Sunday, February 13, 2005


I received an email yesterday from a person involved with a centre called Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Citizen Lab is a project of the Munk Centre for Intenrational Studies.

The purpose of the email was to let me know about a project of theirs called Civiblog. Its goal is to "provide free blog space to all people, in all corners of the world, working in the citizen sector for the benefit of humanity. We do this with the view to build community online and feedback mechanisms to fulfill the promise of the citizen sector in the years ahead." The email adds, "In time, we'll also fill the
site with academic papers, audio files of interviews with featured
participants, a blogmap (dynamic pattern analysis of commentary in the blogging community), and so much more. We're interested especially in co-creating the evolving content with the community of bloggers." An updated design is apparently due to be released on February 18 or thereabouts.

It looks like an interesting project. It doesn't look like it talks about the world in necessarily the same language as I would, and any such institutional endeavour has ties to state and corporate foundation funding that should make us wary -- in fact, I assume that the "Munk" in the centre's name is from Peter Munk of Barrick Gold, a Canadian resource extraction company of dubious reputation among activists. However, Civiblog offers an opportunity for connection, virtual relationship building, and dialogue among activists coming from different physical locations and different experiential/political standpoints around the globe, and I think that's a useful thing. Even just the offer of space and blog-related resources are worth checking out. So please do, and see if it is something you might wish to participate in!

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