Skip to the main content

Berkman Buzz, week of June 9, 2006

A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. If you'd like to receive this by email, click here.

What’s going on…take your pick here or browse below.

* Bill McGeveran muses about online dating fraud.
* Ethan Zuckerman elaborates on generativity as advocacy platform.
* John Palfrey looks at profit options for bloggers.
* Rebecca MacKinnon examines Google China censorship outcomes.
* Dan Gillmor throws in his two cents on Wikipedia.
* David Isenberg shares Lessig's network neutrality op-ed.

The full buzz.

"I can't see why fraud in love merits more regulation online than in any other setting.  That is, things like bigamy and theft are out of bounds (and fibbing by the services, rather, than by the suitors, may be a form of consumer fraud). Otherwise, all's - well, I wouldn't say fair, but it's at least legal..."
Bill McGeveran, "Slate on Internet Dating"

"What’s great about generativity as a central principle is that it’s a positive idea we can embrace, rather than fighting battles against multiple foes real and imagined. It’s easy to rally people against censorship and net filtering, harder to rally then against changes to network neutrality rules, and very hard to rally folks in support of the ability to speak and code anonymously. It may be more productive to rally people in favor of the power of the Internet to enable creativity..."
Ethan Zuckerman, "Zittrain gets me thinking about generativity and aggregation"


"If you are a blogger, how do you go about making some money from your work? One obvious answer is the classic approach of throwing BlogAds or Google ads or whathaveyou ads on your blog. That works for some people, but it generates more than beer money only for a select few at the left-hand side of that famous power law distribution. Some, like Mike Arrington at TechCrunch, have added premium sponsorships to the mix; then again, Mike’s plainly in the select few. Others contend that a blog is itself an advertisement. You don’t make money on the blog itself, but rather you make money on other things (as in the artist who gives away his or her content on a p2p service and makes money on other things to pay the rent). I trust that we’ll kick around these ideas, but also get into some new possibilities: shouldn’t really simple syndication allow for some new thinking around getting people to pay for the content you create? And are there ways for bloggers themselves to get on the bandwagon of making some of the money that the venture guys are planning to make? How could that work, exactly? Put another away: lots of people have spent lots of digital ink (sound and images too) on the general problem of “how do you monetize the long tail?”..."
John Palfrey, "The 'How to Make Money' Session at Bloggercon"

"Google is reconsidering whether its launch of a censored Chinese service,, was the right thing to do.. especially given that only 1 percent of Chinese internet users actually use most still prefer to use despite the fact that it's harder to access. What a revelation...Chinese users do in fact prefer non-censored products over the neutered versions when given the choice ..."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "Chinese bloggers fight Google censorship with voodoo"

"One of Wikipedia’s best characteristics is its recognition that we can liberate ourselves from the publication or broadcast metaphors from the age of literally manufactured media, where the paper product or tape for broadcasting was the end of the process. My mantra as a journalist was a simple one: My readers know more than I do. We may (should I use this word?) collectively not get it right, and in fact humans almost never get anything entirely right, but get closer the more we assemble new data and nuance..."
Dan Gillmor, "Community not Hive"

"Without net neutrality, the Internet would start to look like cable TV. A handful of massive companies would control access and distribution of content, deciding what you get to see and how much it costs. Major industries such as health care, finance, retailing and gambling would face huge tariffs for fast, secure Internet use -- all subject to discriminatory and exclusive dealmaking with telephone and cable giants. We would lose the opportunity to vastly expand access and distribution of independent news and community information through broadband television. More than 60 percent of Web content is created by regular people, not corporations. How will this innovation and production thrive if creators must seek permission from a cartel of network owners?"
David Isenberg, "Lessig & McChesney on Network Neutrality"

To get the buzz by email, just sign up here.