The Internet & Politics -- Like Classics & Jazz?

12/8/2004 11:29 am

In preparation for our conference, Votes, Bits & Bytes this week, we've released a Working Hypothesis about the way the internet has, and has not, altered politics in recent years. The Hypothesis, which was developed in a series of planning meetings for the conference, argues that the internet hasn't revolutionized politics, but it has created the potential for long-term change, both positive and negative. In 2004, the internet helped campaign organizers improvise and tailor their messages to local audiences. The Hypothesis speculates that the best model for campaigns might not be "a pure-play Internet strategy but rather a combination of 'classical' campaign tactics with the 'jazz' of these new Internet-enabled activities." Read the hypothesis, posted on and with the Conference Briefing Materials, and learn more about Votes, Bits & Bytes on the conference website.

Forum Debate Announced!

12/2/2004 6:26 pm

Next week, the Berkman Center hosts its bi-annual Internet & Society Conference, Votes, Bits & Bytes. The featured speakers at Thursday night's kick-off event have just been announced. Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney '04, will talk with Joe Trippi, former campaign manager for Howard Dean, about the effect of the Internet on politics and the way Democracts and Republicans used the web in 2004. Kathleen Matthews, news anchor and Fellow at the Institute of Politics, will moderate. The event will take place at 6pm on Thursday, December 9, in the John F. Kennedy Forum at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Register to attend all three days of Votes, Bits & Bytes now. Registration is free, but only a few spots remain.

Old Media Loses Ground?

11/18/2004 9:16 am

As part of The Future of Digital Media project, Orb interviewed Jeff Jarvis, experienced editor and blogger, about the roles of consumers and technology in emerging digital media. Jarvis explains the difference between old and new media. While old media has become institutionalized, blogs and other forms of new media offer a distinctly human voice because they show perspective and viewpoint. And basic economic principles are further shifting the balance of power to new media: costs of production remain high for old media, and the demand from a centralized, mass market is drying up. What lies ahead for media and journalism? Jarvis sees major opportunities for independent media producers with the future of television. In a manner similar to blogging, podcasting is the future for video and audio, and users can tailor the media to suit their wants or needs. --Contributed by Jane Yoon

E-Voting Suit Settled

11/17/2004 3:09 pm

Diebold, Inc. -- the country's leading maker of electronic voting machines -- will pay $2.6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by parties in California who claimed its machines were error-prone. Diebold has been at the center of controversies in e-voting after a number of security holes in its machines were reported and then leaked on the web in the company's private email archives. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the money will be divided among the state of California, Alameda County, and the University of California, which will launch research about how to train election monitors about electronic voting. The company's voting equipment has been blamed for a number of voting irregularities in several states (see this article, for example).

Conference Update

10/28/2004 3:27 pm

Registration has just opened for Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes.  We welcome all who are interested to register.  Please note that space is limited; if you plan to come on one day rather than both full days, please register only for that day.  More information on Thursday's keynote address will be made available soon - registration for that session is separate.  The conference promises to be incredibly exciting in this politically charged season and digital age.

Welcome to the Votes, Bits & Bytes Weblog

10/27/2004 10:12 am

This is the general weblog for Internet & Society 2004: Votes, Bits & Bytes, a conference which will take place on December 10-11, 2004 at Harvard University.  Please watch this space for updates, information on related topics, and special items from conference speakers and participants.  We hope you will join us in Cambridge in December.