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Participation 3.0 is our new next generation local online civic engagement initiative.
- Read our detailed discussion draft, slides and related blog post
- Join our Projects online group to get involved as we ramp this effort up
- For major updates, sign-up for our general e-mail newsletter and watch our project blog.
The four emerging funded projects within this initiative are (DRAFT TEXT):
- Participation 3.0 Outreach and Convening - The result will be a multi-year, multi-funder next generation online "locally everywhere" civic engagement initiative gathering ideas and talent broadly from around the United States and beyond that builds on our 15+ years of experience. We currently have funding for a deep focus on gathering input from Minneapolis as a "national test bed" and are interested in funding that will allow us more deeply engage St. Paul and Greater Minnesota. With our growing neighborhood Issues Forums network and the potential of electronic block clubs we can reach a greater percentage of the public with online civic engagement than just about anyone in the world. Most good ideas need real people to test them out - we have the actual critical mass of "e-participants" and you have the ideas/tools/resources ... so let's connect these strengths and discover what really works and can be technologically designed to roll out nationally or globally for local communities everywhere or what needs to simply be done one community at a time by documenting and spreading best practices. Our first national convening effort will assist the CityCamp gathering in Chicago in late January, 2010.
- Public Meetings - A model open and transparent "Participation 3.0" effort to design an open standard for distributing public meeting notices, agendas, documents, etc. across the Web 2.0 world. We will jump start explorations with an open specification on a future "PublicMeetings.org" data network and an "AgendaNow.org" data scraping effort that quickly builds a Minneapolitan-centered prototype. Quickly demonstrating the power of a geo-aware tool for personalized alerts about upcoming public meetings from the dozens of public bodies that serve Minneapolis will build momentum for a useful open standard for direct use by government technology providers and government websites. AgendaNow.org may include features that encourage public comments and rating of comments on upcoming meeting agenda items. This will test our proposed open source-style design process to bring together democracy/participation experts, government staff/interest elected officials, and technologists/geeks in a group process that leads to the most effective results that actually serves the greatest public good with a sustainable "move the field" design as an end goal.
- Diverse Communities Issues Forums - Over the next 15 months we will deepen our Issues Forum start-up efforts in the lower income, high immigrant Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis and the Greater Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul. These forums serve the kinds of neighborhoods that appear to least likely to have local community building efforts that use social media while around the nation, wealthier, more homogeneous areas are benefiting from a mix of neighborhood e-mail lists, blogs, Ning sites, or Facebook Groups. From gathering lessons on effective community outreach (working pretty well) to our newly identified priority of building content and forum engagement that reflects the diversity of those successfully recruited, this work is being watched around the world because it seems to be a nut that no one has cracked. What good is online engagement if it simply helps those communities that need the least relative help while completely passing over those diverse/lower income areas that could benefit the most. We are also seeking funding to include our Native American majority rural Minnesota Cass Lake Leech Lake community Issues Forum is this enhanced effort. Emerging lessons are well documented on our project blog.
- Local Who Represents Me? - Who Won - The problem - most national "who represents me" look-ups stop at the state legislative level and all of them only list directory information on how to engage in private communication with those officials versus opportunities for public engagement. As resources allow, this will be a future "local everywhere" effort that first focuses on Minneapolis (deeply) and Minnesota (only based on readily available data) that demonstrates how to enhance the "Who is on my ballot?" data we've used with MyBallot.Net since 2002 with data about who won (results) and the term of service. We plan to combine that data with a mix of "crowd sourced" how to effectively participate guide information (particularly for special use in our diverse Issues Forum areas) and Google/social media searches. In short, we want to connect constituents with elected officials in online public spaces across the "Web 2.0" world (or simply put, help someone "friend" their city council member on Facebook). We also seek to work with the Voting Information Project to encourage more state and local election offices to participate in that crucial standardization and data sharing effort. We will work to include results/who won fields in their schema in order to lower the cost across the field for creating local and national locally inclusive elected official look-ups across the United States.
The highly interactive Internet 1.0 + Web 2.0 = Participation 3.0