Thursday, June 21, 2012

A shameless plug for a worthy cause

Please "like" my proposal for a political civil-o-meter here
If you don't have a tumblr account already,
you'll need to take two minutes and create one.

I've just put in an application for funding through the Knight Foundation's civic media news challenge. They want to "accelerate media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information."  This round in the grant competition focuses on the role of data in civic engagement -- right up my alley.

To meet that challenge, I'm proposing a political civil-o-meter -- a crowdsourced site to generate fair and accurate civility ratings for political speech (think campaign ads, newspaper op-eds, and blog posts).  Most of the tools to build such a site will already be developed as part of my dissertation; this grant would help me make them available to the public.  This site would provide a really cool way to explore civility in public discourse, and hold public officials and media personalities accountable for the civility (or lack thereof) of what they say.

I'd appreciate it if you'd head on over to the Knight Foundation's tumblr blog and "like" the civil-o-meter proposal.  (If you don't have a tumblr account already, you'll need to create one -- a quick, painless, and spam-free process.)  Even if you don't like the proposal or just don't get it, you can ask clarifying questions in the comments section, and I'll do my best to explain things better.  Awards aren't made strictly on the basis of voting, but I figure a little extra attention in this category can't hurt.


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