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Toward a participatory infrastructure of civic online spaces: designing for citizen knowledge work Michele Simmons Miami University.

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Presentation on theme: "Toward a participatory infrastructure of civic online spaces: designing for citizen knowledge work Michele Simmons Miami University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Toward a participatory infrastructure of civic online spaces: designing for citizen knowledge work Michele Simmons Miami University

2 A Civic Website Research Project: Three year study six visual rhetoric classes two counties and multiple community members  examine online literacy and research practices  investigate how websites can enable citizen action  examine how existing websites support epistemic work

3 Stormwater Pollution Prevention (2 sites) Client’s goal: Fulfill EPA requirements to provide educational information on how storm water creates erosion problems.

4 East Fork Watershed Collaborative Client goal: create awareness of current environmental concerns of creeks within local watershed and how local officials are addressing each concern.

5 Recycling Opportunities Client goal: Qualify for additional county funding from the state by providing citizens with a list of local recycling centers.

6 Water and Sewer Management Client goal: Provide clearinghouse for construction regulations and water quality reports.

7 Iron Furnace Cooperative Weed Management Area Client goal: legitimize funds for CWMA & provide ways to identify and eradicate invasive species

8  for what purposes might you use a website on x,  what would you expect to find on such a site,  what, in your opinion would make such a website useful  what, in your past experience, makes websites useful  what, in your opinion, is missing from this website  what, if anything, helped you use the information you were most interested in  what, if anything, made using the website difficult  how would you improve the website  what would you like to do with the site that you could not Our goal : to make sites useful and enable work

9 Citizens wanted websites that enabled them:  to gain agency and technical literacies  to engage in productive inquiry activities to create new knowledge  to create a space for community and place  to assume multiple identities in multiple contexts

10 Enable technical literacies Frequently Asked Questions give users language for investigating issues further and performing in public deliberation

11 Enable technical literacies Complete reports (including methods) and resources for further information— not just summaries

12 Enable technical literacies Links to real time data with ability to ask what that data means (via contact or phone) allows citizens to investigate based on their own interests

13 Enable productive inquiry Provide interactive maps that allow users to couple their own knowledge with online information that addresses a problem or interest

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15 Enable productive inquiry Interactive map enables residents to track invasive plants in their community and co-produce knowledge

16 Enable productive inquiry Provide mechanism for reporting spills and illegal dumping faster than previous method

17 Create a Space for Community Provide a dedicated, updated page for public meetings, council meetings, and volunteer opportunities

18 Create a space for community provide a space for citizens to collaborate with one another outside county- organized public meetings

19 Create a space for Community Include local photos that help citizens connect the information to their community and that create credibility of the organization

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22 Myth of transparency

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