Reading the title chapter of Michael Warner’s 2002 collection of essays Publics and Counterpublics, I am struck by how the book resonates with my work with the Transmission Project. It has helped me think through and beyond the rhetoric I encounter every day.
Disaster, fraud and crime reporting sites provide information to civic authorities. AmberAlert has more than 7 million users who help with information on child abductions, and SERVE.GOV enables citizens to volunteer for national parks, museums and other institutions. These are just a few examples of digital tools – from social networking applications, to microblogging (e.g. Twitter), to recommendation sites like Ushahidi – that represent the new frontier of technology-mediated social participation.