Intro to Civic Media | MIT Center for Civic Media

Methods of connecting with voters in the 2012 presidential election campaigns

It’s the end of another semester at MIT, and the close of my time in CMS.360, Introduction to Civic Media. To close off the semester, I’ve posted a copy of the slides to my 5 minute Ignite talk from our last class about methods of connecting with voters in the 2012 presidential election campaigns.

The 2012 campaigns are interesting because both parties utilized new technology to achieve traditional campaign goals — to connect with voters, gain information about them, and use that information to target them better. My project focused on three ways presidential campaigns connected with voters — using targeted emails, phone banks, and social media — and aspects that made them succeed.

LeaksWiki: Transparency for the future of leaking

For my Intro to Civic Media final project, I made LeaksWiki. LeaksWiki is a wiki about leaking organizations, the tools and methods used in leaking, and how leaking can improve in the future. The goal of LeaksWiki is to make leaking safer, easier, and more effective through a transparent understanding and analysis of leaking organizations. Both LeaksWiki and my final paper present a framework of leaking ideologies from radical transparency to selective release. They also explore a general leaking process that all leaking organizations roughly follow through both case studies and detailed discussion of each step of the process. Finally, LeaksWiki and my paper propose potential future improvements to leaking.

Analyzing Crisis Mapping in Haiti

Keep in mind that the following is a brief summary of my research project. You can find the full text at the bottom of this post.

My project focuses on evaluating crisis mapping used during 2010 Haitian earthquake. It began as Maps for Mankind, a Youtube channel that would feature interesting mapping tools. My original plan was to focus my final project on civic mapping, but I realized it was way too broad of a topic. I decided to narrow my final project on something I found particularly interesting: crisis mapping. I thoroughly enjoyed the classroom discussion about it, particularly in the context of the Haitian earthquake.

A Case Study of An Innovative Campaign Against Domestic Violence

"If I have to leave my apartment and go to a shelter, will my kids be able to go to the same school?"

"If I am undocumented, can I report my wife for verbal and physical abuse? She told me if I call the police they will arrest me because I am living in the country Illegally."

"Why are there not enough resources to help people in trouble?"

The above questions were all submitted as part of the 21 Days of Questions, 365 Days of Action domestic violence campaign.  

Final Projects!

Last Wednesday, we all made a 30 second blurb about our what our final projects will be. I made a video that combines all of our ideas, with some relaxing Jazz music. Enjoy!

Since Youtube frustratingly removed the option to use the old embed code, I also have a link you can copy and paste.

21 Days Cambridge: The Question Review Panel

Member of the question review panel reviewing the submissions.
Question Review Panel reading and discussing submissions for Domestic Violence Campaign.

Video Activism, Free Software, and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region

Video Activism, Free Software, and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific region.

During this week's class session on Introduction to Civic Media, we invited two guest speakers: Andrew Lowenthal (Co-Founder and Director of Engaged Media) and Professor Fox Harrell (CMS/CSAIL at MIT). The course bagan with Andrew talking about his work with Engaged Media. In addition to our format, we were able to livestream the class using ustream, and welcomed users at large by tweeting the ustream link. The specific reading materials that accompanied this week's course on Video Activism, Free Software, and Human Rights in the Asia-Pacific region were:

Effective Approaches and Experiments in Leak Processing

Since my last post, I have also completed an interview with Juzne vesti and a case study on Associated Whistleblowing Press. I am currently waiting on some followup questions with Public Intelligence and question responses with someone from WikiLeaks. Additionally, I have been working on my paper which is in large part based off of my blog posts, interviews, and case studies. So, which strategies for document processing are most effective in light of the differing goals of leaking websites? And how have leaking organizations been improving these methods?

Civic Maps During the Haitian Earthquake

As we get closer to the final project, I will narrow down the subject matter of my videos. One of my favorite episodes was the one about Google crisis maps. I really enjoyed the class discussion we had about civic maps, and writing up the case study for the Civic maps toolkit was also enjoyable. I believe that crowd sourcing to create civic maps is not only really cool, but also carries the potential to save lives during emergencies. Google is aware of the potential too in their creation of the Hurricane Sandy crisis map. Although there are still issues with our utilization of crisis maps, we can work out those kinks to create a valuable new tool in disaster response.