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The BBC’s new iCAN civic engagement project is in beta

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Matt Jones announces the beta version of iCan, a BBC project concerned with civic engagement and local activism. There are also notes about it from Danny O’Brien, iWire and Flambingo; plusit is worth looking back to the presentation that Matt and James did at last year’s ETCON
The concept behind iCan is great – truly a reflection of the public service ethos of the BBC and one of the reasons why we should support the organisation’s continued funding and special role. Of course there are issues about the BBC’s very British (and mainstream) notions of objectivity and balance and what is beyond the pale. Can we envisage iCan being used to facilitate a major campaign of regime change in the UK or opposition to the US war-without-end, or as BBCi citizens are we supposed to be only interested in dog-mess on streets and cracked paving stones? It will be fascinating to see how it evolves and deals with these tricky issues
The system will obviously be judged by its results rather than its design, so it would be churlish to offer an opinion on what is currently an empty shell. It will need, and should be given, time to develop a sense of community
Definitely one to keep en eye on….

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