cms | MIT Center for Civic Media

A Brief Guide To User-Generated Censorship

This post is a brief overview of my master's thesis.

In June 2011, as heat and hardship both beat down on Britain, progressive activists proposed a general strike to protest austerity measures. They created a website at, posted information about the strike, and launched a publicity campaign through social media, focusing especially on sharing links through Facebook.

It’s easy to understand why. Facebook’s News Feed does more than just capture and redistribute eyeballs: like the front page of a major newspaper, it also articulates an agenda, assembling a summary digest of important events. “As more and more is shared,” wrote engineer Peter Deng after Facebook repositioned the News Feed in the user’s home page, “we want you to be able to find out everything that is going on in the world around you.” It's a vision of social media as a kind of map, as an atlas informing users of worthwhile destinations and providing routes, in the form of links, through which they may be reached.

Otto Santa Ana: TV News is "a One-A-Day Hegemonic Vitamin" that naturalizes myths

Live notes from Otto Santa Ana's talk "Contemporary Network Television News Reporting About Latinos: Successes, Failures, and a Range of Proposals to Correct Its Limitations." All errors by natematias and schock.

Event link:
Live notes link:

Anne Balsamo: Designing Culture - The Technological Imagination at Work

Liveblogged by @schock - apologies for errors!

Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work
Anne Balsamo, University of Southern California

In her transmedia project, Designing Culture, Anne Balsamo investigates the way in which culture influences the process of technological innovation. Drawing on her experiences working as part of collaborative research-design teams that combine art/science/design/engineering, she will describe her new research on public interactives and the infrastructures of public intimacy. Anne Balsamo's work focuses on the relationship between the culture and technology. This focus informs her practice as a scholar, researcher, new media designer and entrepreneur. She is currently a Professor of Interactive Media in the School of Cinematic Arts, and of Communication in the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. From 2004-2007, she served as the Director of the Institute for Multimedia Literacy.


Ian Bogost @CMS: Newsgames


The following was liveblogged from Ian Bogost's talk for CMS. All errors belong to @schock!

VoIP Drupal

C4 has done a variety of breakthrough civic systems with phones, from Leo Burd's What's Up platform to the Call4Action class and its cool student projects.

We love these projects, but working with phones has always been a bear. A lot of custom programming is necessary, and in many cases people start with the phone and end up building custom systems that begin to represent a CMS. Projects like Ushahidi or our earlier txtMob are really just simple CMSs with a few custom features for texting inputs. So Leo Burd has been working on making Drupal more friendly for the billions of people around the world who only have access to basic telephony rather than smart phones and the web.

Leo is launching the first release of the VoIP Drupal platform at DrupalCon next week.