We need public spaces, built in the spirit of Walt Whitman, that allow us to gather, communicate, and share in something bigger than ourselves.
How might we leverage the democratic power of the Internet for good and positive change? How might we offer an alternative to the walled gardens provided by major social media platforms? These are questions being asked by Eli Pariser in this opinion piece at Wired, and he poses a novel suggestion – create the online equivalent of a public park. Pariser outlines three shortcomings of existing social media platforms and offers the three greatest challenges of building responsible online public infrastructure. In January of this year, the organization that the author co-leads organized a conference to discuss these ideas. The New Public Festival was "an emergent conversation over three days in our online park with an extraordinary group of designers, urbanists, technologists, builders, artists, and civic futurists." - WC