Ben Shneiderman: Civic Collaboration | Science

by P&P

Reviewing Beth Noveck's Wkii Government, Ben Shneiderman, computer science professor at U Maryland, writes:

Technology-mediated civic participation, electronically enhanced collaboration, and download-verifiable open government are rebalancing the power structure in federal, state, and local governments. At the same time, open journalism is empowering the universal investigative reporter while undermining the traditional news media.

Web sites such as http://serve.gov and http://nationalservice.gov now facilitate ... service efforts. The Web can also be used to distribute tasks among volunteers, as in NASA's clickworkers site for image analysis of martian craters.

Public education (e.g., on personal health, flu pandemics, energy conservation, or environmental protection) can be promoted through well-designed user experiences and effective social norms.

Community building, at every level, is fostered by the rapidly growing social media and ubiquitous cell phones with their increasingly rich services.