Friday, November 21, 2008

Online Incursions

I was sad to see KPBS bid farewell to its Citizen Voices project, but excited about what kind of results they'll find. I took the survey - and perhaps because I've just spent a quarter studying research methods in mass communication - was a bit disappointed at how they seemed to be measuring success. One of the questions on the survey was if you had changed your mind about who to vote for in the presidential election.

The implication is that the people who read the citizen blogs are seeking another portal with which to inform themselves to make decisions as members of a democratic society. And that's a fine thing to want to know - are the blogs useful to that end?

But there's another question that could be pursued: did the blogs stimulate discussion amongst you and your social network? I think this is one of the issues that public broadcasting is finding tough to measure: to what degree do people refer back to the content they hear/watch/read? And does public broadcasting play a role in stimulating civic engagement?

I hope more funding will become available for projects like this one at KPBS - and also that public stations will think about carving out some dollars to make space on their websites for participation.

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