1. Efatland.Website : Personal website of Eirik Fatland
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  3. WebTing A democratic interface

illustration of the four phases of a WebTing issue


WebTing, taking it's name from "ting" - the Scandinavian word for "parliament", is a design for online democracy, an application that should enable an online community or organization to reach democratic decisions. It emphasizes deliberative democracy, the position that the crucial component of democratic legitimacy is the open and informed discussion that precedes a decision. As such, the WebTing design embodies a different take on online discussions, an interface intended to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of digital conversations.


The WebTing design was produced as part of my MA Thesis / diploma work at Media Lab Helsinki, delivered in December 2007.


The final design was arrived at through a combination of both theoretical and hands-on exploration, primarily: an analysis of multi-user software (chapter 2 of the thesis), the gathering of design patterns (Appendix A), and the exploration of design for related projects (CCEU - documented in chapter 4, as well as urban mediator). The WebTing design can be seen as one output of the process - the ideas discussed explored in the theory sections and in the design patterns may form the basis for other approaches to democratic software especially and to community software in general.


The WebTing design is documented in chapter 5 of the thesis, and detailed enough for a prototype implementation. The thesis was well received, and attracted interest from political activists, researchers and open source programmers outside of Media Lab. I am currently exploring possibilities to implement the CCEU designs either as a volunteer-driven open source project, or as a research project. If you are interested in contributing to such an effort, get in touch.