Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2 VFMs launching at UBC

Two voter funded media competitions are launching at the University of British Columbia: Continuous-Time VFM and One-Time VFM -- see info at votermedia.org/ubc2010.

I'm administering the Continuous-Time VFM. Please email me if you'd like to enter: mark[at]votermedia.org.

Vote early and often at votermedia.org/communities/82-ubc-ams !

Friday, November 6, 2009

Giving talks at Stanford & Berkeley

I've recently scheduled to give these three talks:

Nov. 16 at Stanford Law School's Rock Center for Corporate Governance, mainly on the paper "Proxy Voting Brand Competition", my work on the SEC Investor Advisory Committee, and ProxyDemocracy.

Nov. 17 at U C Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies, mainly on the paper "Global Voter Media Platform" and VoterMedia.org.

Dec. 10 at the 2009 British Columbia Pension Forum, mainly on the paper "Proxy Voting Brand Competition", my work on the SEC Investor Advisory Committee, and ProxyDemocracy.

More info on the talks at votermedia.org/presentations. The papers are available at votermedia.org/publications.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Media Democracy Day this Saturday at VPL

Media Democracy Day 2009 will be this Saturday November 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street. Info at www.mediademocracyday.org/vancouver.

See you there!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Vote to allocate media funding percentages

We have implemented a new feature empowering voters to allocate percentages of a budget to competing websites/blogs at votermedia.org.

For some interesting examples, see these community pages:


UBC AMS (student union)

USA Investor Education

Monday, July 6, 2009

You can now vote at new Global Voter Media Platform

We've just released the first beta version of votermedia.org, where you can now vote on media that cover Vancouver, B.C., Canada, Iran, Microsoft, CBC etc etc. It's designed to have a page of voter-ranked media (blogs and others) for each voter community in the world. You can add new communities and new media to this voting system.

There's more explanation on the site's FAQ page, and in the paper "Global Voter Media Platform" at votermedia.org/publications.

Come and help reform our governments, corporations and other large organizations!


Monday, May 25, 2009

May 27 event: Where's the Money in Media?

Panel Discussion: CBC cuts, corporate media bailouts, exciting alternative models
Media Democracy Day Vancouver
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
6:45pm - 9:00pm
VIVO Media Arts Centre
1965 Main St. near 3rd, close to Main Street/Science World Skytrain
Vancouver, BC

naava.smolash [at] gmail.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

B.C. Politics Blog Ranking update

March voting results are now shown on the British Columbia Politics Blog Ranking. Top three ranks unchanged -- #1 Stephen Rees, #2 The Tyee, #3 Frances Bula.

Public Eye moved up from #9 to #4; Bill Tieleman from #8 to #5; Vancouver Observer from #10 to #6. Way to go!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

B.C. Politics Blog Ranking update

Today I did the monthly vote tally for the British Columbia Politics Blog Ranking. Stephen Rees moved up to #1, Paul Hillsdon up to #5, and Gordon Price up to #7 -- congrats all!

You can now vote for the March period. Thank you voters for helping us find insightful media/blogs!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UBC AMS VFM voting results

Last Wednesday (Feb 4) we counted the votes in the third annual University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society Voter Funded Media competition. As in 2007 and 2008, UBC students voted on VFM as part of the AMS council election. The competing media concentrated mainly on covering the election candidates. In 2007 and 2008, I donated $8000 for the awards; in 2009, the $8000 came from AMS funds, i.e. student fees.

It's interesting to compare the results, summarized here:

Last year I posted this discussion comparing 2008 and 2007 results. Here's my update for 2009:

(BTW I don't consider myself an expert on UBC student politics, so these are just my opinions -- please add your comments! Also keep in mind that our analysis is only based on a limited sample of experience with VFM so far.)

Now that the media-to-voters-to-media feedback loop has gone through another year's iteration, it seems to be homing in on the serious electoral campaign coverage that we designed VFM for. Media name recognition and reputation are rewarded less than before; current content is rewarded more.

For example The Underground and The 432, known more for their years of newspaper publication than for depth of election coverage, dropped from combined winnings of $2,600 in 2007 to $1,200 in 2008, then did not even enter VFM in 2009. Long term VFM heavyweights The Knoll and UBC Insiders, which I expected to dominate again in 2009, instead fell to 4th and 5th place behind two new media (Spectator and Student Media) plus the resurgent Radical Beer Tribune, all with plenty of serious info on the election campaign.

This is all consistent with a trend of voters using the competing media more and more to help inform their voting decision process. Not only was the election turnout the highest in 22 years, but also participation in the VFM vote itself was almost double its previous peak -- 3,820 in 2009 versus an estimated 2,000 in 2007.

The apparent success of UBC's annual VFM comes in spite of its perennially late launch -- opened for entry about January 15 in 2009, January 7 in 2008, and early January in 2007, instead of about September as I and the VFM Committee have advocated. The VFM administrators get hired too late, but fortunately have been capable and energetic in implementing this complex new process. (BTW Condorcet voting for the 2009 AMS exec election was another great innovation.)

Is VFM worth $8000 to UBC students? Of course I'm biased toward "yes". Not only does it help voting decisions, but media coverage doesn't end with the election. E.g. as I write this, VFM blogs are the venue for a vigorous cross-linked debate on the Elections Committee's decision to disqualify the winning presidential candidate.

Our experiments, designs, plans and implementations continue toward a Global Voter Media Platform to support pubic interest media in all voting communities year-round.

Thank you all VFM participants: AMS council, planners, administrators, media and voters! And congratulations to the media award winners...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

B.C. Politics blog ranking updated

Today I did the monthly update of the British Columbia Politics Blog Ranking ballot. The top three -- The Tyee, Stephen Rees and Frances Bula -- held their positions, but after that it was a free-for-all.

Thanks you all participants -- media, voters and commenters. I haven't added any new blogs because we're building an automated website to replace this ballot, and expand it to many more voting communities -- see Global Voter Media Platform.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Last UBC VoterMedia Awards; $8000 voting

Today I tallied the votes for the last weekly $200 pool of UBC VoterMedia Awards -- see results at http://votermedia.org/ubc. Thank you all participants!

Meanwhile, voting is underway for the $8000 AMS-sponsored VFM awards, with 10 contestants listed.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

UBC VoterMedia Awards tallied

Today I tallied the votes for the $200 weekly University of British Columbia VoterMedia Awards -- see results at http://votermedia.org/ubc. Welcome new blog The UBC Spectator! There will be one more tally on January 29.

Meanwhile the UBC AMS election campaign is in full swing -- see blog coverage linked from http://votermedia.org/ubc.

There's also an $8000 voter funded media competition running in parallel with the above -- info in my post last week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Join us to build Global Voter Media Platform

We are a group of volunteers creating a website and nonprofit organization for the next generation voter funded media system – automated and scalable to all voting communities in the world. Skills we especially need at this stage: Ruby on Rails; Ajax; website graphic design.

More info at votermedia.org/about-contact.html.

To join us, please email mark[at]votermedia.org.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

$8000 for UBC VFM

I just learned that UBC AMS will give $8000 in cash awards in a Voter Funded Media contest concurrent with their election two weeks from now. Entry deadline January 27; entry fee $150; voting January 29 - February 4. Info will soon be posted on the AMS VFM page; or contact the VFM Administrator Mitch Wright by email to vfm[at]ams.ubc.ca or phone (604) 345-8489.

This annual contest is the successor to the two I sponsored in the January 2007 and January 2008 AMS elections, but this time it's funded by the AMS. I hadn't heard anything definite until today, so wasn't sure it was going to happen.

As I've been saying in this blog and on my website, I will continue to administer and sponsor the $200 a week UBC VoterMedia Awards for two more weekly vote tallies, January 22 and 29. No doubt we'll have several of the same media/blogs in both competitions. Today's results are now posted at http://votermedia.org/ubc.

Looking forward to some great election coverage!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

UBC blog awards; AMS elections

I tallied the votes today for UBC media/blog awards -- see results at http://votermedia.org/ubc. Three more weekly tallies January 15, 22 and 29 until the AMS elections -- info on that from the AMS website:

AMS Elections

Nomination Forms are available at the front desk of the AMS Executive offices, SUB 238A, and are due Friday, January 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm. Completed forms must be returned to SUB Room 238. Up to date version of Electoral Code is now available. If you have any questions, please contact the Elections Administrator at elections[at]ams.ubc.ca.

Important Dates

  • All Candidates Meeting: Friday, January 9 6:00 – 8:00 pm in SUB Council Chambers, on the second floor.
    NOTE: Any Candidates who cannot make this meeting must send a representative OR meet with the Elections Administrator at another time
  • Official Campaign Period Begins: Friday, January 16
  • Online Voting Begins: Thursday, January 29
  • On Campus Poll Station Voting: Wednesday, February 4

Thursday, January 1, 2009

B.C. politics blog ranking updated

Happy 2009!

Today I tallied the votes and updated the British Columbia Politics Blog Ranking ballot. Top three this month are The Tyee, Stephen Rees, and Frances Bula.

Thank you all participants! Looking forward to a great year of political insights...