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February 24, 2005

Request for Information

If you were interested in finding out how we could use technologies to involve community members in:
- influencing commercial decision making;
- public debate on social issues; or
- fun activities with people of like interests
... what would you like to know, and/or what would you recommend?

All comments greatly appreciated.

EDIT: As I've been asked for more info on this post, I've placed some basics in the extended entry.

With the Manager of Community Information at the Brisbane City Council (Sandra Lynn) and the Manager of the Smart Living program at the Australian CRC for Interaction Design (Sam Bucolo), I am co-preparing a panel session on the use of technologies in engaging communities, at the United Nations Conference on the subject scheduled for next August. I am therefore looking for some of the issues that people might want to see covered in such a session, and to get some suggestions about what specific technologies we could show off. We already have some ideas from projects with which we are involved, but I'd like some suggestions from readers about what you would like to hear about this sort of thing, or some news on specific projects about which I and my colleagues may not have heard.

So no matter how small, obscure or even curious the question or project may be, if you can give some details about it here, I'd love to hear from you. I do promise to give credit where it's due at the Conference!

Posted by jj at February 24, 2005 10:33 AM

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Examination Studies Interruptess

Hi Jo,

We spoke last night outside of the Business building at QUT. Sorry to hear you have resorted to real work (huh-huh!). No seriously, what are you up to now ?

Your Request For Information is ambiguous yet enticing. I'll bite. What's this about ?

Posted by: Babelfish at February 24, 2005 11:37 AM

Brainstorm In A Cup

I have noticed in the past few years, a noticeable increase of elderly people being interested in the internet - specifically for email and publishing photographs / ancestory / creative arts etc.

In most cases they require only simple computing resources, as they tend to limit themselves to only what they set out to use it for. They are unlikely to demand system upgrades to keep up to date with the latest operating systems and games etc, however they do enjoy the simpler games.

Connecting the elderly community in retirement homes and at thier residence would provide easier people contact, and is less demanding for them physically (especially if they can no longer drive safely).

Mail, pictures, interest groups and regular human contact through VoIP and streamed community radio (old time, ABC and John Laws) may actually improve the health and morale of retirees. It may also provide them a sense of worth if they are actively contributing to forums and panels on-line concerning local government issues etc.

The Baby boomers may soon become the new generation of Cyber Surfers. Grey nomads turned permed bloggers, with hi tec respect.

Posted by: Babelfish at February 25, 2005 12:09 AM

contributing to community-based initiatives isn't really my forte, but seeing as I have aged parents, and I myself am a late generation baby-boomer, I can definitely see a place for continuing education of the aged in the wiles of the WWW. My mother, who is fast approaching 70 is about the most switched on 'old girl' I know insofar as she actually went out, bought a computer setup and entered into teaching herself about email, surfing, IM chat, even graphic manipulation with PSP. In reality, anyone with a will to learn and the ability to assimilate information can do what she's done. It's no big deal, but so many of the previous generation to mine are deathly afraid to have a go. I firmly believe it behooves us all to at least make access to the technology as easy as possible and retain these people in our communities as virtual contributors, even if they can't get around like they used to.

Posted by: Niall [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 27, 2005 3:40 PM

I know loads of people involved in MSN (or similar) communities. You could show people that sort of thing.

Posted by: Raechel at February 27, 2005 9:09 PM

Ask schoolteachers about kids and mobile phones.

I know that is a staggeringly obvious suggestion, but the use of SMS and pictures is actually very deep.

You might like to talk to the research people at Telstra, who track that sort of thing to determine their market future.

Posted by: David Tiley at February 28, 2005 3:03 PM

I just found this over social customer, thought of your post here. It may provide some food for thought: The Customer Remix Culture.

Posted by: Ben Hamilton at February 28, 2005 10:41 PM

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