Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Google Moderator, Citizen Participation, And The Wisdom Of The Crowds

Google Moderator enables organizations to receive and select questions from audiences of any size. It uses a "wisdom of the crowds" paradigm of democracy. Questions for a virtual town hall style meeting are selected based on the number of votes they receive.

However, citizen participation is illusory when thousands of questions are submitted and only a few are answered. In addition, democracy supports minority and individual rights to be heard.

In live town hall meetings, questions are not voted for instead they are usually selected randomly ("You in the second row, do you have a question?"). Follow-up questions are almost always allowed.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Google Toolbar Translation Bug

The Google toolbar enables a nice translation feature. You can hover your mouse over some text and it will translate it.

See: Google translate.

Here's a small Google translation bug: If you try to translate a Google Suggestions list entry that is partially formatted in bold, the resulting translation is only for each separate segment of the word.

For example, if you enter in Google search "resta" one Google Suggestion entry is restaurant. The translation tool attempts to translate "resta" and "urant" separately. However, they aren't actually words.