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Jump to first page Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Presentation by Steven L. Clift Copyright 1997

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Presentation on theme: "Jump to first page Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Presentation by Steven L. Clift Copyright 1997"— Presentation transcript:

1 Jump to first page Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Presentation by Steven L. Clift Copyright This presentation is available online at:

2 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Conclusion n In their own communities, it is time for people to build “civic life” both online and off-line through the use of the information technology and networks.

3 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Tamara B. in Minneapolis u Headlines New York Times and Minneapolis StarTribune u National Arts Newsletter u Traffic Report u Overdue Parking Ticket Reminder u Women’s Ice Fishing Network u Personal Messages from Family and Friends Tale of Twin Cities In-box

4 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Tale of Twin Cities In-box n Mick S. In St.Paul u St. Paul Pioneer Press Headlines u Neighborhood Press Stories u Bus Arrival Time Update u Parent’s School Discussion u City Issues Forum u Neighborhood Safety Committee Messages u Personal Messages from Family, Friends, and Neighbors

5 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Local Community Use of the Internet Flips Expectations Upside Down n Expectation: The Internet is global and allows individuals to gather based on special and unique interests. n New Emphasis: The Internet is also local and helps people build community and democracy in the common interest. n We must swim upstream to grow stronger. Tale of Twin Cities In-box - Geography Matters

6 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Putting Pen to Paper: Electronic Democracy, Write On! n 3 Actor Scenario u Government u Private Sector (Media) u Citizens n Who has the power? n Who sets the agenda? n 2 Communication Tools u Paper u Pens n Unlimited Supply of Paper for All n Only Government and Private Sector have Pens and therefore...

7 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n … and therefore the ability to be heard, communicate, organize, set the agenda, and have power. n “Citizen-based electronic democracy” is about getting “pens” to the people. n Ability to distribute messages to groups is key, must move beyond the World Wide Warehouse. Putting Pen to Paper: Electronic Democracy, Write On!

8 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Democracy Online Today n Current Democracy Online Contributions What is missing? Political Organizations Private Sector Government Media and Commercial Content

9 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Current interests use the Internet to further their interests, they must to survive. n Where do the current interests interact online? n Where will citizens and interests within democracies interact online? n To move from one-to-many toward many-to-many communication, we need the... Democracy Online Today

10 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Democracy Online with an Interactive Public Commons n We must build them one at a time! Democracy Online Future Political Organizations Private Sector Government Media and Commercial Content Civic Participation Center

11 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Contributions to Democracy Online n Government u Provide Extensive Information Online with User-Focused Systems and Public Access Points u Make “Democracy” Information Fully Available - “Open Government” u to/from Public u Information Dissemination u Use Interactivity and Collaboration Externally/Internally u Regulatory Factors and Support u Local - More Direct Involvement Government

12 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Contributions to Democracy Online n Media and Commercial Content u Provide News and Information u Ensure Availability of Political and Community News at National/Regional/Local Levels u Highlight and Cover Other Democracy Online Resources and Events - Calendars, Co-Sponsor u Provide Interactive Online Spaces, but Collaborate with Other Efforts u Fight One-Way Mentality and Pure Advertising “Eye-Ball” Focus Media and Commercial Content

13 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Contributions to Democracy Online n Private Sector u Provide User Connectivity, Increase Bandwidth, Lower Costs, and Bring More Users u Provide and Develop User Tools u Provide Technical Support u Embrace Open Standards u Make Information Tools beyond the WWW, like Lists, Push Channels, WWW Conferencing Available to Community Organizations, Citizen-based Online Democracy Efforts, and Individuals u Provide Funding to Civic Efforts (as should the other sectors) Private Sector

14 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Contributions to Democracy Online n Political Organizations u Provide Information About Positions, Candidates, Advocacy Efforts, Involvement Opportunities u Use Tools Strategically to Further Your Cause u Involve Organization and Supporters Directly in Online Interactive Spaces u Don’t Use IT to Only Increase the Level of Political Protest Aimed at Representative Democracy u Enhance Participatory Democracy Political Organizations

15 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Contributions to Democracy Online n Citizens in the Online Commons u Commit Time to Participate u Use and Analyze Information u Produce and Share Own Information, Ideas, and Opinions u Communicate Respectfully and Responsibly u Help Others Learn u Start/Volunteer with Citizen-based Online Democracy Efforts and Community Networks u Work with Others to Use Tools For Public Good at all Levels Civic Participation Center

16 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life Civic Participation Centers Minnesota E-Democracy has been building an interactive “Public Commons” since We have learned a few lessons, we’d like share our experiences and learn from yours. Here is how we are using the Internet to improve participation in democracy in Minnesota.

17 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Background u Started in 1994 u Mission “… to improve participation in democracy in Minnesota through use of information networks.” u World’s first election- oriented WWW site u Non-partisan u Issue Neutral u Non-Profit u Volunteer-based u Small Board u Donated Infostructure n Activities u Election Efforts F 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998! u MN-POLITICS u E-Debates u MN-FORUM u Citizen Participation u Media Guide u Promote Interaction u In-Person Events Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life

18 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life World-Wide-Web is a “Pull” Medium User decides to visit WWW site each time Minnesota E-Democracy Users may: Join MN-DEMOCRACY Join MN-POLITICS Read MN-POLITICS Archive Visit election year pages Read about project Send comments to board Follow WWW links to candidates, political parties, media sites, other interactive sites Questions: How do we get users to come back? How do we build an interactive community? Something has to attract each user to our site. Citizen

19 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Print Out for Lt. Governor Secondary Networks Around Capitol/City Hall External Networks Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life Newspaper/ Radio Stories MN-POLITICS - Lists are a “Push” Medium Political Party Reporter Citizen #1 Governor’s Staff Citizen #2 Candidate Researcher Local Official Legislative Staff Student List Manager Citizen #400 Crazy Person MN-POLITICS E-List Server Holds Addresses Messages Sent to 400 Directly Copy sent to WWW Archive Direct Receivers/ Senders User subscribes once Commitment made May post via

20 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n MN-POLITICS Examples u Candidates for Governor and Tobacco Money u Lawson Software u Citizen Legislative Report u Snow Emergencies u Event Announcements u Opinions u Other n MN-POLITICS Facts u Started in August 1994 u Largest Regional Political Forum u Scope limited to MN Politics u Has Critical Mass for Participation u ~10-15 Posts Daily u On WWW: democracy.org/mn-politics u Mick Souder, List Manager Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life

21 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n MN-POLITICS Lessons u Trusted Neutral Host and Facilitation Essential u Emphasis on Many-to-Many Communication u Geographic Base of Forum Promotes Community u Rules and Guidelines Important F Posts not previewed, rules enforced after complaint - manager/board roles F Two posts per day per person limit F Must sign posts with full name u “Public Meetings” With 400 People - Sooner or later the Media and Politicians Show Up u Interface with “Real” Politics Key to Success u Balancing Expectations - Opinions vs. “Juice” u More... Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life

22 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n MN-POLITICS Lessons - Continued u Message Volume Should Be Constrained, but Need to Avoid Topical Censorship of Opinions u MN-POLITICS Provides Self-Generating Content - Something is Always Happening u is Powerful and A Very Personal Medium u Need to Promote Respectful Communication u Need More Online Spaces - Resource Limitations u Comments on WWW Conferencing, News u Community Conferencing - Forum Naming u Part of Our Larger Communications Plan - MN- DEMOCRACY, ANNOUNCE, MN-FORUM... Minnesota E-Democracy Building Civic Life

23 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Minnesota E-Democracy Information Plan MN-DEMOCRACY - Major Announcements Members MN-POLITICS 300 Members MN-POLITICS-ANNOUNCE Moderated Announcements 600 New Members - Estimated Launch Fall 1997 MN-FORUM Event Hosts MNPA Moderators MN-FORUM - Co-Sponsored Organized Special Events on SelectedTopic/Guests Via with Use of WWW, Membership increases with each event, Launch w/ MN State Senate Virtual Hearing Ideas MNPA General Submissions MN-POLITICS -DIGEST 100 Members E-Democracy Board Important Role MNP Manager

24 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Minnesota E-Democracy More Information n Visit Minnesota E-Democracy on the WWW: u n Articles and Papers: u n Join the MN-DEMOCRACY announcement-only list for updates n Follow the Democracies Online Effort: u

25 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Conclusion n In their own communities, it is time for people to build “civic life” both online and off-line through the use of the information technology and networks. n Contacting Steven Clift u u

26 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Democracies Online n Purpose u An international partnership initiative to promote the development and sustainability of online civic participation and democracy efforts across the world. n Goal u To build a strong foundation for improving democracy as democracies around the world converge with information networks. n WWW -

27 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Timeline and Support u The project will officially start with its first year of activities once foundation funding is obtained. The start up and development phase will last through the year n Host u The Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota will house the project. Democracies Online

28 Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page n Core Activities - Getting Started u Democracy Notes - Twice Monthly Electronic Newsletter u Democracies Online Newswire Service - “Best-Of” announcements. u Peer Networks - Interactive online spaces for “builders” from important “sectors.” n Possible Activities - Future Thoughts u Virtual Conferences, DO Association, Democracy Online World Summit, Presentation surrounding ITU meeting, Foundation-Joint Fundraising Effort ?, Funding to Seed Local Efforts Democracies Online

29 Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Democracies Online Democracies Online WWW Site Newswire Service Moderated “Best Of” Announcements 4,000 Subscribers DO Peer Networks Multiple Democracy Peer Sectors From 50 to 200 Members Likely WWW and Forums Democracy Notes Twice Monthly E-Newsletter Active Networking and Information Tool 10,000 Subscribers Strategic Information Services and Networks The area of each box represents the proportional range of “users.”

30 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Democracies Online n Democracy Notes - Subscribe Now u Send an message to: u In the body of your message, write: subscribe do-notes Your Name

31 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page In the next few years we will help shape the foundation for democracy in the interactive information age. What should we do today to improve our democracies tomorrow? What must we do to help them survive?

32 Democracies Online Building Civic Life on the New Frontier Copyright 1997, Steven Clift Jump to first page Future Slides The following are slides that I will develop if I have time and would be used based on questions: 1. MN-FORUM Plan 2. E-Debate Example 3. Community Conferencing Prototype 4. Global Grid for Community Conferencing 5. Making the Internet a Communities Network - Geography Matters 6. Community Digital Broadcasts


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