November 25, 2017

First Principles for Fostering Civic Engagement via Digital Technologies: #1 Know Your Community

Over the first few months of my Fellowship at CITP, I have had the pleasure of meeting with a number of people from academia, non-profits, for-profit companies and government to discuss the role of digital technologies in fostering civic engagement.  In a series of blog posts, I plan to set out ten principles that local governments and communities should look to as they evaluate whether their community is using digital technology effectively to promote civic engagement and solve local problems.  Because I do not think that my work developing these principles is complete, I hope to use this forum as a way to offer ideas for further exploration.  Feedback is welcome!

Principle #1: Know Your Community
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CITP Call for Fellows, Postdocs, and Visiting Professors for Fall 2013

The Center for Information Technology Policy (citp.princeton.edu) is an interdisciplinary research center at Princeton that sits at the crossroads of engineering, the social sciences, law, and policy.

CITP seeks Fellowship and Postdoc applicants for the 2012-2013 school year from academia, industry, government, and civil society. These are one year appointments — usually from July 1st to June 30th. Applicants may be appointed as a Visiting Fellow, Visiting Researcher, or Postdoctoral Research Associate.

CITP also seeks candidates for a new Visiting Professor position starting in Fall 2013. Applicants must be currently appointed faculty members at an academic institution. Individuals may apply for a one or two year appointment, based on their individual circumstances and availability.

Our application process is open from November 12 through January 1st.

For details on the Fellowship and Postdoc applications:
https://citp.princeton.edu/about/join/fellowship-application/

For details on the Visiting Professor application:
https://citp.princeton.edu/about/join/visiting-professor-application/

Get Out the Vote, Cee-Lo Style?

This semester, Ed Felten and I are teaching a Freshman Seminar called “Facebook: The Social Impact of Social Networks.” This week, the class is discussing a recent article published in the journal Nature, entitled “A 61-Million-Person Experiment in Social Influence and Political Mobilization“. The study reveals that if Facebook shows you a list of your closest friends who have voted, you are more likely to do so yourself. It is a fascinating read both because it is probably the first very-large-scale controlled test of social influence via online social networks, and because it appears that without much work the company was able to spur about 340,000 extra people to vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

I confess that last night I watched some of the wildly popular reality TV competition The Voice. What can I say? The pyrotechnics were more calming than the amped-up CNN spin-zoners. It was the first day that the at-home audience began voting for their favorites. Carson Daly mentioned that the show would take the requisite break on Election Night, but return in force on Wednesday. (Incidentally, I can’t decide whether or not this video urging us to “vote Team Cee-Lo” is too clever by half).
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