Google Transparency?

Going off Konnor’s infographic, this is a video infographic I found this spring in my Journalism 2.0 class abroad. It shows how vital transparency is in creating trust. After I watched this video, I definitely felt some hesitation towards using Google. Just kindof made me feel like they had been hiding so much from me!

What do you guys think?


Infographic: how non-profits are using social media

One of the most important tools we can utilize in our attempts to generate interest in the South Madison area is transparency.  Without it, we will not be able to foster enough trust in our clients, but also the people we are attempting to motivate into action.  The research we have already conducted is a great stepping stone in preparing us for this tool.  With the information we’ve gathered and will continue to gather we’ll be better able to field any questions, concerns or comments that appear on our website.  That being said, I think it is imperative that we enable commenting on all of our content and allow responses to come from anyone in the class.  Utilizing all of our different backgrounds and opinions to assist in different situations will only help our target audience and clients feel more connected to us and comfortable engaging in positive and informative discussions to further our project.  The most important people to offer opinions and responses would be South Madison’s community leaders.  As the reading discussed, it can take longer for older generations to become well-versed in different social media outlets.  Also, they may feel much more comfortable with certain platforms over others.

As of now, we need to find out what kinds of social media platforms the South Madison community leaders are using.  It would also be helpful to see if any of the businesses or events we’re looking to get involved in our project are using any of these platforms as well.  I looked on and found many of the restaurants on there with some reviews, but without menus or any responses from their owners.  I think it would be a great idea to try to get South Madison’s businesses to use these platforms to directly engage their customers.  They could offer thanks to those who post positive reviews and attempt to remedy any bad experiences with disgruntled customers.  I believe both of these interactions could help boost return visitors to the area.

Someone had suggested creating our own mini-version of Yelp on our website and I think that would be an awesome idea.  We could even try to team up with some of the campus delivery services to offer more deals on restaurants in the South Madison area.  Cross-promoting with other, already familiar and trusted websites and services could help speed-up the trust process with our target audience, which I think we said was mainly students.

Tech for Social Change: Planning

The first tool we should be using is that of listening. Whether this is through an open forum on the platform, going back to interviews we conducted, or going out and talking to more people. By listening to the issues of South Madison only then can we actually move onward with developing a successful/succinct plan for a platform.  Luckily we have been doing most of this work already with our research. The text says, “Organizational culture comes from melding the psychology, attitudes, experiences, and beliefs of the people who lead organizations.” Over the course of this semester we have talked to several key members of the South Madison community and heard what their beliefs and attitudes are.  In order to have a successful platform now is the time to for us to start sifting all of these leaders’ desires and see if we can’t find some commonality.

After figuring out what that commonality is we must then transition to engaging with the rest of the community. This is exactly what I believe the platform will be most used for.  Engagement was described as turning what is written between individuals through a computer into as close to a face-to-face interaction as possible.  This interaction needs to have a balance where we will play the roles of bystander and instigator.  It is through engagement that collective action and change can occur. We also need to understand that our first attempt might be a total bust. If that’s the case then we learn, change, and try again.

The other texts address twitter and the power that it has along with helpful tips. If we are going to utilize this powerful networking tool we need to make sure we find other twitter handles that carry the same values and beliefs we are trying to portray. I don’t know if either the Boys and Girls Club or Slowfood have twitter accounts, but if they do we can see who is following them and hopefully trace it to the South Madison Community. Perhaps the local restaurants might have handles we can link to. This I would foresee as being a widget placed directly on the page somewhere. I would love to try and find a creative hashtag that would relate to and be shared amongst the community residents. This again is assuming we know residents do in fact use twitter.

I think the simple interactive map of addressing the various restaurants would be a great start no matter which direction we head with the platform. This seemed to work positively for Planned Parenthood in the example. It was from there they learned what steps were needed to move forward.

Collective Action

On behalf of Grace Choe


My experience of South Madison began as I got on the bus number 4, which was the route heading to the South Madison.  Even before I actually see the neighborhood, I could grasp a sense of the place already.  The bus was full, and as I was stepping on, I could hear the driver yell at the passengers, “Move to the back! Keep on moving all the way to the back”, and he shouted, “Black people won’t bite you!”  It was then I started to notice this diverse ethnicity and think about the prejudged perception of the area I heard from the class.  I could not resist that conception and found myself, already, somewhat uncomfortable, intimidated by the people who seem to be “different” from me.

I thought that could be the part of explanation for weak community bonding which was evident by the low level of community involvement at the Celebrate South Madison Festival.  Firstly, because of predetermined perception of their area, residents themselves lack the loyalty to the community.  Secondly, although diversity in ethnic groups can be a positive characteristic, it also seems to create barriers for them to come together.  This is the major social dilemma in South side of Madison.  However, as every downside can be turned into opportunities, with efforts this social barrier can later turn out to be the greatest strength of the community.  And new communication technologies can be a beneficial tool in solving the social dilemma.

Rheingold, in his book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution introduces the term “smart mobs”, the group of people using network technology as powerful device to connect to information and with each other.  As he strongly emphasizes how powerful this mobile communication, pervasive computing and wireless networks both beneficially or destructively, depending on how people use.

The Internet network and mobile network, in particular, could be used to increase the personal bonding of the community.  As Manila protestors used cellphone text messages to spread the words out to gather to overthrow President Joseph Estrada, the word of mouth seems to be the most powerful when it comes to social coordination, and such cell phone devices and Facebook on computer enables the word of mouth to travel much more rapidly and widely.  I think that this new technology can truly link individuals at the community to more personal levels, which then they will start to erode the prejudices of each other, and then of themselves as a community, forming a loyalty to the community.

No excuse for social dilemmas

I think South Madison’s largest social dilemma is the lack of participation in and excitement for community involvement. I feel this could be tied to the comfort that comes with avoiding change.

During my time at the Celebrate South Madison Festival, I noticed that many of the participants were people who are already active in the community in some way or another. There were residents that walked by the festival, or sat in the library just across the lot without so much as even acting curious about the event.

My thinking is that many of them have never been involved with the event before, and don’t see a need to now.

That mentality was fine in the past, before communication technology had advanced to make conversations and gatherings easier. Before online forums or text messaging were available to the public, it was just fine to deal with the fact that community involvement required effort and time, a luxury that some could not afford. So, many avoided community engagement.

But times have changed. And there are no more excuses for social dilemmas, such as a lack of engagement or act collectively for a movement. As Shirky stated in Here Comes Everybody, barriers, such as time, money and location, are no longer obstacles.

We need to help residents break the habit of not being engaged in community events. With modern technology, possibilities for connecting are endless; In Chapter 6, page 157, Shirky notes, “the internet does not know what it is being used for”. There are limitless options for residents to connect.

In this week’s readings, we see evidence of protests, interest groups, and changes that have developed as a result of communication technology. I can’t help but think that if we set up and share those resources with South Madison residents, genuine results will follow.

Using these tools will make it simple to ease into the process of working with neighbors and have the potential to lead to changes that break other “habits” in South Madison, such as roads that don’t have sidewalks, and areas that don’t have the option of delivery.

New communication technologies have the power to assist in the change by uniting neighbors.

Changing social dilemmas into social capital.

After spending some time in South Madison at “Celebrate South Madison” I noticed there were some clear cases of social dilemma. Social dilemmas occur when an individual chooses to behave in a manner that serves his own best interest rather than choosing to act towards his community’s best interest. Social dilemmas take place in a variety of different situations such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Public Good Dilemma, and the Tragedy of the Commons Dilemma.

I see the two stories of the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Public Good Dilemma reflected in the South Madison community, deterring their social capital. To prevail in the situation of the Prisoner’s Dilemma the people involved need to have strong ties of trust with each other and be willing to cooperate, which is lacking in this area.

Some are not willing to risk their well being for the benefit of their neighbors or their community. However, this is necessary in building social capital. I hope that this social dilemma will be solved with the help of a strong online community. Perhaps a similar situation could result like the Netville example where after communicating and bonding online, residents would be more open and trusting of each other, building stronger social capital.

Additionally, I think the case of the Public Good Dilemma is apparent in the South Madison area. The Public Good Dilemma explains a situation in which everyone can benefit from a good (for example a park) under the risk that some may take advantage of the good without contributing to the upkeep, for example keeping a park clean and safe. These people are called free-riders, and if too many people act as free-riders the public good is a waste and the community is worse off.

There are plenty of goods that are available in the area to South Madison residents, as well as to UW-students and other community members. However, the fear of vulnerability and preconceived misconceptions of the area, people are not contributing to building social capital.

I think that these dilemmas overlap because people are choosing to act as free-riders due to the lack of trust and cooperation, thus creating two interchangeable social dilemmas. I believe that with a developed strategy and a well-constructed online platform we could solve these dilemmas by bonding South Madison residents, and influence them to trust in each other and act towards the community’s best interest.