media

Media in the context of civic media work refers to all modes of mass communication: print - newspapers and magazines, broadcast - radio and TV, and internet sites - personal and from organizations. <em>Civic Media</em> are those forms of communication that strengthen the social bonds within a community or create a strong sense of civic engagement among its residents.

The Digital Pollada, or What I Learned About Crowdfunding from Peruvian Chicken

There’s a tradition in Peru called the pollada – literally, a chicken party. These parties perform a very important social function. Say I’m about to have a child and I’m worried about how I’m going to pay education or healthcare bills. I hold a pollada to raise money by inviting friends and family around for chicken and beers, and selling tickets to the event. The tickets are usually priced fairly highly. The friends who come to my party are willing to pay more than they would normally, because they know they’re contributing to my family's welfare. Together, we fund the future of my family’s education. And we eat. And we bond.

danah boyd - It's Complicated

danah boyd is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research, a Research Assistant Professor in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, a fellow at the Berkman Center, and director of the Data and Society Institute. danah has been working on the issues associated with "It's Complicated" for many years. 10 years ago, Ethan and danah were two of the youngest people at a conference. danah told him, "I only have one secret to get through these events. I tell them what their children are doing." Telling people what their children are doing online is incredibly valuable, either because we're parents who care about our children, or because we care about the future of the Internet. danah has been relentless over the last decade in trying to make it clear that simple snap answers about the Internet (good, bad, dangerous, amazing) are utterly and totally inadequate. What we need to do is to take a long, careful look at the context that underlies people's behaviours online. We're in a moment where the easiest thing to do is to say "it's simple." danah has put forward a book that says "it's complicated."

[Peer economy] Media's place as herald and tastemaker

People are often boggled when I follow up my research interest in the future of work with the name of my M.S. program: Comparative Media Studies at MIT. While I could go on about how economic security is the cornerstone for meaningful pursuits—including civic participation—here's a direct media tie in. The following is an excerpt from my thesis draft. 

The Fordist framework1 is fraying quickly. Economic decline, technological displacement and globalization have resulted in a shortage of jobs that will not rebound. A powerful social contract is broken, leading Americans to question if investing in human capital—apprenticeships, internships, education, experience and technical know-how—is a smart use of time and personal resources.

These conditions account only partially for why attention is shifting to other work models. Another powerful influence is former and current media portrayal.

[Peer economy] Why the peer economy comes off as "share-washing"

Pay attention to Tom Slee; he's snide, but he's spot-on. In a recent blog post, he neatly sums up how peer economy proponents appear to advocate selectively for its place in the formal economy.

[Peer economy] Calling out companies on socioeconomic inequality

Recently, a reporter from Marketplace called me for a radio piece. Two Harvard profs just released a study that examined the correlation between pricing and race on Airbnb. Airbnb’s racist! Well that’s not actually how the professors said it, but that’s what many headlines have looked like.


Image by Effie Yang

Kenyan Media Blackout

It was not until I checked my twitter feed that I realised a raging debate on the self imposed media blackout under the hash tag #mediablackoutke. Several local journalists wrote tweets to protest a ruling made in Kenya’s high court on digital migration. The judge had earlier dismissed the petition by the three leading media houses to delay the migration. In his ruling, he says that the deadline date was obtained through consensus since the three players were also part of the process.  Digital migration refers to the movement of broadcast transmission from analogue signals to digital signals. As per the ITU conference different member countries had to set up deadlines by which they would have the switch over.  It is important to note that Kenya became the second country to switch over to digital television broadcasting in the year 2009.  The deadline to completely cut off the analogue signal in Kenya has been a game of chess since. Every other party trying to checkmate each other.

A Timeline of Crowdfunding Since 2000

On Monday I gave a talk to MIT's New Economy Group titled "Crowdfunding, Community Assets and the New Economy". One of the first things I presented, by way of context, was this timeline.

It's not meant to be an exhaustive collection of events, but here are a few things I found most interesting and worthwhile to include.

Donors Choose was arguably the first civic crowdfunding platform, although it has never referred to itself in those terms. It took DC ten years to become entirely self-financing.

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