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Hemen zaude: Hasiera / Blogak / Ingelesen hilerria / The English Cemetery / E-democracy and citizen participation in public discussions with Zope

E-democracy and citizen participation in public discussions with Zope

Luistxo Fernandez 2005/06/02 15:11

Half-interesting meeting in town. The interesting half was that of Steven Clift, whom I didn't know, but who gave us interestig notes and examples of what e-democracy is currently in the Internet.

The boring part was of the propaganda that the main Spanish paper here, Diario Vasco, got freely from the sponsors of the event: a sermon about them being the voice of the people and the true bloggers of this country... The program even has printed lies that this paper, part of the Spanish right-wing group Vocento, hosted the first blog community of Gipuzkoa. False, Basque-language blog communities like this one in were first, and among media organizations, was also earlier, not those liars. It's a shame that public authorities of Gipuzkoa only regard the media power of Spanish right-wingers and not even notice the existence of Internet communities that interact in Basque, the local language.

But returning to the interesting part, Mr. Clift He has great expertise in the field, first developed in Minnesota, and is consulting and informing about e-gov and e-democracy since long ago. There's a community of people following him and discussing issues with him at I think I'll subscribe and join the pack. Never late to learn.

Clift has praised several govts. that provide multiple e-mail choices to susbcribe to public information and news. He has talked less about RSS, but mainly because he considers it, as for now, only suited for the top-elite of Internet users, which is probably true. However, the option to integrate gov information into other media or citizen sites through RSS syndication is a point that he has stressed and he has provided the example of were feeds from administrator's blogs are included in the sidebox (look at the Civic Blogosphere section). Other example that he showed us, the full list of RSS provided by Alberta province,. Good example. Many should learn.

As of citizens participating in public debates... He has mentioned some example that look promising, like the one fostered in Queensland, Australia. But there's the issue of moderation, openness, critic mass of users... Not very convinced about e-democracy forums in official sites. I think there's more true e-democracy at Northfield, for instance. Or at Clift's latest project, Issues Forum UK, not directly a government project.

However, they were all nice examples of usage of technologies.

I was interested in talking to him after his presentation, and it was while chatting that I got the big surprise: I mentioned him, an aggregator for Basque blogs and RSS sources, and he asked me about technology; what did we use? Well, Universal Feed Parser, a Python product. And Steven replies: Well, Issues Forum and the Groupserver software that runs it is based in Zope and Python. Ummm... That's our software here at , what we use at our company !

That's a guy with a project, and both deserve to be followed.

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Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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