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Augmented Social Network: Online support for civil society December 8, 2008

Posted by Greg Van Alstyne in Community, Future of Value: Technologies of Sustainability, sLab Research.
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While working in New York around the turn of the millennium I met Ken Jordan, a digital media consultant and co-author of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. He has been working on an idea called the Augmented Social Network (ASN) that I think may be highly useful to iWaterfront project. These ideas were articulated a couple of years before the big rise in social media in 2005, but remain relevant today. See Ken’s blurb on ASN below.

The Augmented Social Network. Could the next-generation of online community support civil society by better connecting people to others with whom they share affinities, so they can more effectively exchange information and self-organize? Could such a system help to revitalize democracy in the 21st century? These questions were the focus of a two-year process that brought together leading figures from computer science, independent media, and the environmental movement. The result is a proposal for an “Augmented Social Network” that enhances the effectiveness of social networks in the same way that the personal computer enhances individual creativity. Central to the ASN is an effort to build a civil society form of trust and identity into the infrastructure of the Internet. The paper, “The Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust Into The Next-Generation Internet,” co-written with Jan Hauser and Steven Foster, was presented at the Planetwork Conference, “Networking a Sustainable Future,” in San Francisco June 6-8. It was subsequently published on First Monday.

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