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Taylor Willingham Blogs the Texas Forums

NCDD Steering Committee member Taylor Willingham has been blogging the Texas Forums and National Issues Forums recently, and wrote us to tell us how much fun she was having. We thought Taylor’s blog was a great example of how to incorporate online technology into D&D work, so we include her entire message here. She begins, “I have had a blast blogging news from Texas Forums and National Issues Forums the past couple of weeks. It’s been a great way to organize and share all information about resources, publicize events, and let people know what is going on in the network. Here are just some examples of what people can find…

“There are two announcements about upcoming events (open to the public) taking place online. On November 15, John Doble and others in the network will be reporting on the results of the Democracy’s Challenge Forums on (http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/19/texas-forums-virtual-presentation-on-democracys-challenge/) Another event on November 21 is a workshop with Elizabeth Lynn from The Civically Engaged Reader Project, a project that offers a fresh set of resources for reading and conversation that provide compelling programming for people interested in increasing civic engagement. (http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/19/opal-workshop-november-21-2006-the-civically-engage-reader/)

“The posting “Technology Meets Old Fashioned Town Hall Meeting” (http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/17/20-technology-meets-old-fashioned-town-hall-meeting/) is a brief entry of a longer research agenda on using innovative collaborative technologies like wikis and blogs to name, frame and report on public issues. This is further sorted out in my posting “Working with Wikis” (http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/15/working-with-the-wikis/)

“A team of volunteers from the NIF network are experimenting with an open source social networking software. (Think of myspace, but this is Our Space 4 Democracy!) the audio, slides, and text chat from their meeting has been recorded here and I will soon have the training we did available. (there are lots of ways to sort the postings using the categories and I plan to add tagging capabilities.) Here is an example: http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/tf-nif-social-networking-planning-meeting-audio/

“You’ll also find risque videos and photos from my 48 hour (I logged 35 hours out of 48!) code-a-thon with programmers working on developing open source software resources that nonprofits can use to build their network, monitor legislation, and create documents that reflect common ground and articulate positions for the legislature. Search by the category “Technology” to find these and other technology-related postings.

“You will be able to see a video of a virtual world where I’ve been working with librarians who have built an island with libraries, public meeting space, social space, and reference resources. It will blow your mind! (http://texasforums.wordpress.com/2006/10/13/second-life-grand-opening/) That’s not all…I haven’t posted it, yet, but there’s also a “Democracy Island” built by students at NY Law School that is perfect for public deliberation. This is the technology of the Millennials. (There is an Island specifically for youth…you have to prove you are under age to get in.)

“Please check out my blog at http://www.texasforums.wordpress.com. Sometimes I update the blog several times a day. How hot is that? If you are a blog afficionado, let me know. I’ve got a few plug-ins I would like to develop for this site.”

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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