Civic media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Diversity and Contention Online: Talks by Anselm Spoerri and Jisun An

On Friday, November 22nd, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society's Cooperation group and MIT Center for Civic Media hosted two speakers—Anselm Spoerri and Jisun An—to talk about their research into diversity and contention online. This is a liveblog of those talks authored by Erhardt Graeff, Dalia Othman, Catherine D'Ignazio, Chelsea Barabas, and Nathan Matias.

Anselm Spoerri

Anselm Spoerri: Visualizing Controversial and Popular Topics in Wikipedia across Languages
Anselm is a Swiss-born information visualization researcher. He did his PhD at MIT in computational vision, and is now a lecturer and assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. His latest work looks at contention in Wikipedia.

The project he shares with us, on Edit Wars in Wikipedia, presents a fascinating visualization of a dataset prepared by Taha Yasseri and Janos Kertesz of the "most controversial" topics in 10 different language versions of Wikipedia. 

A good example of bad design

Here’s a good example of bad design

The city of Boston is developing “parklets” -- mini-parks in tiny spaces, roughly the size of two parking spaces. They are supposed to be lilliputian urban oases. So far they’ve completed two, in Jamaica Plain and Mission Hill, with a third due for Allston.

But the results have been less than stellar, as this story by Boston Globe staffer Martine Powers makes clear. Rather than collaborate with the local neighborhood residents or business owners, as some other cities have done, Boston just plopped the parklets down with little or no direction from locals.

The end result is something of a waste. The parklets don’t get used. People aren’t even sure what the heck the parklets are all about.

UDC Conference in San Francisco ended

UDC and Project Censored’s joint 2013 conference — The Point is to Change It: Media Democracy and Democratic Media in Action ended today. It was a great conference full of good discussions and inspiring 'comrade' mood.
Yuezhi Zhao received Dallas Smythe Award last night. In her address, she said that China can save itself and the world with the rise of the new left; it's alliance with uprising workers movement; and the possible development of ecological socialism.

For the program, please see:
http://udcconference.org/conference-program/

How to Apply to Be a Grad Student with the Center for Civic Media

It's early September and a new crew of master's students are starting work at Center for Civic Media. If you're interested in becoming part of next year's team, this is a great time to start working on your application, and you likely have some questions about how one gets accepted to work at Center for Civic Media. This post tries to offer some answers.

Who gets accepted to work at Center for Civic Media?

We accept a small number of masters candidates for study every year, usually two to four people in total. Some apply through the MIT Media Lab, where they will be earning an S.M. degree in Media Arts and Sciences. Others apply through Comparative Media Studies/Writing, where they will earn an S.M. in Comparative Media Studies. We are not currently admitting doctoral candidates.

13 Latest Projects at the MIT Center for Civic Media

One of the most energetic sessions at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference last week was the Civic Media Ignite, which presented thirteen projects by MIT teams and our partners.

(this session was reported with NewsPad, experimental software I'm building for collaborative live-editing of articles. Participation is currently anonymous. The quality in this post may vary.)

Mapping the News (Catherine D'Ignazio)

Ethan Zuckerman presented this session for Catherine, since she just gave birth.

What does media pay attention to? Mapping The News visualizes the connection between the geography of events paid attention to, and the geography of those paying attention. In this visualization of news coverage, we see that Boston Globe focuses on places that are a bit more privileged. Mapping the Globe also shows word clouds based on location, illustrating the differences of coverage received by a place, whether it's sports, business or violence.

The Newsroom Inside Out at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference

Panelists

We're here at the 2013 MIT-Knight Civic Media conference here at the MIT Media Lab, where the theme is Insiders/Outsiders. Across the next two days, we're going to be looking at this theme of institutions and innovators across the areas of government, media, and disaster response. Across the event, speakers will be asking if it's better to look for change inside institutions or try to transform things from the outside.

This session, The Newsroom, Inside Out, discusses the idea that technology and social media are starting to open up the old one-to-many model for news. How are newsrooms adapting to the many-to-many approach, and can they become drivers of civic engagement?

This post was liveblogged by Joanna Kao, Erhardt Graeff, and Charlie DeTar.

Postmarked Ignite talk - Dystopian spaces + visualizing disempowerment

I gave an Ignite talk today at the MIT-Knight Civic Media conference (#civicmedia). Wow, that went so fast! I didn't quite share all I wanted, but if I could sit down with you over a cup of coffee, this is what I would have said. If I may be cheesy for a moment, these were really my most heartfelt points. So, my lucky ducks—read on for the full spiel!

I’m going to tell you about an exploration that really began with an interest in public space and a pet question of mine: Where does a postcard sit between a letter and an online petition?

Participatory Aid at the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference

We're here at the 2013 MIT-Knight Civic Media conference here at the MIT Media Lab, where the theme is Insiders/Outsiders. Across the next two days, we're going to be looking at this theme of institutions and innovators across the areas of government, media, and disaster response. Across the event, speakers will be asking if it's better to look for change inside institutions or try to transform things from the outside.

This session, on Participatory Aid, discusses how disaster aid has gone peer-to-peer. People are organizing over the internet to respond to crises in new ways. In the face of increasingly deadly disasters, how do we integrate creative public responses with formal institutions to create a more holistic aid system?

Civics Beyond Borders at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference

We're here at the 2013 MIT-Knight Civic Media conference here at the MIT Media Lab, where the theme is Insiders/Outsiders. Across the next two days, we're going to be looking at this theme of institutions and innovators across the areas of government, media, and disaster response. Across the event, speakers will be asking if it's better to look for change inside institutions or try to transform things from the outside.

Pages