October 22, 2014

Discovering community conversations

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A screenshot showing the CU-CitizenAccess.org application for searching local events on Facebook.

CU-CitizenAccess.org

A screenshot showing the CU-CitizenAccess.org application for searching local events on Facebook.

As part of an ongoing project called Intersections, we are working on digital tools that help the community see the events and issues first publicized, and sometimes only publicized, through social media. We hope this can increase community engagement and conversations on those events and issues.

With help of grants from foundations, the digital team at CU-CitizenAccess.org has been working on a project called “Intersections” — a project that allows citizens to see how social media intersects with their lives every day and in every way, including events, policies, ideas, opinions or decisions.

We are offering a beta (in progress) version of one of the parts of the early stages of our work in which we gather information from Facebook to locate events and topics of interest in Champaign-Urbana.

This Intersection project was awarded a 2014-2015 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education grant through the Online News Association. (journalism.org)

Read more about our goals on the Online News Association’s awards announcement website.

Facebook Events Search

In this digital tool, we have created a list of Facebook Groups and Pages that are active in the Champaign-Urbana area. And using that list, our software scans for updates and adds them to a searchable database.

Try searching for areas or topics of interest.

Type a search term into the box below. Add dates to make the results more specific.

Click here to load the application at facebook.cu-citizenaccess.org.