Using a mailing list for information exchange between cities – Proposition Communication Workgroup Brussels November 4, 2011

Proposal: Daniël Verhoeven


We pleaded for reliable and transparent information exchange in our previous proposal. I will argue that only a mailing list is both, reliable and transparent. But there are two extra arguments: a mailing list has an horizontal structure and since mail is the oldest internet application, its threshold is very low.

I will argue by excluding other applications because they lack at least one of the four qualities mentioned.

Facebook. Facebook is not reliable. Fake id’s all around, so not transparent, plenty of manipulation all around too. Zuckerberg is collaborating with governments and police, deletes groups when under pressure, remember the oil spill in theMexicanGulf. is not horizontal. It is not clear to the users who is composing it behind the curtains.

Blogs and websites: Blogs and websites are not horizontal, they can serve as a reference to a particular Assembly, but you cannot put questions to a Blog or a Website.

Twitter: Twitter is only used by  the fast adapters, threshold to high. It has also proven not to be reliable in a crisis situation. As to some analysis it is also hierarchical. It is not a social network.

Ushaidi: Ushaidi is indeed a very nice application for crowdmapping, it is plain horizontal,  it was used for 15O. I would like it, but the threshold is to high I’m afraid, and reliability cannot  be configured realy.

N-1: Very high threshold.

IRC: Fake id’s.  Not transparent.

Titanpad: Nice for making collaborative text in a small group, cannot be used for large groups…


Use a mailing list for information exchange between cities.


Making an agreement on it’s structure and its use.



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