From their editor Richard Stengel:
“This response was the living example of the idea of our 2006 Person of the Year: that individuals are changing the nature of the information age, that the creators and consumers of user-generated content are transforming art and politics and commerce, that they are the engaged citizens of a new digital democracy.”
As a long time digital democracy builder, I find the concept of the Internet as “the digital democracy,” the online public space itself versus creating better democracy spaces online to be an interesting tension.
I think in part it is because with E-Democracy.Org I remained in the highly interactive, user-text-driven “Internet 1.0″ with continued dynamic publicness experienced via e-mail groups. “Web 1.0″ turned me off with its one-way “brochureware” content from traditional poiltical information and news producers.
Now with “Web 2.0″ the interactive nature of Internet 1.0 is being reborn in a more public, more visable, more multimedia space. Web 2.0 also adds some whiz-bang ways to aggregate, rate, highlight, share, and discuss citizen produced content from multiple sources. In fact, our Voter Voices page gives a crude view into the kind of source content from YouTube, Flickr, and Del.icio.us you can gather simply by getting a few hundred people to start using the same unique “mnpolitics” tag. Now with the U.S. presidential election, we will start promoting “p2008” and other keyword tags to help build the audience for content from diverse sources.
At the local level, what we really need to add to GroupServer is an aggregation module that says, insert your community forum’s unique tag(s) (e.g. minneapolisissues) and then create a dynamic window into the local “digital democracy” Time magazine is talking about. Otherwise, despite all of this hype, we will still rely on the media to point out the new and good user-driven political content since sites like Digg remain highly technology oriented.
So what do others think, check these searches: