My video remix is about the path humanity seems determined to continue, not expressed in the most subtle of terms. …
There are many crowdsourcing projects these days. Here are two of my favorites: http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-02-22/tech/31085858_1_toilet-human-waste-hydrogen, a Bill Gates initiative. Gates learned that more children die of diarrhea in the third world than from any other disease (http://www.news-medical.net/news/2004/08/23/4270.aspx). And he understood the importance of a simple to build, use and upkeep toilet. In his case, the compensation is financial.
Another initiative is http://www.usanpn.org/participate/observe, a public-private partnership (mostly public it seems) whereby citizens “monitor the influence of climate on the phenology of plants, animals and landscapes.” In this case, people are “intrinsically motivated,” according to the Brabham article. Specifically, Brabham states that “Deci and Ryan (1985) differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in their Self-Determination Theory (SDT). ‘‘Intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfactions rather than for some separable consequence.’’’
In my case and inspired by crowdsourcing endeavors such as these, I would propose a crowdsourcing initiative for alternative energy sources. Without a doubt global warming is decimating our planet. As the usanpn endeavor above shows, “plants, animals and landscapes” are being affected every day. Weather patterns have changed: droughts now common in places that had never experienced them. Soon, we are well on the way to creating a world without polar bears, without fish, without such things as maple syrup (granted, maple syrup pales in significance, still, quite an image having to describe to a future generation that once pancakes were eaten with maple syrup).
We have already decimated hundreds of thousands of species. Humanity is responsible for the death of “200 species every day”– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/17/un-environment-programme-_n_684562.html. Much of this from global warming, from fossil fuels. I do not think much motivation would be needed, aside from the intrinsic. I also found fascinating the quotes based on the work of Jeppesen &Lakhani and Villarroel & Reis (Brabham): “studies on marginality in problem-solving have also found that one’s relative distance from a typical problem-solving domain is significantly positively related to one’s ability to solve a problem.” I certainly have found that to be the case within corporations.
In this crowdsourcing exercise, the caption could be, “Who will save the world?” A challenge would go out to all nations, all citizens, to see who can come up with the best alternative energy idea. Governments would have to work in conjunction. Again, I don’t see that much of a problem if, in all likelihood, people like Gates, Bono, etc, would come together for the cause. It would be an idea similar to the Gates toilet idea, except on a far greater scale. And with a lot more on the line: not only the survival of other species, but perhaps our very own.
Herewith the link to the presentation, Viral Online Media Presentation. I hope you enjoy it, but remember, while you do, Big Brother may be watching…
Unfortunately, I don’t know if any conclusions can be drawn from either article regarding the “future of elections, how citizens get and use information during the election process, and what possibilities are opened up by new communication technologies.” Nor how elections, politics or democracy will change, if at all. Kaufhold et al attest several things: those that partake in professional journalism are slightly better informed; “trust in media correlates with political trust”; and, interestingly, those that read traditional news over citizen news participate less in politics. Akoh et al focused on election-monitoring via, primarily, cell phone use (principally by sms as they say on the continent, or text messaging as they say in the US). Of course, I would love for citizen journalism and election monitoring using new technology to increase democracy and transparency worldwide. Sadly, I fear that the status quo remains (Africa); and that other countries are only slipping backwards (US), with moneyed interests pulling the strings.
Why I say this. I have visited on numerous occasions, for example, several of the African countries listed and know them intimately. Although it is true that every African that I met (including rural villages) had a cell phone, many of these cell phones were basic and served to make or receive short calls or text messages. Most were “pay-as-you-go” plans, and most people were without airtime. Thus, I found that the article was, how should I put this, catered for a Western audience. It is extremely rare to find truly honest and self-critical analysis emanating from that continent. Because the percentage of the population that is educated, literate, politically savvy enough to be swayed by citizen journalists—assuming the population even had access to the election process!–remains ever so minute.
Closer to home, just today I read an article, Retired NSA Analyst Proves GOP Is Stealing Elections, which didn’t leave me feeling particularly positive about the election process in the US, either—not that I was very positive after the 2000 debacle.
So: where does that leave us? In Africa, most voters watch mainstream media and mainstream media is mainly government-controlled. Whether citizen journalists monitor the elections—let’s rephrase that—whether they are even allowed to monitor the elections, will, in my view, have no effect on the elections themselves. In the US, it appears that in spite of the proliferation of citizen journalists, laws are passed every day to disenfranchise more voters. Where is the journalistic upheaval? One can, of course, as I had above, find good sources of news online. The trouble is, how many people do, and of those that do, how many are scandalized enough to want to do something about it. I am of the opinion that citizen journalism, at least when it comes to democracy or elections, will, sadly, hold little influence or sway. And I absolutely do not think in terms of credibility, citizen journalism can or even should replace mainstream journalism, and therein perhaps lies the problem.
I sincerely hope time will prove me wrong, but I am not optimistic.