[Air-L] Defining terms: "Democracy 2.0"

Julia Pellicciaro jpellicciaro at gmail.com
Fri Jan 23 09:29:05 PST 2009

Happy Friday AIR-Lers!

I have a two-pronged question to pose to you all. But first, a bit of

I am on a advisory committee for Philly NetSquared, which organizes monthly
meetings (Net Tuesdays) on using technology to advance social change
(another topic for another day). The idea being thrown around for the
February Net Tuesday is "Democracy 2.0," which when assimilated with "Web
2.0," is a very timely topic.

However, upon a quick Google search of the term, I emailed the rest of the
committee with the following information, which *I will now use to frame my
questions to all of you:
*1.* The first two Google search results (http://moourl.com/r3jcz) are from
Mobilize.org, which conducted a survey of Millennials way back in 2002, and
their thrust at the time focused strictly on Millennials identifying
specific needs for change (http://moourl.com/l5vqp). The third result is
Digg citing a broken link from wiki-law.org (http://moourl.com/z9kow):

Democracy 2.0 is an experiment that hypothesizes that a wide range of
> individuals can contribute to the creation of our nation's laws through a
> wiki on the web. Democracy 2.0 hopes to answer the following question: if
> the country started from scratch today, without any laws, what laws would
> you make for society?

This is not what has been intended by the term in the NetSquared discussion.
And perhaps there is a reason why this entry has been removed from

*2.* There is no entry in Wikipedia for "Democracy 2.0" (
http://moourl.com/0y09k). While Wikipedia is, of course, by no means* *the
final authority on either historical or cutting edge concepts (or anything
in between), it is generally a good gauge of which concepts the Internet
public (namely Wikipedia contributors) has formed even a somewhat stabilized
and homogenized perspective on.

While I completely understand the intended conceptual thread drawn from Web
2.0 to "Democracy 2.0," I'm a beat leary of NetSquared coining a term that
doesn't quite seem to have a single-minded use as of yet. Not to mention
that "Web 2.0" has lost some impetus as it's increasingly become cliché.

I've also searched "Democracry 2.0" on BoingBoing, ReadWriteWeb, and
Technorati. While the term is actively used as a tag on Technorati (as well
as a related tags,"Government 2.0" and "Open Source Democracy"), the other
two sites yielded null search results. There are also no entries yet on

*So my two-prong question for you is as follows:*

1. What are your thoughts (as tech savvy researchers) on the term "Democracy
2.0" and similar terms "Government 2.0" and "Open Source Democracy" (and are
there any other synonyms in use)?

2. How do we as internet researchers determine the validity of such terms in
our temperamental social-networked information age? In what cases should we
define terms and in what cases do we allow the Internet public to define

I'm really eager to hear your input.

All the best,

Julia Pellicciaro
// Passion:Purpose:Integrity //
tweet :: twitter.com/juropel
blog :: telluricaesthetic.net
Whatever is flexible and flowing will tend to grow, whatever is rigid and
blocked will wither and die.  —Tao Te Ching

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