Online Community Lee Brine Chris Ahl Tim Klimpl Daniel Tan
Blogs And Opinion A News-making and News-breaking online community Dailykos.com
What is Dailykos? • Dailykos is a web log, facilitated by Markos Moulitsas Zúniga in Berkeley, California • The Kos Blog features web posts that transmit and analyze news of the day, founded on promoting a progressive political agenda
Dailykos as Social Capital • In the context of civic participation, Dailykos.com has some of the elements of an engaged community • Interpersonal relationships • Reciprocity • Experience • Leverage. How?
Dailykos, The Online Community & the 2nd District of Ohio • July 2005 • Special Election in Ohio’s 2nd District features an Iraq War veteran running as a Democratic House candidate in an overwhelmingly Republican district • Dailykos and other members of the “blogosphere” promote Paul Hackett’s candidacy, raise national awareness and most of campaign funds- $500,000 of $750,000 • Hackett loses 52-48
Devolution of Political Authority • "Resources are not infinite. That is why MyDD, the Daily Kos, and the larger blogosphere are so important. You are critical in the effort to expand the playing field well above and beyond the 30 or 40 districts typically in play.” • John Lapp, Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Shortcomings of Kos as an Online Community • Audience (mostly liberal, educated and already active) • Bridging (heterogeneous) but not much bonding (cohesion) • Hot rhetoric: If Kos is a narrowcast, who is excluded from the community?
Government Web site • Current status of threat advisories • Governmental Hub for important safety information • Information on current threats to national security • Information on Immigration & Borders • Links to important related web sites • Emergency & Disaster resource • Bridge to other government websites • Katrina- connect with lost relatives
Online Community? • Provides information about how volunteers can get involved with different organizations after major disasters in the United States • Provides sources of assistance and resources for victims and those affected by disasters • Source to download and read the “National Response Plan”
Online Community? • More of a resource for citizens than a example of an online community • Offers contact information and volunteer opportunities, but no community message boards or blogs to create relationships of any kind among users of the site
Brings people together into an online community that can be critical in times of an emergency. • Acts as an information source for how people should prepare in the case of emergencies. • Red Cross plays important role in response to a disaster like Hurricane Katrina for those directly affected and those looking to help. • Provides important bridging and bonding especially during times of emergencies.
Vital Information • Provides information for how to prepare for emergencies like blackouts, earthquakes and hurricanes. • Lists local Red Crosses where people can volunteer, give blood or donate goods. • Provides information and tips ranging from CPR to windsurfing safety to fire prevention. • Updates the website with the latest news and press releases from the Red Cross
Responding to Katrina • Set up a checklist for things to do before evacuating. • Helped evacuees to find nearest place to find food, water or shelter. • Helped evacuees find families and loved ones through a large registry set up online • Set up a place where people can make donations or volunteer their help.
Bridging and Bonding • A New Orleans native who evacuated to Virginia is able to find that her friends are safe in shelters in Houston and Mississippi. • An evacuee can report his or her location to concerned family members. • People throughout the world are able to come to the website and help with the crisis.
American voters have traditionally had the constitutional right to empower candidates with political power. • Information distribution has traditionally been entrusted to media sources such as newspapers, radio, and television mediums. • One of the problems with this is that citizens have been forced to rely on limited distribution means to be informed.
TCP/IP has allowed internet usage to become not only a regular means of information consumption, but also a growing means of communication. • Search engines such as Google, allow users to search for information. • Webrings and intercommunication between sites with allow users to also seek out sites that are recommended from sources they choose to trust. • Specialized information such as news on digital rights can be attained through special interest organizations such as the Electronics Frontier Foundation (EFF).
A more specialized collection of news can be found on sites such as these. • Research and studies such as the “EFF White Papers” allows users to view information that might not otherwise be received through conventional means. • Through mailing lists, organizations can also receive updates in a single and centralized location, thereby minimizing the effort required to find desired information.