Amauta Free Space project | MIT Center for Civic Media
So, after much reflection, I decided to do the Amauta Free Space project, since it's my passion at the moment, consuming my time and thoughts. As I mentioned before, it would consist of an open collaborative space for democratic participation, where those who take part in it build a virtual community interacting on a set of basic principles (if you can understand Spanish, you can see our diagram here):
-Free and open space: anyone can use the space freely (and all the code should be available for free).
-Safe space: though it's free, and because it's open, no discriminatory or hateful behavior is allowed.
-Creation: again, because it's free, anyone can write articles, make art, program code, but each creation will be determined as useful (truthful?, relevant?, important?) by the community as a whole (see democracy).
-Participation: the type of actions within the space that promote community building will open up more spaces for users (with more responsibilities and obligations). The different levels of participation would help determine who has invested more into the space, but it would also be a training method in media use (see Lave & Wenger's "Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation").
-Democracy: people decide (voting, rating, reviews, consensus?) on how the space should be build, or rebuild, after the initial infrastructure is in place, and what works and what doesn't. They can also give ideas, vote on them, write, create, etc. Because the space would be designed to give incentives for participation, users would also be more fully engaged with their community.
The project itself would probably (definitely) not be finished by the end of the semester, so I will build an initial prototype for a community I identify and which will commit to the project (I have some ideas for groups in Costa Rica, but also in Providence, it might even be a combination of the two). Since I am not a programmer, I will rely on Wordpress plugins to build a rudimentary design, with a colleague, who is a programmer, collaborating along the way. At the same time, the project deliverable will be a research paper based on many of the different theories we have studied in class, interviews with people in the field (with audio), and then a review on how to apply the conclusions to the space we are designing (what would a media platform look like addressing some of the issues we talked about in class?), and if there has been some experimentation with the space, then a description and analysis of the use there.
Tasks in no particular order
-Create prototype of space, by testing plugins to design the page here: http://revista-amauta.com/amautacom/
-Identify community (or communities) that would commit to use the space
-Identify and interview people in the field (philosophers on knowledge and truth, journalists, other media creators with similar experiments, MIT civic media and media lab staff, community organizers)
-Go through different theories that would apply for the project, and extend research in pertinent subject areas
-Make basic outline for paper, based on the different theories
-As issues, interviews, research go along, write blog entries that will serve for the research paper.