Shifting scales on common ground: Developing personal expressions and public opinions

Mike Ananny, Carol Strohecker, Kathleen Biddick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We present an approach and a tool for helping individuals express small story-like expressions of personal perspectives in the context of larger, collage-like incubators of public opinions. Our goal is to work with people to create technologically supported public discourse spheres in which they can both represent personal views and practice new ways of forming collective opinions. We present the design and use of one public sphere system, TexTales, a large-scale photographic installation to which people can send SMS text message captions. We review one community's experiences with TexTales, and discuss the insights we gained about how residents scale and ground their civic discourse and move between expressions of individual perspectives and public opinions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-505
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004


  • Citizen journalism
  • Civic discourse
  • Interactive community projection
  • Intermodal literacies
  • Multimodal interfaces
  • Public opinion
  • SMS text


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