Friday, July 6, 2012

Check out (and like, tweet and +1!) the civilometer prototype site

In the spirit of "show > tell", I spent a good chunk of last week building a prototype site for my civilometer proposal for the Knight Foundation's news challenge.  Please check it out and support us on twitter, facebook and google!  Tweets with the #newschallenge hashtag would be particularly appreciated.

Here's the link:

Here's a screenshot:
A screenshot, for your viewing enjoyment.
For those of you joining the story late, the proposed project is a public-facing site for political civility.  The site is designed as a data playground to hold politicians and newsmakers accountable for what they say.  We would take in real-time media feeds, and apply scientific civility-measuring techniques from my dissertation.  A suite of data visualization tools would enable users to ask data-driven questions about civility, and create and share cool graphs of their findings.

There's *a lot* that you could do with all this data.  My hope is that by building a public site (rather than hiding our findings in obscure academic journals) we can inject a bit more accountability into public discourse.  I'm really excited about the chance to build something genuinely productive with the research I've been doing the last five years of my life.

To make all this happen, I've applied for a grant from the Knight foundation.  Part of their judging criteria is public support.  Judging is happening right now.  (*bites nails in trepidation*).  If you like this idea, please head over to the site (, and tweet, like, and share the idea with everyone you know.


Warning: the site looks best in recent versions of Firefox and Chrome.  I haven't really tested it on IE, or Safari.  It looks decent on my kindle, though!  If we get funded, I'll make sure it looks good for all you you poor corporate Microsoft slaves as well.

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