Passionate People + Personal, Local Knowledge = Citizen Power Unleashed

A few years ago when I first started learning about social media and sharing examples in Federal, state and local government, one of the examples I used to show the power and potential of wikis was Davis, CA. Several citizens had created a wiki which became the de facto place to find information about the town. Building on the enthusiasm and expertise they generated from the project, they decided to create a dedicated software called LocalWiki so that other cities can follow suit. Here’s how they tell their story:

Little did I know that I’d have a chance to participate in a similar project built on the LocalWiki platform right here in my own backyard…until this past weekend when I joined with nearly 50 other citizens from across the Research Triangle region of North Carolina (which includes Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh) to build the Triangle Wiki. You can learn more about our activities in this great summary by CityCamp Raleigh co-founder Jason Hibbets. A couple sound bites from Jason’s post:

Right away, people started creating pages, collaborating with each other, and helping one another with wiki best practices, formatting, mapping, and more. By 10:30am ET, #triwiki was trending on Twitter in Raleigh.

The group made a lot of progress. Fueled by Klausie’s Pizza for lunch and a bunch of snacks and soda provided by organizers, here are the results of Triangle Wiki Day:

  • 633 page edits
  • 100 maps
  • 138 new photos added

The event wrapped up around 2:00 pm and contributors continued to add pages after the in-person collaboration with a goal of 1,000 pages by March 14.

Last week, Kevin Curry of Code for America posted here on GovLoop about the broader movement that’s happening in more than a dozen cities across the country over the next month. I’m proud to be a part of it. Maybe you can initiate one in your city!

What do you think? Could a wiki work in your city?

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Jason Hibbets

Nice stuff Andy. Here is a new post that includes reactions from project organizer Reif Serozi and LocalWiki co-founder Phil Neustrom.

LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

Enjoy…and keep making those wiki pages!