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Technology & Innovation

Grassroots Online Community

In embracing a common technology—text messaging—a new online platform provides a fast, cheap and easy way to share ideas, connect them together and improve communities.

In embracing a technology that nearly everyone now possesses—text messaging—Give a Minute provides a fast, cheap and easy way to share ideas, connect them together and make them happen. As Local Project’s Jake Barton, whose firm has excelled in previous participatory projects like StoryCorps, explains, “It’s like 311 for new ideas.” … When participants text their responses, they hear back from representatives of the local agencies, non-profits and other groups working in that area. Then you might, optimally, hear back again about opportunities to get involved with like-minded individuals and organizations.


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In a world where the future of seemingly everything is online, museums — those repositories of the past — seem to resist the internet’s full digital embrace. It’s a question that’s increasingly crossed my mind thanks to a series of unrelated stories that share two common questions — how do people use museums now and how will they in the future? For every digital breakthrough enticing us to step on the virtual gas comes a cautionary tale reminding us to pump those virtual brakes. Ultimately, the online revolution is coming to museums, but is the future of museums really online?

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