Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech

September 2017

Designing useful civic tech research at scale: why methods matter

The Hewlett Foundation has asked for help in crowdsourcing research design for citizen reporting on public services. This is great; it’s a fantastic way to design useful research, and shows that Hewlett is maintaining the strong commitment to evidence and rigorous question asking that is so important to this field. The post has already generated some useful discussion, and I’m sure that they are...

research links w 37 -17

I’m going to start prioritizing brevity, leaving out some of the absurdity and academic opps, let me know if you miss anything. Findings How to improve the quality of crowdsourced citizen science data? Technical measures help, but only when accompanied by instructions, according to an empirical study of four cases. Meanwhile, open data on public safety and transportation are the most...

Cosgrove goes to Washington

I’ve just finished my first week at Georgetown University, where I’ll be through the end of 2017 (locals can find me at cw986). I’m here to do field work for a case study on the institutional context of open government, and it’s an exciting theme to be digging into right now, as the US revamps work on it’s much speculated OGP participation.

The (other) problem with scholarship on digital politics

Update: My review of Analytical Activism is up at Information, Communication & Society (gated). Here’s a free e-print and the preprint. One of the great dangers of the digital moment we currently are liveing through is that the discipline as a whole will succumb to a particularly virulent form of availability bias. It is easy to gather Twitter data. It is harder to navigate the Facebook...

A belated summer dump (w 28-36)

So I’ve been away for a whopping 8 weeks, bouncing between holidays,  summer schools, consultancies and moving the fam to DC. Somehow the internet refused to stop while I was gone. So as I get back into the swing of things, here is an abbreviated summary of the summer’s findings in civic tech research, plus a couple of choice weeds and reflections.

Methodical Snark critical reflections on how we measure and assess civic tech


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