Social democracy: manipulating Facebook to crowdsource ideas for change

Among my other adventures and exploration into “democracy” and what it really means, I came across an interesting email from the NAACP. No matter how you feel about the quality of public education and whether or not African Americans have got a raw deal out of it, the NAACP has initiated an experiment with social media and has set up a facebook page that allows you to comment on “What works”. I personally think it is an amazing concept. The downside is that you get a bunch of riff-raff who do not add much to the conversation at all, but there are a number of comments with sincere thinking behind them.


Now the challenge will be aggregating and reporting back on their findings. I wonder how they intend to do that. And then following the thread from those aggregate ideas to policy ideas, legislation and how that ultimately affects you and me.


3 Responses to “Social democracy: manipulating Facebook to crowdsource ideas for change”

  1. pattsi Says:

    I need help understanding your enthusiasm. What is there about this executive order that deems success? Is there funding to support the project? What are the specific goals? Who will be the staff and how will the staff be chosen? I have read the comments–none have suggestions as to ways to accomplish what the writer thinks is important. Just because something is written on facebook does not give it reliability or validity so why then would these comments be turned into policy? I think back to Brown v. BOE at a time such as this. Over a half a century ago. And we are still working on the issue of education equality. What could we possibly be discussing today had we started working on education equity when the SC decision came down. Think how many generations have been born since then.

  2. charlesdschultz Says:

    Many folks echoed the same thing as you, Pattsi. For example,

    More taxpayer money thrown at the Obama re-election campaign. Does anyone really think this will do any good? We had a Federal Education Deptartment since 1953 and only a rampant progressive, or somebody brain-dead, would think that education has improved since then.

    So with all the criticism, Pattsi, no alternatives? No suggestions? =)

    I tried reading through the comments; at this time of day, there are 262 comments. I read through a large number of them and could probably break down those that actually had something helpful to say in 3 or 4 broad categories (ie, better teachers, more parental involvement, smaller classes, better community). There are some other lesser populated categories, but these seemed to be the popular ones.

    I acknowledged that the biggest obstacle here is taking what is written in the comments and actually reading them, categorizing them and aggregating them. Otherwise this whole adventure (facebook) is a flop and only serves as a soap box. So while facebook is great and sharing (and liking and commenting), it is horrible at helping a researcher do the necessary work of collating and organizing. To answer your question about my enthusiasm, it is more about the potential that someone at the NAACP actually gives a crap about all those comments and does the work described above. If that is done and the results made known, I will have considered this a partial success. An important first step. Then I would want to see that aggregate taken a step up the ladder, maybe Mr. Jealous himself can present the findings to this new initiative and make sure something is done with it. Like writing these ideas into policy. If that happens, I would be willing to say WIN!

    So my cup is half full.

    The Directive, as you point out, is very empty of anything grabbing unto, from my point of view. Yeah, schools are doing horrible and we need to fix them up, empty rhetoric we have heard before. As you point out, nothing much has changed.

    To me, the biggest problem is that folks are disengaged. I’ll probably end up writing a new blog post about this, but what I really want to see is extremely local involvement. And not just two or three super gung-ho on-fire parents, but spreading that fire to invigorate and motivate that base of the pyramid you speak of.

  3. pattsi Says:

    Great reply. I have a lot of suggestions many of which have been posted at various times on this blog. And I have deep regrets at the lost opportunities for equal education and opportunity since Brown v. BOE.These regrets surfaced during the time when quotas were being used and Bakke v. University of California. Historically and basically we as a country have blown the situation.

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