The Perils of Using Technology to Solve Other People’s Problems

Ethan Zuckerman in The Atlantic: “I found Shane Snow’s essay on prison reform — “How Soylent and Oculus Could Fix the Prison System” — through hate-linking…. Some of my hate-linking friends began their eye-rolling about Snow’s article with the title, which references two of Silicon Valley’s most hyped technologies. With the current focus on the U.S. […]

Directory of crowdsourcing websites

Directory by Donelle McKinley: “…Here is just a selection of websites for crowdsourcing cultural heritage. Websites are actively crowdsourcing unless indicated with an asterisk…The directory is organized by the type of crowdsourcing process involved, using the typology for crowdsourcing in the humanities developed by Dunn & Hedges (2012). In their study they explain that, “a process is a sequence of tasks, through which an […]

Better research through video games

Simon Parkin at the New Yorker:”… it occurred to Szantner and Revaz that the tremendous amount of time and energy that people put into games could be co-opted in the name of human progress. That year, they founded Massively Multiplayer Online Science, a company that pairs game makers with scientists. This past March, the first fruits […]

The Behavioral Economics Guide 2016

Guide edited by Alain Samson: “Since the publication of last year’s edition of the Behavioral Economics (BE) Guide, behavioral science has continued to exert its influence in various domains of scholarship and practical applications. The Guide’s host,, has grown to become a popular online hub for behavioral science ideas and resources. Our domain’s new […]

The Billions We’re Wasting in Our Jails

Stephen Goldsmith  and Jane Wiseman in Governing: “By using data analytics to make decisions about pretrial detention, local governments could find substantial savings while making their communities safer…. Few areas of local government spending present better opportunities for dramatic savings than those that surround pretrial detention. Cities and counties are wasting more than $3 billion a year, […]

Post, Mine, Repeat: Social Media Data Mining Becomes Ordinary

Book by Helen Kennedy that “…argues that as social media data mining becomes more and more ordinary, as we post, mine and repeat, new data relations emerge. These new data relations are characterised by a widespread desire for numbers and the troubling consequences of this desire, and also by the possibility of doing good with […]

Nudging for Success

Press Release: “A groundbreaking report published today by ideas42 reveals several innovations that college administrators and policymakers can leverage to significantly improve college graduation rates at a time where completion is more out of reach than ever for millions of students. The student path through college to graduation day is strewn with subtle, often invisible […]

In Your Neighborhood, Who Draws the Map?

Lizzie MacWillie at NextCity: “…By crowdsourcing neighborhood boundaries, residents can put themselves on the map in critical ways. Why does this matter? Neighborhoods are the smallest organizing element in any city. A strong city is made up of strong neighborhoods, where the residents can effectively advocate for their needs. A neighborhood boundary marks off a […]

The Ideal Digital City

Digital Communities Special Report: “With urban areas continuing to grow at a substantial rate — from 30 percent of the world’s population in 1930 to a projected 66 percent by 2050, according to the United Nations — getting the urban experience right has become paramount. To help understand the building blocks to a successful digital […]