We're excited that Corante has a new political blog called Civic Minded. The blog aims to create a "new forum for exchanging ideas, news and information about the Internet's impact on politics, government, and democracy itself." As we've been saying, the intersection between new media and politics is going to be a busy place in the next few years, and we will be following the conversation on this new blog.
Looks like there are some very knowledgeable people on the blog roster. That's a good thing, because the world of "civic engagement" is a competitive and contentious lot, and could really use some organizational -- and conversational -- talent. In one of the blog's first posts, Alexandra Samuel notes:
Just this week I noticed that Royal Roads University -- a B.C. institution that's well-respected for its online learning and dialogue activities -- has trademarked the term e-Dialogues. And James Fishkin -- who has made a very convincing case for his deliberative polling approach -- has registered the term deliberative polling. (Steve, maybe it's not too late to trademark "e-democracy".)
I understand that trademarking has become something of a preemptive war; show a little restraint, and someone else may beat you to the punch. But instead of making it harder for people to follow in your footsteps, why not establish the trademark and let other practitioners use it, too?
We agree. It's sad and ironic that some folks in the general movement -- which stands for the principle that democracy should be more inclusive -- are scrambling for IP protection when they should be working toward consensus. Can we deliberate on this point?