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E-Democracy.org – Project Blog

Wild Day in Minneapolis Issues Forum

Written by Tim Erickson

Its been a crazy couple of days in the Minneapolis Issues Forum, with (by my count) 111 different individuals posting a total of 203 messages over the course of three days. On election day (Nov. 7th) there were 79 posts! While, we don’t have any official record, this is by far the most active day I’ve seen in ANY of our forums.

(Added a day later: I just calculated that 15% of the subscribed members of the Mpls Issues Forum actually posted a message within 3 days).

Driving much of the discussion is a “made for the internet” political scandal (of sorts), in which it was recently revealed that a newly elected member of the Minneapolis School Board, Chris Stewart, is behind a “satirical” web site that emerged shortly before the election. The web site in question, included racial “humor” that suggested Indepentance Party Candidate Tammy Lee had run a racist campaign against her opponent Keith Ellison, who on Tuesday became the first black Congressman from Minnesota.

The story was “broke” by local bloggers over the weekend and quickly spread to the Issues Forum. It took the local media several days to catch up, until they confirmed the allegations in an article early yesterday. Its been interesting to watch the interplay between the local blog scene, the Issues Forum, and mainstream media – as this story has developed. It was a post in the Issues Forum, which lead me to this blog which had the most detailed response from Chris Stewart, that I’ve found as of yet.

It was interesting to read/watch the forum, as many members who initially had been skeptical of the accusations against Mr. Stewart (and said so in the forum), were finally forced to express their regrets, with many of them calling for Mr. Stewart’s resignation.

To get a tast of the discussion:

    Its getting nasty out there
    Chris Stewart Admits to Creating Hate Site
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2 Comments on Wild Day in Minneapolis Issues Forum

I’d just like to follow up on my own post, because this is a really important ‘Issues Forum’ story. For MANY people, our concept of limiting folks to 2 posts per day is contrary to assumptions about encouraging participation. BUT, we’ve always claimed and believed that while the two post per day does suppress the number of posts per individual it encourages a diversity of participation.

In some ways, the idea that 111 DIFFERENT individuals posted to the Mpls Issues Forum in just three days is VERY IMPORTANT. That’s 15% of the subscribed members that actually POSTED over the course of several days. I think that very few forums could boast that level of participation. And this is an open political forum thats over 8 years old.

The more I think about this, the more noteworthy I find this story.

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