Digital Democracy


Chris Caravello and Garrett Grieb of the University of Washington’s Masters in Communication of Digital Media program took out their inexpensive digital cameras and filmed some of the world around them in the midst of the 2008 US Presidential Election. Footage includes the election and its immediate aftermath, as well as interviews with voters aged 18-26.

Check out the video here: Young and Participatory: A Voting Story

Young and Participatory: A Voting Story pt1

Young and Participatory: A Voting Story pt2

Trippi, J. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised … Ch 11, 12, Afterward (pp 201-269)

Like last quartes Digital Economic course, my favorite reading of the class came at the very end.  Joe Trippi explains the e-Revolution that has been roaring to a defeaning crescendo over the last decade and how it has effected the business world forever.  Comapnies can either embrace these changes, or fall by the wayside.  As someone who gre up in the rise of this digital age, it makes all of this an especially interesting read.  I was not an observer in all of these changes, I was a guinea pig.

DONT BE EVIL

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Howard, P. New Media Campaigns…. Ch5 (pp 170-238)

Campaign Managers that try and justify data mining that obviously violates the privacy and trust of citizens are truly the bottom of the barrel. How they can even assemble and motivate the teams of designers and coders to carry out this type of operation is beyond me. As a designer myself, anyone assisting in this is truly a traitor the cause. High Treason.
“When campaign managers pushed designers to build these kinds of hypermedia tools, staff reacted ambiguously and were neither enthusiastic nor critical. Even when designers expressed their reluctance to pursue problematic campaign strategies, they did so with peers, and their reservations were only weakly signaled to senior managers.”
Sorry Big Brother, but “Win At All Costs” applies to college football, not political e-campaigns.

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At the beginning of the class, I wasn’t completely sure what Digital Democracy entails.  8 weeks in, I have a better understanding, although I see there are a large group of boundaries that stand in the way of our population as whole from enjoying the all of the benefits of the “digital” aspect of democracy.  I guess it was something I always took for granted as a media designer, thinking that “oh I can put anything online and everyone all over the world can enjoiy it”.  While trying to reach people across oceans, there were people in my own back yard that couldn’t even access my work.  The Digital Divide is a huge hurdle in my eyes, and from my research into online voting that I have done in this class, it is apparent that this hurdle needs to be breached for us to fully utilize the “digital” side of democracy.

voting-in-your-underwear112

emot-v

The First Online Voting

  • The March 2000 Arizona Democratic Party’s presidential preference primary.
  • Happened March 7-11 2000.
  • First legally binding election to occur in the world, to determine the Democratic Party presidential preference primary.
  • First time ever people were allowed to cast their vote from the location of their choice.
  • Traditional polling was still available.
  • The goal was to increase turnout, as well as the dependability of the related security, privacy, and equality of access.

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In a world where every vote counts, why not make it as easy as possible for voters to cast their votes?  With the widespread use of the Internet, using this Digital Democracy would surely be the easiest way to encourage every eligible person in the country to vote, right?  As a native of Florida who has always been irked at the memory of the botched election of 2000, I never want to hear about hanging chads or recounts ever again.  With the click of a mouse, a vote can be cast with no room for doubt, and certainly wont be subjected to the analysis of a daft old fool from Dade county.

So this all sounds great and wonderful, a digital age of voting that is accurate and easy.  However, the use of the Internet to vote would not be the only digital impact on politics.  There are other ways to harness its power to influence elections.  We are seeing a changing landscape in the world pf political campaigns, as described in an article by Kevin A. Pirch, titled Bloggers At the Gates: Ned Lamont, Blogs, and the Rise
of Insurgent Candidates
.

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