iCan... **not** Apple's new toilet.
November 4, 2003 12:08 PM   Subscribe

The BBC introduces it's new grass-roots political website iCan. After research showed (surprise surprise) that "many people are very disillusioned and cynical about politicians and local civic institutions" moves were made to set up iCan, to enable people to get information on and engage in local and national political issues. With search tools to find actions on local issues, message boards, and the ability to create a website for your cause, "iCan aims to make politics accessible to ordinary people confronting a problem." It's also one of the things Rupert Murdoch and The Guardian would like to squash.
posted by Blue Stone (7 comments total)
many people are very disillusioned and cynical about politicians and local civic institutions

...but probably NOT as cynical as the politicians themselves, unfortunately.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:26 PM on November 4, 2003

Huh? Apple bought Canada and rebranded it?
posted by stonerose at 1:34 PM on November 4, 2003

D'oh. Didn't see the clever post title. Anyway, everyone knows the Apple toilet is called the iPood.
posted by stonerose at 1:35 PM on November 4, 2003

In fairness, the Grauniad, Murdoch, et al seem to be against the main BBC portal, not iCan itself.

It's an interesting thing this. There's been a fair amount of backlash against the site, but as far as I can tell, most of that backlash seems to be "How can this Local Politics site do anything about national and global issues." Which seems to miss the point somewhat.

If this site had been created by the American Government or Microsoft, we'd be suspicious as hell. If the site had been invented by Linus Torvalds, we'd all be crowing on about how fantastic it is. The reaction to the BBC seems to be "huh, yes, so what."

This has the potential to be great "social software". I hope that the BBC continue to advertise and fund it, and I hope that people find it useful. I also hope that this signals the direction the "publicly funded" BBC is going towards.

Great stuff.
Now back to that other great british institution. Brookside (21 years old and the Last episode ever)
posted by seanyboy at 4:03 PM on November 4, 2003

seanyboy (you great Northern beardster) - everyone knows that Brookie jumped the porpoise (for want of a better phrase) back when the siege finished - 15 years ago? more? Them was the days, Booby, She & Damon ruled the Close, 2CV-driving posh bird had yet to discover her mystical forensic powers, bodies under the patio...

Anyway, anyone in Oxford wanna make 'emself useful with a local, community minded campaign? Use BBC iCan - and maybe we'll build a bridge....(search iCan for 'Oxford green bridge' if this link fails...)
posted by dash_slot- at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2003

I think it's brilliant. I wish there was something that organized about local politics here.
posted by dejah420 at 9:40 PM on November 4, 2003

Unfortunately the rules sound rather cowardly -
"No campaigning before elections. In the interests of fairness, we don't allow users to campaign for political parties or candidates in the run-up to an election. Candidates in a forthcoming election should also refrain from contributing to iCan, and there will be no new activity on any iCan campaigns which could influence those elections."
Why not? Surely promoting online campaigning would help revitalise local politics, and how are most campaigns supposed to have an effect if they can't influence elections?
posted by malevolent at 1:10 AM on November 5, 2003

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