Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

Recent news from the Center for Civic Media

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.

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

Anyone who has read my blog long knows that I am not big on counting things. Some of it is that I have math anxiety -- a serious vulnerability for someone who spent the first 20 years of his career at MIT! Some of it is that I think people often act as if counting things is the same thing as analyzing things or that the only things that count are things that came be counted. I often wage a one-man struggle against the push to quantify the universe -- perhaps as if (arbitrary science fiction reference warning) the world would end if we could just capture all of the billions of names of God. That said, I am finding myself mellow more than a little now that I am at USC, am watching my former graduate students struggle to grasp quantitative methods, and getting to know some of my office mates and colleagues who count things for a living.

Click Click Ranger: A Transmedia Experiment for Korean Television (Part One)

I am offering today's post as part of the ongoing conversation I've been having throughout the semester about transmedia storytelling practices. Below you will find the first of two installments written by HyeRyoung OK, a recently minted USC PhD, who I have met through my work with a new MacArthur Foundation Research Hub on Youth, New Media, and Public Participation. She has done some groundbreaking research on the deployment of transmedia practices in Korean television, projects which have gotten very little attention on this side of the world, but which have a lot to offer as an alternative model for how mobile technologies and public space can be deployed as part of a transmedia strategy.

Click Click Ranger: A Transmedia Experiment for Korean Television
by HyeRyoung Ok

Rick Borovoy unveils first sign outside MassArt


Rick Borovoy, Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab and the Center for Future Civic Media, proudly unveils the first Lost in Boston sign. is a general-purpose web tool that cities can use to get citizens involved in civic improvement projects.

It's about helping Bostonians work together to make their neighborhoods more visitor-friendly. Community groups are partnering with local businesses and institutions to design signs that call out the key spots in their area. Signs are placed on private land. is a collaboration between the Urban Arts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the Center for Future Civic Media at MIT. To get involved, contact info[at]


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