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Spring 2003 @ CCCE News and Events:

CCCE Co-sponsors Series of Events on Digital Network Analysis Featuring Richard Rogers, University of Amsterdam

The Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, the Digital Media Working Group, and the Center for American Politics are pleased to announce a visit by Dr. Richard Rogers on Tuesday, May 13.

Dr. Rogers is an assistant professor in the Department of New Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and visiting professor in the philosophy and social study of science at the University of Vienna. Rogers directs the govcom.org foundation. Govcom hosts an international network map archive.

He also advises Infodrome, the Dutch Government's think tank for the information society. He is the author of Technological Landscapes (London: Royal College of Art,1999) and editor of Preferred Placement: Knowledge Politics on the Web (Maastricht: Jan van Eyck Editions, 2000). In addition to a book project, Rogers is currently working on IssueAtlas.net, a piece of server-side software and a set of network maps about globalization issues.

The schedule of presentations given by Rogers on May 13 is as follows:

10:00-11:30 "Mapping Issue Networks on the Web: Methods, Techniques, Claims" Hosted by the Digital Media Working Group, Allen Auditorium

12:30-1:30 Discussion of technical aspects of Web analysis
Hosted by the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement, 1st floor of Communication Building, across from COM 120

2:00-3:00 "The News from Genoa: The Web Issue Index of Civil Society" Hosted by the Center for American Politics and Public Policy, Gowen 1B

CCCE Heads Up American Team in International Survey of Anti-War Demonstrators

On February 15, 2003, millions of people joined protest marches against war on Iraq in many countries all over the world. Some commentators have called it the largest global protest ever. Why do people take part in such demonstrations? Where do they get their political information? Are demonstrators mostly seasoned political campaigners, or have the demonstrations mobilized many first-time protesters?

These are some of the questions being investigated by a team of American and European researchers in a cooperative survey project. The CCCE led the American contingent in this major empirical research effort. With the help of student volunteers, over 2,000 questionnaires were distributed to protesters at the New York, San Francisco, and Seattle demonstrations. A copy of the survey and description of the research can be found here.

The Election Web Archive Project (EWA)


WASHINGTON, DC (March 5, 2003) - Americans interested in visiting an archive commissioned by the Library of Congress no longer need airfare to Washington, D.C. A new Web site launched this week provides access to the world's first, fully catalogued and searchable collection of material that is "born digital."

The Web site allows anyone with Internet access to research archived information in a way that was never before possible and heralds the future of electronic archives.

The Web site, http://politicalweb.info, provides public access to the world's largest collection of catalogued, born digital, Web accessible material. The collection, commissioned by the Library of Congress, includes more than 1,100 archived Web sites from political candidates running for House, Senate and Governorships in 2002. Born digital information is content that originates in digital form.

"This week marks the beginning of a new era in preserving born digital material that is user-friendly, interlinked and content rich," said Kirsten Foot, a professor with the University of Washington and one of the two lead researchers for the Web site. "This collection opens a window into the diverse, historical and cultural perspectives reflected on the Web."

The collection, called the Election 2002 Web Archive, contains more than three thousand unique URLs, has 1.3 terabytes of data and almost 50 million Web objects. The size of the archive underscores the importance of preserving and cataloguing born digital material, Foot said. Experts estimate that about seven million pages are add every day to the more than four billion Web pages that already exist online. However, Web sites have an average lifespan of only 44 to 70 days. Once pages are gone, they're gone forever - along with the cultural history, intellectual property and historical value that is found in archived paper documents. About 44 percent of the Web sites created in 1998 were gone by 1999.

"Everyone acknowledges the importance of preserving born digital material, but until recently information has not been saved in a way that can be easily retrieved and made useful to people," said Steve Schneider, co-director of the project and a professor at SUNY IT. "We are pioneering ways of collecting, cataloguing and preserving large-scale Web content that will dramatically enhance scholarship. Tomorrow's scholarly collections will not only be on library shelves, they'll also be online."

The Election 2002 Web Archive is a joint project of The Library of Congress, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and WebArchivist.org, founded in 2001 and co-directed by Drs. Foot and Schneider. For more information, visit http://politicalweb.info/.

New Project: Young Voters and Political Engagement on the Web

In the Fall of 2003, CCCE director Lance Bennett will embark on a project to document and analyze the relationship between mainstream political content on the Web and political content targeted specifically at younger citizens, with the assistance of CCCE staff member Mike Xenos. The project is made possible by support from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). The key question is the extent to which the Election Web Sphere (comprised of official candidate and political party sites, as well as sites maintained by civic, and interest or advocacy groups) overlaps with the interests and sensibilities of young Americans. Professor Bennett also plans to examine the content patterns and pathways to voting that characterize the Youth Political Engagement Sphere (comprised of sites exclusively focused on youth political engagement) in the 2002 election cycle. These analyses entail examining the explicit and implicit appeals to youth within both the Election Web Sphere and the Youth Political Engagement Sphere in the 2002 elections. The project will document the links and interfaces by which young citizens might be mobilized by the Youth Political Engagement Sphere and then find meaningful Election Web Sphere --candidate, campaign or issue campaign -- pathways leading to voting. Click here to view a description of the project.


CCCE Undergraduate Research Projects Receive Awards

Two Undergraduate Research Fellows at CCCC have received extensions of their Mary Gates Fellowships to continue their work. Carl Schroeder plans to finish his project on the mapping of the Nike anti-sweatshop activism network, and produce an analysis of how this type of network adds to our understanding of transnational advocacy. David Iozzi is finishing his project on comparative fair trade coffee networks in the United States and Denmark. Both projects can be viewed in the Undergraduate Research Section of the CCCE site. Both students have been invited to present their research at the Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium. Carl and David are also involved in two faculty-student research teams at CCCE studying activist communication strategies in transnational politics.

Inquiries and responses can be sent to ccce@u.washington.edu