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DemocracyOS To Launch Online Platform in March

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, February 5 2015

Screenshot of the DemocracyOS live demo

"You are here to make decisions with others." That is the raison d'être of DemocracyOS: to help groups of people come to a decision in a democratic fashion. The team behind the software began working on the code in April 2012, and it has been available on Github for almost as long, but users had to be relatively savvy. The open-source platform they are currently developing, with support from Y Combinator, will allow anyone to launch a “democracy” in minutes, just as someone without any knowledge of code can launch a blog on Wordpress. That platform will launch in March.

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Civic Tech and Engagement: How Front Porch Forum Makes Stronger Communities

BY Allison Fine and Sam Roudman | Thursday, January 15 2015

Valerie and Michael Wood-Lewis (Photo courtesy Michael Wood-Lewis)

Front Porch Forum creates online communities for real-life neighborhoods. We have an excerpt about FPF from Allison Fine's new book, Matterness, and an interview with the founder, Michael Wood-Lewis. Read More

WeGov

In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, August 20 2014

A scene from the mountain range in Mexico that foreign companies hope to mine for gold and silver.

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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WeGov

The App That Builds Trust Into Citizen Media

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, December 12 2013

What did I tell you about not believing everything you see on the Internet? (Flickr/@Doug88888)

Don't trust everything you find on the Internet.

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WeGov

Tools to Keep Independent Media Online in Hostile Environments

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 14 2013

Websites and media outlets in developing countries or countries with corrupt or repressive regimes struggle daily to fend off hacker attacks, some from their own government — like the Malaysian news portal Sarawak Report, which techPresident reported was taken down in April by sustained denial-of-service attacks. The negative attention controversial reporting draws can scare local advertisers away as well, making it difficult for a media company to support itself. Media Frontiers offers two services to websites dealing with either of those problems.

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WeGov

Can Social Software Change the World? Loomio Just Might

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 18 2013

The Loomio mascot

After nearly fifty years of development and roughly twenty years of mass adoption, the Internet hasn't created many truly useful tools for groups. We may live in the age of "ridiculously easy group formation," but if you've spent any time as part of a group, you know that all the most popular internet tools --email, list-servs, blogs, chats, and wikis --basically suck at group coordination. None of these tools are built to make it easy for large groups to make decisions together. But a new upstart from New Zealand called Loomio, born in the fertile ashes of the Occupy movement, may have cracked the code. Read More

WeGov

Hack Day Brings Tech Solutions to Refugees Seeking Family Members

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 25 2013

Developers at last weekend's Refugees United Hack Day

The world population of refugees displaced both within their home country’s borders and to harboring nations numbers in the tens of millions. Four fifths of that population is accounted for in the developing world, where humanitarian crisis cuts across communities, often separating families. On January 19, London-based developers worked to create new solutions for reconnecting these families, at the second Refugees United Hack Day. Read More

Free!

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 27 2010

If you talk to people who worked on the web side of things in the big recent wins Republicans had in Massachusetts, with Senator-elect Scott Brown, and Virginia, with Governor Bob McDonnell, you hear something over and ... Read More