Regular newsletter readers will remember that EnCiv is an attempt to build an integrated online civic platform, supported by a network of civic groups. IF was among EnCiv’s founding organizations, along with Ballotpedia (which provides election coverage to millions throughout the US), and ProCon (which provides information on both sides of a wide range of issues).
EnCiv’s project work continues. Currently EnCiv is considering a repeat of its major election project earlier this year in Chicago, which involved an active collaboration between IF and Ballotpedia. EnCiv is also working with Ballotpedia on other ways to expand its informational offerings.
While these projects mature EnCiv has been focusing greater attention on platform development and testing.
Development involves working through use cases and designing reproducible sequences that can be made to work online. Progress on this front has been significant in recent weeks, largely due the addition to the EnCiv team of David Fridley, a software engineer intimately familiar with the ins and outs of online discussion.
Testing means experimenting with citizens to see which sequences work best. Advances here have come more slowly, mostly due to the familiar problem of recruiting participants. Still, more than half a dozen options have been identified. We expect actual experimentation to commence with some or all of them soon.
For a fuller picture of what EnCiv’s been up to and why we’re excited about it, have a look at “Recent Articles” at http://usatalk.org/.