February 11, 2008

What Digital Community Sites Would You Nominate for a Golden Nica?

by Scott Rettberg · , 7:57 am

I’ve been asked to serve as an adviser for the 2008 Ars Electronica Competition (the group that gives out the Golden Nicas) for the Digital Communities category, and to suggest some sites that might be worthy of the prestigous honor before the end of this month. I’ve got a couple of ideas, but I thought I’d ask the GTxA community for some suggestions. Please suggest sites in the comments, along with a couple of lines about why you think the digital community is important. Don’t be shy about suggesting a site you are involved in developing. Some info about the category:

Digital Communities, whether with social or artistic background, give rise to group action and interaction, engender constructive contexts and social capital, and promote social innovation as well as cultural and environmental sustainability. An essential precondition for this is making the respective relevant technologies and infrastructure more widely accessible or perhaps even developing them in the first place. But access to content and information is also a crucial topic. Digital Communities take part in efforts to achieve comprehensive human development, a key aspect of which is reconfiguring the relationship of power between citizens and political leaders, the state and its administrative bureaucracy as well as financial and commercial interests in the sense of increasing participation, strengthening the role of the civil sector, and establishing a framework for democracy and artistic work to flourish.

The winning projects should be able to serve as a model to be copied by others, and, in their orientation on the future, be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and enablement. Among the projects, phenomena, artworks and fields of activity subsumed under the heading Digital Communities are:

* social software
* web 2.0 applications
* social networking systems / friends networks / social self-support groups
* artistic collaborative projects / net.art projects
* software-based collaboration / learning / creation and knowledge networks
* mobile media / media sharing / ubiquitous computing
* innovative solutions targeting environmental issues
* user-generated content & metadata
* digital storytelling
* gaming communities
* digital neighborhoods, digital cities
* citizen involvement / citizen journalism
* eRights / eDemocracy / eGovernance

4 Responses to “What Digital Community Sites Would You Nominate for a Golden Nica?”

  1. jp Says:

    hi scott,
    i’d say:


  2. Greg J. Smith Says:

    My fave web project from the last year is meta-markets, kind of 2.0/social media aggregator. The project is interesting as an economics simulation (I wrote a lengthy review last fall), but the service has become one of my favourite online nodes for discussing emerging trends/culture/artistic endeavors. I like the site because it places the power of ascribing value to various social media entities in the users hands. If nothing else it is a great participatory counterpoint to venture capital chatter.

  3. Dave Miller Says:

    This falls under a lot of the categories listed.

    “Furtherfield was founded in London in 1996 and is the collaborative work of artists, programmers, writers, activists, musicians and thinkers who explore beyond traditional remits; dedicated to the creation, promotion, and criticism of adventurous digital/networked media art work for public viewing, experience and interaction. Developing imaginative strategies in a range of digital & terrestrial media contexts, Furtherfield develops global, contributory projects that facilitate art activity simultaneously on the Internet, the streets and public venues.”

  4. mouser Says:

    I’d like to mention a website i’ve been involved in: http://www.donationcoder.com
    It’s sort of a software-collective, of coders and non-coders, funded entirely by micro-donations.

    Site has an active forum with a programming school where people can get assistance teaching themselves how to program, and a section where people can collaborate on creating new freeware programs.

    I think the part that might be most significant in terms of recognition is the fact that the site is entirely supported by member donations — there is no ad revenue on the site and no larger business model. It’s a site which has found a way to get funding directly from it’s community of users. I wrote an article about the motivations and design of the site here: http://www.donationcoder.com/Articles/One/index.html

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