Virtual Beading Circle

Fantastic use of the internet to share craft knowledge across distances.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Will technology provide the means to a renewal of participatory democracy?

Forwarding on a press release that I got in my email today about an interesting presentation in virtual reality. I have been thinking a lot lately about the almost religious fervor people have for social media and their belief that it is going to change the world. There are some powerful communication tools out there. One only needs to look at tweets (twitter posts) with the hashtag #iranelection to see how ineffective shutting down news is these days when anyone with a cellphone, a blackberry, or a laptop can get news out. That’s the encouraging news.

On the discouraging front, this past week my husband asked his online group of teachers. (These are all practicing teachers already engaged in teaching our kids) to use a wiki to do some collaborative writing for a group projects. He set up the wiki in the very user-friendly Wikispaces platform. All four of the project groups rebelled. They found using a wiki too complicated and no one had “trained” them on this tool. Sigh. I wondered aloud if they needed someone to train them on the use of a pencil since wiki’s are almost as common a writing tool in our current era.

But that is the dilemma. We have these great tools but only the technologically literate are truly using them. While I intend to write more on this, here’s the information on this Monday’s talk. It’s worth dropping into Second Life for.

Beth Noveck talks about Wiki Government in Second Life on July 20th!

Please join a Second Life simulcast, from the Markle Foundation, of Beth Simone Noveck, now the deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House responsible for Open Government, presenting her new book, WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A, in which participants from both Second Life and in person can ask questions of the author.
In the digital age our lives are constantly being transformed by the way in which we connect and collaborate with one another, affecting the way we make decisions – on a personal level, an institutional level, and a national level. Drawing on her expertise, and more directly her experience in creating Peer-to-Patent, the federal government’s first social networking initiative, Ms. Noveck’s Wiki Government insightfully demonstrates how technology, along with citizen participation, can help the government become more open and effective at solving the complex social and economic problems we face today.
The event will begin at 12:00pm EST/9:00am PST on Monday, July 20, 2009 and will take place in Second Life on MacArthur Island (click here to teleport http://slurl.com/secondlife/Foundations/109/231/34).
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Further information
WIKI GOVERNMENT: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful
In the digital age our lives are constantly being transformed by the way in which we connect and collaborate with one another, affecting the way we make decisions – on a personal level, an institutional level, and a national level.
Beth Simone Noveck’s book provides a coherent and compelling “new vision of governance in the digital age – collaborative democracy – government with the people.”
Drawing on her expertise, and more directly her experience in creating Peer-to-Patent, the federal government’s first social networking initiative, Ms. Noveck’s Wiki Government insightfully demonstrates how technology, along with citizen participation, can help the government become more open and effective at solving the complex social and economic problems we face today.
About the Author:
Beth Simone Noveck is the United States deputy chief technology officer for open government and leads President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Based at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, she is an expert on technology and institutional innovation. Previously, Noveck directed the Institute for Information Law & Policy and the Democracy Design Workshop at New York Law School. She is founder of the “Do Tank,” and the State of Play Conferences, and launched the first of its kind Peer-to-Patent Community Patent Review project in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trade Office. As a professor of Law at New York Law School, she has taught in the areas of intellectual property, innovation, and constitutional law, as well as courses on electronic democracy and electronic government.
Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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Will the real Second Life please stand up?

Very interesting post yesterday about the myths and realities of the virtual reality world, “Second Life”.

As a habitue of Second Life, I agree with the statements. Second Life is fun, it’s growing and there is a lot worth logging on for!

Yeah, it’s not perfect. There’s a lot of commercialism and seedy stuff that I have no use for but there is also the same heady feel of the early days of the internet. I love what people are doing on “Better World Island” a community for peaceniks and environmentalists full of hopeful displays and opportunities to learn about work going on in international development and conservation.

I’ve recently joined an intentional community on Cedar Island dedicated to exploring some of the positive uses of technology for education and social empowerment.

And strange as it seems I also have joined a virtual Quaker Meeting, pictured above at one of our regular Saturday am meetings.

Bread and Roses Life, L. Rogers
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