Mesh/UserResearch/19 March 2013

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Tonya, Tony, Jenny, Dinette (D1 Dan Kolb office), Spike


  • Youth Radio (Tonya) - Kurt is open to a visit, asked for a time (we suggested Friday afternoons)
    • Wanted to get youth up to date on programming so that they could, for instance, join Open Oakland and build apps
  • Tonya updated the wiki page on TeachBar, which tutors young students (located in San Leandro) in math and science
  • Visited the main library's computer lab - they have computer aides that looked rather inactive
  • Building Blocks for Kids (Richmond) - ensuring all the kids are able to go to college; have a committee on digital literacy; mapping computer access landscape and working with the library - which has funding to allow them to do this kind of work (from the Institute of Museum and Library Services [$50k])
  • Tamao - Oakland Tech Exchange West - needs to update wiki pages still [edit: page looks great!?]
    • Working with the Courses coordinator and has received his wishlist
    • Seeking a volunteer to teach his accreditation class (Mon-Fri all day, 6 weeks)
    • Compromise for her to help him restart his evening and weekend classes
    • Once they have a student base, would line us up as volunteers
    • Need to communicate clearly what our mission is (collecting information through group interview visits, not working in-depth for any particular organization)
  • Tony updated wiki page on Get Connected! Oakland
  • Retry connecting to Black Girls Code
  • Jenny failed to get a response back from Youth Movement records, will try their Facebook page!
  • Jenny's going to ask the group (and Ivan especially) about going on a field trip to visit the different Oakland public libraries


  • Maybe we should get a grant! with Open Oakland as our fiscal sponsor
  • Knight Foundation grant submitted by OpenOakland - guidebook for the community and city council on how to do better at civic engagement.
    • Timeline: Decision comes through in about a month
  • Dinette is interested in doing local community trainings (including technology)
    • Wants to convey that you can use technology to engage with City Council
  • What can you do with SMS text? is a core question
  • One steward who gets a free computer for their neighborhood via Oakland Technology Exchange West, then onboards one other neighbor
  • Link between the arts and technology is underexploited
  • Getting City Council information out of the office and into the community as a mass level
  • Those who are involved tend to be of a certain age (older) and race demographic
  • Hard to get those middle-aged with families to tend, or ambivalent youth, to get involved in civic issues
  • Video index / metadata of audio transcribed and converted into keywords - potential applications for storing and sharing municipal meetings
  • ZeroDivide supports non-profits with technology / decision-making, free hosting with Dreamhost, etc;
  • Digital Stewards Program via OTI / New America Foundation -
  • Educational videos for city gov: Community meetings recorded on how government works and how different agencies in the city work - City resources are very limited, and they seek collaborations with groups such as ours. Lots of assumptions and lack of knowledge of who to go to, what agencies to talk to, how long it takes to fix things
    • Use cases and user stories / dramaticizations around particular civic issues - 5 minute videos of simple gov't how-to's
    • How to make a public presentation at city council; how to manage graffiti in your neighborhood; what to do about a pothole
    • Good soundbytes need to be spontaneously produced, though some prep of distributing questions beforehand
    • Tony offers his consulting advice

Action Items

  • Tony contact Oakland Exchange West and invite them to our next meeting and schedule a team meeting
  • Jenny will try contacting Youth Movement Records via facebook
  • Jenny will plan a rideabout with Oakland Library
  • Jenny will send info and proposal on Digital Stewards program
  • Tonya will contact Youth Radio and will look up more info on possible grant funding
  • Visit Urban Strategies on March 29th at 3pm

Next Meeting

  • Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 4th at sudo room (2141 Broadway)
  • We have a date to visit Urban Strategies on March 29th at 3pm!