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Session 1: Introduction and Overview

Page history last edited by josh 14 years, 4 months ago

A) Introduction


  • Self-introductions
  • What is democracy?
  • What is digital democracy?


B) Digital Inauguration


  • The Presidential Inaugural Committee is offering Text Message updates on Inauguration Day. US citizens can Text HISTORY to 56333 to sign up for updates on how they can be a part of this historic moment wherever they are.


Where To Watch 

  • CNN.com: Partnering with Facebook so you can see your friends’ status updates while watching.
  • Current TV : Will add a Twitterstream to its coverage.
  • Ustream.tv: This stream will also be available on your iPhone, great for those along the parade route too far away to see the main stage.
  • Joost is also broadcasting the inauguration live.
  • Obama Girl is streaming her coverage on Stickam.
  • Second Life is hosting the inauguration with formal and informal balls. The event will also be live streamed within SL.


Where To Share 

  • Twitter: Just search for “inauguration” or “Obama”. The chatter has already started.
  • NPR Inauguration Report: Run by NPR’s social media desk, it will be collecting dispatches from spectators via Twitter, Flicr, YouTube, and text message. All Tweets or text messages that start with “#inaug09″ or “#dctrip09″ will be included in NPR’s feed, as well as Flickr photos and YouTube videos tagged “inaug09″ or “dctrip09.”
  • CNN/Microsoft 3D Photosynth: People at the inauguration can upload their photos and Microosft will combine them into a 3D panoramic Photosynth. (Potential applications to Human Rights?).



  • The White House Blog: hopefully, the administration will continue some of the experiments with citizen participation which it tried on Change.gov, its transition Website. Whitehouse.gov certainly has the same look and feel.
  • Change (U.S.) Politics (iTunes link). Cast your approval rating of the Obama administration across 14 issues
  • PolitFact’s Obameter: Obama made more than 500 promises during the election campaign. Track how many he keeps with the Obameter.
  • Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy:
    • Open Up Government to its Citizens: Use cutting-edge technologies to create a new level of transparency, accountability, and participation for America's citizens.
    • Bring Government into the 21st Century: Use technology to reform government and improve the exchange of information between the federal government and citizens while ensuring the security of our networks.
  • Under Obama, Web Would Be the Way: Can Obama transform his net-based electoral strength, into a policy and advocacy tool that will strengthen his presidency?

  • Interactive Inauguration: This is just the beginning (Wired).




C) Readings


  • The Wealth of Networks
    • Can we solve real world problems with the Internet?
    • Is Benkler's notion of the 'networked public sphere' persuasive?  What are the weaknesses in his argument?
    • Where are the battles of the 'networked public sphere' being fought?  What institutions have a stake in these battles?


  • The Prospects for Cyberocracy
    • Do you think we're headed toward a cyberocracy?
    • Are democracies or repressive regimes more likely to thrive in a cyberocracy?
    • Does new technology favor democracy?
    • Will new technologies speed the collapse of the Castro regime in Cuba?



D) Syllabus



E) Web 2.0


  • Please get on Twitter and follow @digidemocracy, a Twitter feed for our class!
    • After you've downloaded and set up Twitter, please use Twhirl to receive and sent Tweets.
    • We'll use Twitter to share relevant links, blog posts and news related to Digital Democracy
  • Please set up Google Reader (or other blog feeder) to subscribe to relevant blogs.



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