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[liberationtech] In Seattle next week? NCDD, Neighbors online as foundation for effective democracy

Steven Clift clift at
Tue Oct 2 08:16:54 PDT 2012

The other month I asked about local geographic-based online public
spaces post-Arab Spring. I was sent one example - - of a wired neighborhood in Cairo.

While in the U.S., the opportunity to use Facebook Groups (or Pages)
as public spaces for actual local voters to discuss the area U.S.
House candidates hasn't been take up ("neutral" hosts or cross-party
hosts willing to collaborate are hard to find), the one area of local
up grassroots "public" connecting online with deep democratic
implications are neighborhood-based online public spaces.

Whether the neighborhood mailing lists on YahooGroups from the late
1990s to Facebook groups today or the many .com entering the space,
these local online public commons' are one of the only thing I've seen
in twenty years that "just happen" organically that draw together
people as "citizens" with different views. While most are 95%
non-political, they attract everyday people and provide a base upon
which people do discuss local civic issues, set agendas, decide to
take collaborative action, and in many cases interact with local
elected officials drawn to those spaces because they are filled with
_their_ actual voters.

To me "liberationtech" means being both being heard, being challenged,
and being able to listen to others. While safety is a serious issue
when expressing views challenging authority under repressive regimes
or even unpopular views in local society, the distributed power of
local voices within the context of shared public spaces (not just
everyone having their own micro-broadcast conceived Facebook page,
blog, e-alert list, etc.) is a movement to be fostered. In safer
democracies, a vibrant network of local online spaces (examples in
Seattle I've found or
Mpls/St.Paul ) are a huge opportunity for
building effective democracy and community capacity. They are a
counter to divisive national partisanship and political gridlock ...
and with the right inclusion resources - - they can serve all areas not just
wealthy, highly educated areas.

So, if you are in the Seattle area, come on along to this free
pre-conference workshop tied to (will you be at
NCDD, let me know):

Free Workshop - Community Engagement Online for All - Seattle Oct 11

  Time and Date: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct 11, 2012
  Place: Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., Seattle
  Cost: Free, Space is Limited

Join us for a dynamic two part conversation on building inclusive
online community engagement in neighborhoods.

  1. Seattle Neighbors Online Networking - Who is doing what?
  2. Inclusive Community Engagement Online - Lessons to adapt and deploy locally

The gathering will be facilitated by Minnesota-based
They are in town for the National Coalition for Dialogue and
Deliberation national conference starting October 12. The event will
have a dynamic mix of local and national participants excited to learn
from each other.

Full details, links, RSVP form:

Please help us forward this invitation to a wide range of cultural,
community, and neighborhood organizations across Seattle. The core
goal of E-Democracy's inclusive outreach effort is to
host online community spaces that are reflective of the great
diversity of residents who live in an area.

* * *

Not in Seattle? Get e-news about our Nov. 15 webinar sharing outreach lessons:

Also join the free Locals Online or Digital Inclusion communities of practice:

More background:

Steven Clift -
  Executive Director -
  Tel/Text: +1.612.234.7072

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