I like MyFarm!

Now, when I started writing about micro-participation, I never envisaged the possibility of micro-farming, but there we are!

MyFarm is a great initiative from the National Trust, effectively making games like Facebook’s Farmville real.

Participants pay £30 a year to be involved, and get to vote on various decisions affecting the farm. It’s a bit like an agricultural version of MyFootballClub, which saw a bunch of people from the internet buy Ebbsfleet United.

The benefits are increasing knowledge about farming and the countryside – and also to help people understand where food comes from.

It’ a great idea – and a brave one too.

Participation, and participating

Recently I’ve been thinking a fair bit about the ‘participation deficit’ – the fact that too few people are contributing too much to society. It’s what informed my post about my view that we need more councillors.

No even half baked views or ideas yet, I’m afraid, though I’m mulling over whether to have a discussion session about this on Saturday’s GovCamp.

In discussion on Twitter about this, though, Anthony pointed me to an excellent (if lengthy!) slidedeck he has put together which includes stacks of interesting research.

Also relevant is his paper on how better engagement can save money for councils:

Democracy Pays White Paper
It strikes me, collecting these online resources and chatting online with people about issues, that we lack a decent platform to really discuss and collaborate on ideas like this. A sort of mixture between a research tool and a discussion platform.

What does it need?

  • The ability to clip, store and share articles, posts and documents like Evernote
  • The ability to easily share thoughts ideas and arguments blog-style
  • The ability to draw in discussions on other platforms, whether twitter, external blogs etc
  • To be able to comment on any of the above
  • A neat way of browsing through content and examine how it all relates to each other, similar to a mind map or Google’s wonder wheel

Does this already exist? Am not sure it does!