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21st Century Town Meeting

AmericaSpeaks' 21st Century Town Meeting method creates engaging, meaningful opportunities for citizens to participate in public decision making. This unique process updates the traditional New England town meeting to address the needs of today's citizens, decision makers and democracy.

Resource Link: http://www.americaspeaks.org

A Citizen-Centric Internet: Why Candidate, Advocacy Group and Other Political Sites Fail, and What They Can Do About It

Scott Reents and Thomas Hill.

"The election year 2000," according to the authors, writing before the year 2000, "will be the year that the Internet shakes up politics." The authors estimated that the number of people going online for election information in 2000 would reach 35 million--more than three times the number who did the same in 1998 (source: Pew Research). The way in which political organizations respond to this massive demand will have lasting implications on their ability to function effectively.

Resource Link: http://www.e-thepeople.org/democracyproject/about_us/citizen.htm

A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society

An interdisciplinary journal of research and commentary concentrating on the intersection of law, policy, and information technology, the first issue featured a symposium on electronic rule-making, book reviews and an article on HIV/AIDS, Information and Communication in Africa. The journal is jointly produced by Carnegie Mellon's InSITeS and the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies at The Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law.

Resource Link: http://www.is-journal.org

A Model for Deliberation, Action, and Introspection

Jon Doyle.

This thesis investigates the problem of controlling or directing the reasoning and actions of a computer program. The basic approach explored is to view reasoning as a species of action, so that a program might apply its reasoning powers to the task of deciding what inferences to make as well as deciding what other actions to take. A design for the architecture of reasoning programs is proposed. This architecture involves self-consciousness, intentional actions, deliberate adaptations, and a form of decision-making based on dialectical argumentation.

Resource Link: http://www.csc.ncsu.edu/faculty/doyle/publications/phd80.pdf

A Simple, Open, Scalable and Distributed Platform for Public Discourse

Thomas F. Gordon, Fraunhofer FOKUS.

There is some current debate about the relationships between e-democracy, e-government and, more recently, e-governance. The most widely accepted view, and the view the authors accept for the purposes of this paper, is that e-democracy is a subfield of e-government. One of the main issues in the field of e-democracy, and one that the authors discuss in this paper, is how to best use information and communications technology to facilitate public consultation, deliberation, participation or 'engagement' in policy-making processes such as urban planning.

Resource Link: http://www.lri.jur.uva.nl/~winkels/eGov2002/Gordon.pdf

A+ Conferencing

Low cost, reservationless web conferencing, teleconferencing, phone conferencing, and video conferencing.

Resource Link: http://www.aplusconferencing.com

A. Fine Blog

Social media tools are enhancing our connectedness to one another. Alison Fine's blog focuses on how this connectedness affects our ability and willingness to work for the collective social good.

Resource Link: http://web.mac.com/allisonfine1/iWeb/Allison%20Fine/A.%20Fine%20Blog/A.%20Fine%20Blog.html

AmericaSpeaks Highly Recommended

Promoting the founding belief that every citizen has a right to impact the decisions of government, AmericaSpeaks serves as a neutral convener of large-scale public participation forums. Through close consultation with leaders, citizens, the media and others, AmericaSpeaks designs and facilitates deliberative meetings for 500 to 5,000 participants. Its partners have included regional planning groups, local, state, and national government bodies, and national organizations. Issues have ranged from Social Security reform to redevelopment of ground zero in New York.

Resource Link: http://www.americaspeaks.org

An Introduction to Collaborative Technologies Great for Beginners

Sandy Heierbacher. National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), 2004.

Collaborative technology can create an interactive learning environment involving people who are hundreds or thousands of miles apart. Businesses are far more savvy with the more sophisticated packages of high-tech tools available than we are in the dialogue and deliberation community, and the prohibitive cost of many of the tools, software and services primarily marketed to businesses is the most obvious reason for that.

An Online Environment for Democratic Deliberation: Motivations, Principles, and Design Recently Updated

Todd Davies, Brendan O'Connor, Alex Angiolillo Cochran, Jonathan J. Effrat.

This paper elucidates the experience and thinking behind our new web-based environment for asynchronous group deliberation: Deme (pronounced 'deem'). Deme grew out of participation in and observations of group decision making and community democracy, and is being developed within a university-community partnership to enhance civic participation and to bridge digital divides.

Resource Link: http://www.stanford.edu/~davies/deme-principles.pdf

Ascentum Highly Recommended

Ascentum is a Canada-based professional services firm that combines a unique technology expertise with specialized management consulting services. Dialogue Circles is Ascentum's intermodal approach to consultation that aims to maximize the synergies between the traditional and online worlds of consultation and dialogue. Dialogue Circles provides clients with the flexibility to hold online or traditional consultation and dialogue. According to Ascentum, many of the most successful consultation and dialogue endeavors now involve a mix of online tools and traditional face-to-face approaches that complement one another.

Resource Link: http://www.ascentum.ca

Ascentum's Dialoguecircles Training

Ascentum's dialoguecircles training series includes a wide array of courses on consultation and dialogue (Introduction to Intermodal Consultation and Dialogue, Dialoguecircles Methodology for Consultation and Dialogue, Analyzing Results from Consultation and Dialogue Projects, etc.) designed to meet your needs. All courses and certification programs are based on our proven dialoguecircles methodology. Developed by Sandra Zagon, Joseph Peters and Manon Abud, experts in the consultation and dialogue field, our training courses are practical, relevant and dynamic.

Resource Link: http://www.dialoguecircles.com/training

Belvedere

Belvedere is software designed to help support problem-based collaborative learning scenarios with evidence and concept maps. With Belvedere, middle school and high school students learn critical inquiry skills that they can apply in everyday life as well as in science.

Resource Link: http://lilt.ics.hawaii.edu/lilt/software/belvedere/

Benton Foundation

The Foundation works to realize the social benefits made possible by the public interest use of communications. Provides links to online tools for community organizing and community building.

Resource Link: http://www.benton.org

Beth's Blog

In Beth's Blog, Beth Kanter writes about the effective use of technology and social media for grassroots nonprofit organizations and causes. The site includes how-tos in text, video, screencasts, and photos. Beth is a nonprofit technology consultant who works on the human side of technology, focusing on evaluation, planning, assessment, training, and curriculum development. Beth served on the 2006 NCDD conference Tech Team.

Resource Link: http://beth.typepad.com

Beyond the Reinvention of Government

Alexandra Samuel.

For the past ten years, the Alliance for Converging Technologies team has tracked developments as they reshaped the business-government interface. They are now convinced that a more fundamental consideration of governance is urgently needed, aimed at producing a road map and migration plan for the shift from industrial to digital governance. This encompasses the challenge of reinventing government through electronic service delivery and public-private partnerships, but also extends beyond it by attempting a reformulation of the very notion of governance.

Resource Link: http://www.alexandrasamuel.com/governance/beyondreinvention.pdf

Blog On: Building Online Communities with Web Logs

Todd Stauffer. McGraw-Hill/OsborneMedia, 2002.

This 361-page book explains the basics of blogs, reviews popular blog tools, and shows how to build an active community around your blog site by using message boards, mailing lists, and numerous other features. Includes practical tips for making tweaks and improvements with HTML, Flash, Web images, and much more.

Blogger

Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly on your own 'blog.' Blogger gives you a way to automate (and greatly accelerate) the blog publishing process without writing any code or worrying about installing any sort of server software or scripts. And yet, it still gives you total control over the look and location of your blog.

Resource Link: http://www.blogger.com

Bowling Together: Online Public Engagement in Policy Deliberation

Stephen Coleman and John Gotze.

In his famous book Bowling Alone, U.S. political scientist Robert Putnam argues that a decline in membership of civic networks has resulted in a precipitous drop in political engagement. People become engaged in civic and wider political affairs when they have acquired habits of communal connection; as these habits fade, political engagement atrophies. Whether or not one subscribes entirely to Putnam's theory of social capital, it is undoubtedly the case that most developed democracies are experiencing a collapse of confidence in traditional models of democratic governance. This report outlines a model of e-democracy that could begin to reverse this trend.

Resource Link: http://bowlingtogether.net

Building a Digital Community: A Leadership Guidebook

The Governor's e-Communities Task Force.

On Aug. 31, 2000, Governor James S. Gilmore III and Secretary of Technology Donald W. Upson asked the newly established Governor's e-Communities Task Force to develop a template, or guide, for communities wishing to leverage the power of the Internet to improve their competitiveness and enrich the lives of their citizens. The Governor, the Secretary and the Task Force understand that many communities' economic vitality depends on their ability to connect seamlessly both to their communities and to the rest of the world. According to their vision, Virginia communities will create a network of individual community portals that reflect local priorities and maintain common elements, and that connect each community to the state, the nation and the world.

Resource Link: http://www.councils.cit.org/ecommunities/pdf/guidelines.pdf

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