Machine Readable Documents & Social Media & Civic Engagement

Yesterday I found this talk about Broadband and the Future of Civic Engagement.

So interesting I will quote:

Democracy – at its core – is about self-governance. At the most basic level, this requires an informed and engaged citizenry to participate in society’s institutions, engage their government and hold it accountable. Democracy requires an informed and engaged citizenry in order to validate the actions of government so that it reflects the will of the people.

In short, civic engagement is a very big deal.

So that’s civic engagement, but what about broadband? What does broadband have to do with civic engagement?

We came to the conclusion that broadband has the potential to transform civic engagement in two principal ways.

First, broadband can strengthen the reach and relevance of mediated and unmediated information in our society.

A healthy democracy requires an informed citizenry, and broadband can change the way that people engage this information. This is true for mediated information, such as public media. This is also true for unmediated information, such as the data the government provides citizens.

Second, broadband can enable citizens to engage in their democracy – through a variety of broadband-enabled tools that will make our democracy more participatory and more representative.

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