for SocialFlow:

I asked them to share some of the recent work they’ve been doing, understanding the structure of the US and Russian blogosphere, analyzing the influence networks in Twitter during the early Arab Spring events and understanding the social and political dynamics of hashtags. They didn’t disappoint, and I suspect our video of the session will be one of the more popular pieces of media we put together this fall.

Participatory Design!

This week in Co-Design I'm looking at the field of Participatory Design. Participatory Design has a much more establish history than most of the other sub-genres of co-design I've been looking at. It had its start in Scandinavia in the 1970's, emerging from trade union movements. It shares an ideological lineage with Sociotechnical Design and Action research. Initially, the goal of Participatory Design was to shift the stance of technology from one which inherently favored management and entrenched power structures to one which favored and worked with the workers. Given the theory's avowedly political beginnings, a good question to keep in mind as we continue to think about participatory is whether or not it has kept its ideological commitment to the democratization of technology since its conception. In order to be called "participatory design," must a project undertake the political goals of the theory's founders? Is this political stance what is necessary to differentiate it from other theories of co-design?

The Week in Civic Media: Mimi Ito, this Wednesday

Here's your breakdown of news in civic media this week...


Mapping Media Ecosystems
Hal Roberts, Erhardt Graeff, and Gilad Lotan


Panorama de medios en Costa Rica

Costa Rica puede ser un reflejo, un microcosmo, de lo que acontece en forma global con respecto a los medios de comunicación, el periodismo, la libertad de expresión, y la democracia. Siempre contiene sus idiosincracias internas, pero en el escenario globalizado, ocurren patrones que se repiten alrededor del mundo.

Por ejemplo, el dueño de uno de los canales de televisión (Repretel Canal 6) y estación de radio (Monumental) más populares en el país, es también dueño de otros dos canales de tele, y doce estaciones de radio, además de 30 canales de tele y 70 de radio en toda América Latina. Ángel González, mexicano, podría decirse que es una versión miniatura de Rupert Murdoch: extranjero, dueño de una conglomeración de medios en muchos países, capitalista de la información.

Visual Approaches to Illustrating the Field of Co-Design

Together with Sasha Costanza-Chock and Molly Sauter, I'm planning to make a visual map of co-design. Thus far, this has involved learning about co-design, meeting co-designers in the UK, and familiarising myself with theories of co-design.

Now that the field is coming into focus for me, I'm starting to make decisions about what things to include, and what visual approaches to take. Here are some of my initial thoughts.

I think that a timeline will be very helpful in the upcoming class Sasha is teaching on co-design. Timelines are very good at setting something in context, showing how a trend develops over time, and presenting a pile of names and examples in a narrative (see the Design History Timeline as an example).


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