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Knight News Challenge 2006 drafting

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Revision as of 05:39, 18 September 2007 by 209.162.13.194 (Talk) (New page: The [http://www2.knightfdn.org/newschallenge/home.html Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge] may offer E-Democracy.Org an important opportunity to support some of our innovative ide...)

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The Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge may offer E-Democracy.Org an important opportunity to support some of our innovative ideas. Our citizen-based model sits at the crossroads of citizen participation, media, politics, and governance. Where online citizen participation ends and online citizen media begins is anyone's guess so let's submit a few of our "news" friendly ideas.

The Project categories are:

  • Pilot Project and Field Test
  • Leadership
  • Commerical Products and Investment
  • Open


Fields for Drafting

The fields for submitting a Letter of Inquiry we need to draft via our wiki are:

Project Category and Title * (255-character maximum)


Total estimated cost of project (U.S. Dollars, Numeric)

  • $


Project Duration

  • X year(s) (whole years only. Example: 2)


Briefly describe the project for which 21st Century News Challenge funding is requested. Keep in mind the purpose is to develop physical communities when answering the following questions in your description:

What makes this idea unique?

  • Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words

Who else would want to use it, and why?

  • Text - no more than 830 characters which equal approximately 150 words

Why are you the best person or organization to develop this project?

  • Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words


Draft Ideas

Leadership - Issues Forum Expansion

Project Category and Title

  • Leadership - Local Online Issues Forums and Community News: Expanding E-Democracy.Org's Model across Citizen Media and Online News


Total estimated cost of project (U.S. Dollars, Numeric)

  • $300,000


Project Duration

  • 2 years, Issues Forums continue based on volunteer-interest indefinitely.


What makes this idea unique?

E-Democracy.Org's local Issues Forum model is the most vibrant, effective and low cost agenda-setting model for communities for discussion of local public issues online.

Dynamic use of e-mail, topic digests, the web, and web feeds (RSS) allow citizens, journalists, and public leaders to listen to and learn from each other via their preferred online medium. See lower diagram: http://e-democracy.org/center/whyjoin.html

Unique aspects of our highly interactive two-way model include (see our 60 page guidebook - http://e-democracy.org/uk/guide.pdf ):

1. Local people, local "public issues" focus. Not locals just "talking politics."

2. Integrated e-mail and web publishing. A full e-mail option is the killer app for democratized publishing.

3. Real names.

4. Participants limited to two posts a day (all topics). Keeps message volume in check and stops two argumentative individuals from driving the audience away.

5. Rules for civility enforced by local volunteer Forum Manager. See: http://e-democracy.org/rules

6. Local committee provides legitimate community governance. This creates the most effective “public space” online possible and fosters ongoing elected official participation in and traditional media use of the forum as a source like any physical community meeting.

7. Participants own the content they produce; we have a right to use it.

8. Use of open source GroupServer technology from New Zealand, enhanced with funding we received from UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

9. We host seven "built to last" forums in seven communities, three in England and four in Minnesota.


We propose expanding Issues Forums via three different partnership channels.

We will provide training, the rules and governance structure, and work with local partners. With those partners (see “who else” section) we will build the volunteer citizen involvement required to recruit real public participation, find a local volunteer Forum Manager, and offer our open source forum hosting environment. We will couple the ability to tag “news” content, display photos, and integrate our citizen “voices” mash-up concept (see: http://e-democracy.org/voices with "mnpolitics" content from YouTube, Flickr, Del.icio.us, Blogs, and Podcasts) in new and exciting very local ways.


(Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words)

Who else would want to use it, and why?

We receive queries regularly from around the world. Connecting with known and new interest across the United States, Canada, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia will be our priority.

Our proposal: Launch 15 new local Issues Forums. Provide training to inspire/improve media/citizen media hosted online forums independent of our network to turn them from "virtual ghost towns" to "agenda-setting local public spaces."

The channels for expansion:

1. Partnerships with established media organizations - community radio, weekly newspapers in rural areas, small dailies, and other local outlets.

2. Partnerships with community-based, non-profit “Citizen Media” initiatives. They often attempt online forums as an after thought, while we build them as the necessary “egg” for sustainable generation of user-based content.

3. Independent volunteer startups – It only takes four or five citizens to start a successful forum and recruit our required 100 participants before opening. We extent tools for “e-listening” by incorporating "news" elements and views right into the core of the information exchange that others might see as a "community news blog" (but not isolated from the real two-way online exchange in many citizen media implementations).


(Text - no more than 830 characters which equal approximately 150 words)


Why are you the best person or organization to develop this project?

E-Democracy.Org, a 501c.3 non-profit, is an original citizen media initiative. We launched the world's first election-oriented website in 1994 from the "citizen" side of citizen media. We hosted an online election news collection from local media, citizen discussions, online candidate debates, candidate position papers, and government voter guides all on one web/gopher/ftp/e-mail request site.

Since 1994, we've focused on the most dynamic and often missing aspect of citizen participation online - agenda-setting civil two-way discourse on among citizens, journalists, and elected officials at the local level. No organization or company in the world has as much experience and a willingness to share their lessons in a non-proprietary way to help others initiatives improve.

We are poised to spread local online forums with important citizen media and news elements using our grass roots chapter-based “Rotary-like” model. This is a proven low cost, sustainable model where volunteer citizens take the lead. Substantial revenue is not required at the local level for ongoing operation, however start-up resources particularly for socially inclusive outreach are extremely useful.

In November 2006, Steven Clift, a Founder and Board Chair, was inducted as an Ashoka Fellow - http://www.ashoka.org. He has a three year stipend to launch an expansion of Issues Forums. Ashoka's in-depth review process to discover and support "social entrepreneurs" is well known. He is a recognized "e-democracy" expert and public speaker - see http://dowire.org and http://publicus.net.

In 2004-2005, the UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Local E-Democracy National Project invested $50,000 to import the Issues Forum model to the United Kingdom. These resources generated training materials and videos (http://e-democracy.org/if), better open source GroupServer technology and supported in-person pilot forum outreach. The two pilot forums continue today. Resources are required to help E-Democracy.Org meet the strong increase in demand for new forums. The UK support allowed Tim Erickson to become our Forum Development Director after many years as the volunteer St. Paul Issues Forum Manager. He is a leader with a deliberative working style and a willingness to work closely on a regular basis with the 15 new start-up forums.

Support from the Knight Foundation will allow us to scale in a sustainable manner and further strengthen our use of citizen media and our build connections with the online news community.

Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words

Open - Online U.S. Presidential E-Debate

Project Category and Title

  • Open - Online U.S. Presidential E-Debate

Total estimated cost of project (U.S. Dollars, Numeric)

  • $500,000

Project Duration

  • 1 years


What makes this idea unique?

Let’s see the presidential candidates really mix it up online.

In 2008, we can demonstrate that the Internet in elections is about more than just raising money and organizing activists for campaigns. Promoting informed voting and greater scrutiny and awareness of candidate positions are goals that can be fulfilled in part with an online presidential campaign debate.

E-Democracy.Org hosted the only statewide candidate e-debate in 2006 which built on our first e-debates in 1994.

Review the recent E-Debate: http://e-democracy.org/e-debates

Watch our opening statement via YouTube: http://e-democracy.org/edebatemn06/?p=9

New in 2006, optional video opening statements via YouTube and audio podcast rebuttals submitted via telephone were promoted. To generate public interest and direct candidate involvement, the Presidential E-Debate will need mandatory video and audio elements along with text options.

We propose two e-debates over the course of two weeks in November 2007 - one for Republicans and another for Democrats.

From our experience, we've learned that people turn to the Internet when there is a scarcity of political news and information in the mass media. While an e-debate in late 2008 should follow a successful 2007 e-debate, a general election e-debate alone will not generate the deep candidate involvement required. A wide open field of candidates seeking any kind of attention is ideal for the Internet.

An early e-debate, with major debate themes (we had four in our 2006 e-debate) and many short answers to questions submitted by voters, will create reusable substance for the rest of the campaign.

Voters will be engaged to rate responses, perhaps vote for a debate winner (after reviewing X amount of the debate), and submit their own response or rebuttal via video, pictures, etc. using our Voter Voices "mash-up" concept - http://e-democracy.org/voices.


(Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words)



Who else would want to use it, and why?

Candidates - Voters choose which candidates to click on - candidates at this competitive stage seek any opportunity to "click" with voters.

Media, Key Online Partners – A partnership with media organizations leveraging significant promotional resources and local media partners, particularly in early primary states, and strategic user-generated content networks are required. Syndicating the e-debate content in all formats under a Creative Commons license is strategic.

Political Bloggers – From questions and commentary to carrying e-debate headlines through "sidebar widgets," bloggers can play an important role.

Voters – Primary voters will get substance nationally. Voter questions will feed into major debate themes and selected short answer questions. We’ve held votes to determine final questions in past debates.


(Text - no more than 830 characters which equal approximately 150 words)



Why are you the best person or organization to develop this project?

E-Democracy.Org, a 501c.3 non-partisan, non-profit organization is the e-debate expert.

A quick investment of at least $500,000 is required to produce this online event and to secure major media and other online partners early.

Our very successful 2006 e-debate received accolades from the candidates, voters, the media, bloggers, and our funder. See this post for video interviews and blog commentary: http://www.dowire.org/notes/?p=296

This effort will be led by Steven Clift. Inducted as an Ashoka Fellow - http://www.ashoka.org - in November 2006, E-Democracy.Org’s founder and chair, received a three year stipend to expand E-Democracy.Org. Ashoka's in-depth review process to discover and support "social entrepreneurs" is extremely thorough. He is a recognized "e-democracy" expert and public speaker - see http://publicus.net.

In 1998, as a consultant, Steven Clift was a founder of the Markle Foundation's award-winning Web White and Blue initiative. In October 2000, Web White and Blue hosted the general election Presidential Rolling Cyber Debate. See http://www.webwhiteblue.org. The successful e-debate appeared on 18 of the largest websites from CNN and Yahoo to PBS and AOL through syndication.

Ralph Nader's decision not to participate and the conservative approach taken by the Bush and Gore campaigns meant that the e-debate exchanges themselves did not generate news. The WWB debate team (Co-Chaired by Mike McCurry and Doug Bailey) opted for voluntary rebuttals (we required rebuttals on the major themes). With September 11, the Markle Foundation dropped their Internet and democratic participation activities for other priorities. This rare national e-debate knowledge however, is available through E-Democracy.Org.

Note: If you are interested in a Local E-Debate Toolkit and Training Program for use by online news and citizen media efforts, let us know. This idea could stand alone or be part of this effort – start with President and end with dog catcher.


Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words

Leadership - Local E-Debate Platform and Guide

Project Category and Title

  • Title - Description

Total estimated cost of project (U.S. Dollars, Numeric)

Project Duration

  • X years


What makes this idea unique?


(Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words)



Who else would want to use it, and why?


(Text - no more than 830 characters which equal approximately 150 words)



Why are you the best person or organization to develop this project?


Text - no more than 2,075 characters which equal approximately 350 words

Leadership - Sharing Online Facilitation Strategies with Citizen Media Efforts

Leadership - Citizen Media Online Community of Practice via Democracies Online

Leadership - Evolving from FOI to IDR Laws - Information Dissemination Requirements

Leadership - MyBallot.Net - Open Source for Local Ballot, Polling Place Look-up, Add Talking Ballot Feature

Field Test - Local Democracy Tune-Up

Pilot - Citizen Survey

Pilot - Local Mashup

Pilot - Multilingual Neighborhood Forum

Pilot - Adapting Open Source E-mail Contact Management for Citizen Media Efforts

Pilot - Community Knowledge Sharing - Cross Community Q and A

Trial - Glocalising Online Participation

Trial - Democaster - Democracy Webcasting and Media Partners

Trial - Online Townhall Event

Trial - Neighborhood News Tools for Neighborhood "Life" Forums

Prototype - Local Solutions Exchange on Public Priorities

Prototype - Public Meeting Notifier

Prototype - Local Politics Content Monitor

Open - Open Source GroupServer Enhancements for Developing Democracies

Open - The Virtual Shopping Mall? The Impact of Ownership and Governance on Public Perpections and Use of Local Interactive Media

Open - Media and E-Democracy Index - Media Responsiveness Online

 

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