(under construction, 2.17.05)
Here are references relating to deliberative polling and the internet:
1. The ongoing deliberative polling project directed by James Fishkin and the Political Communication Lab at Stanford University empirically tracks the beneficial effects produced by town hall discussions. Positive results are described in detail on a PBS website related to the project. [more information at http://pcl.stanford.edu/ ]
2. A new, completed Web mini-documentary: The "Red State Roadtrip" project by Chris Hume for the site Truthout.org. This project demonstrates the potential of quick, direct, person-to-person communication and the speed and access of the internet.
The Truthout project is a one-way communication, from the subject to the viewer; our variant proposes two-way communication. Another way to look at our approach, using this as an example: as though we were creating a simultaneous "Red State Roadtrip" and "Blue State Roadtrip" -- and then having subjects in each talk to each other directly.
For further comparison, an earlier concept in Web documentary: "The American Story" student project by Eli Pariser and friends. (Pariser is now a principal of MoveOn.org.) As described in Wired, 8.03.2000
"A group of college students and recent graduates will board their own campaign bus on Monday to create an interactive documentary that they hope will cut through what they perceive as biased and superficial reporting of politics by the mainstream media. Beginning in Camden, Maine and finishing in Washington, they'll produce a "non-linear Web documentary" that in its final form will function as a database of political perspectives in audio, video, and text formats. Everyone from prison inmates to residents of Indian reservations will be heard."
3. Among news organizations, there have been several examples of interactive sites portraying voters and their thoughts. Here is a recent design by The Wall Street Journal. A small group of voters was profiled and kept diaries over the weeks leading up to the New Hampshire primary. Here is one entry:
4. A reference for broadband audio/visual impact:
The site shows the potential of elements with web/doc photo/essay/ portraits of individual participants.
5. A reference site for traditional polls: