Marco Bani | MIT Center for Civic Media

Recent blog posts by Marco Bani

5 resources for citizen mapping

The potential applications of the civic mapping to empower the citizens are promising, from location-aware participative democracy initiatives such as gauging public support for civic planning, to the reporting of urban problems such as blight or requesting snow cleanup.
Listed below 5 projects which, using web platforms, help citizens to foster better policy advocacy, community engagement/organizing and city planning. In all these cases we can also talk of citizen mapping, underlining the active role of each member in a community.

AugmentedPolitics: project update and call for participation

While news is getting more and more through online sites , with the under 30 who rise the average rate, we know so little of what is perceived at the level of civic understanding. The language related to politics may be familiar to journalists and members of the various democratic processes, but we have no evidence of what is the average level of understanding of an article which contain terms related political activity or glossary.
In addition, the proliferation of online communication and the contacts balkanization caused by social media makes it harder to understand what is the most simple and immediate way to be in touch with either institutional representative or party members. The official e-mail? The facebook profile? The twitter channel?
The speed with too often news online are consumed does not allow an in-depth understanding, possible with a simple query on a search engine or by a Wikipedia visit.

Theory for social change:a basic infographic

Which are the "key issues" for social change? How many "keys" do we need to open "the door of change"? What if the door is stuck? Does it mean that we need more pressure (aka stronger social movements)?

Here my personal basic representation, where "change" is figured as a door to open:

Understanding politics: a Civic Media project for a better news consumption

The Internet is continuing to erode the other channels of information like TV, radio, and newspapers as the source of news. One of the latest survey made by Pew Research Center (conducted in the late Spring 2012), which is taken biannually and cover the changing in the news landscape, argues that the faster spreading of mobile devices and social networks is accelerating the shift to online news consumption.

“The percentage of Americans saying they saw news or news headlines on a social networking site yesterday has doubled – from 9% to 19% – since 2010. Among adults younger than age 30, as many saw news on a social networking site the previous day (33%) as saw any television news (34%), with just 13% having read a newspaper either in print or digital form”

(Credit: Pew Research Center )