July 07, 2005

UT Reports: Policy Proposals

The Urban Tapestries white paper, Public Authoring, Place and Mobility concludes with a number of policy proposals we believe to be necessary for achieving the project's vision of a twenty-first century public knowledge commons. Based on our experience gained in researching and developing Urban Tapestries, Proboscis proposes the following recommendations for public and corporate policy makers to consider (full versions in the report):

Innovation from the margins to the centre
Governments, researchers and businesses need to pay greater attention to the needs of actual people in real contexts and situations rather than relying on marketing scenarios and user profiles.

Open Networks for Mobile Data
Telecom network operators need to recognise the desires of people to communicate (by voice or data) with each other irrespective of the company they purchase their service from.

Open Geo Data
There is a clear and pressing need for free public access to GIS data to make public authoring and a host of other useful geo-specific services possible.

Reinvigoration of the Public Domain
Public authoring has the potential to be a powerful force in enriching the public domain through the sharing of information, knowledge and experiences by ordinary people about the places they live, work and play in.

Public Services Engaging with People
Public authoring could be employed to create new relationships of trust and engagement between public services and the people they serve. Public authoring proposes a reciprocity of engagement whereby public services would not just provide information but benefit directly from information contributed by citizens.

Market Opportunities
The wealth of public data created by public authoring will provide many market opportunities for business people and entrepreneurs. The not-for-profit sector needs to embrace the energy and creativity this engenders as much as the commercial sector needs to embrace the need for people to be more than just consumers.

Location Sensing & Positioning
The technological imperative for defining a person’s position needs to be dropped in favour of an approach that incorporates the rich nature of the physical world’s location information – street signs, shop signage etc

Including Everyone
The drive to use the latest technologies and services must not exclude those who choose not to adopt them, or cannot, for whatever reason.

Time and Relevance to Everyday Life
These new forms of communicating will not appear overnight but will need careful cultivation and time to flower. To realise their fullest potential they will need more than just grass roots enthusiasm and activism. They will require regulatory nurturing and calculated risks on the part of business people.

The reports are free for private/non-commercial use by individuals, academics and non-profit organisations in the arts and civil society sectors.
Request the reports

Posted by Giles Lane at 12:45 PM

UT Reports: 4 Principles of Public Authoring

As part of our final summation of the Urban Tapestries project we developed four 'principles' of public authoring:

Cooperative Not Hierarchical
Public authoring relies fundamentally on cooperative, and largely anonymous, sharing of the kinds of knowledge, stories, memories and information that people think will be of interest to others in their vicinity. It complements and augments traditional centres of knowledge but side steps their top-down validation through trust, risk and chance.

Co-creation Not Just Consumption
Public authoring relies on the co-creation of its own content by the people who participate in sharing it, rather than the consumption of pre-prepared content offered by media companies. It is essentially another form of personal communication, differing only in its link to geographic places and the public nature by which it is shared. It is a reminder that people are not just consumers – they are the actors, agents and authors of their own experiences.

Organic Not Static
Public authoring should both grow and fade with time, at the pace set by the people who participate in it. It is both the layering and excavation of layers of knowledge and experience – a real-time microcosm of how our cities and communities develop, change, prosper and die. It adds persistence to local memories and knowledge that otherwise might completely disappear. Sharing in an open, distributed way enables knowledge and information to pass beyond the limits of its originators social circle or the immediate situation and context. Yet it shouldn’t point to an over arching desire to record everything or that all content should persist indefinitely... Some content might be time-sensitive and expire automatically on the date being passed, other material might belong to a class or category that fades with time. The point of public authoring is to reflect the complexities of the world we live in, not to simplify it or attempt to replace any aspect of our human interactions.

People Not Systems
Public authoring should augment and assist our everyday life, not seek to replace any aspect of it. It should be the trigger for social encounters, not a barrier to participation in social or community activities.

The reports are free for private/non-commercial use by individuals, academics and non-profit organisations in the arts and civil society sectors.
Request the reports

Posted by Giles Lane at 12:06 PM