Skip to the main content

Berkman Buzz, week of July 21

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

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

* Charles Nesson describes his motivation for hosting PBS's upcoming "Emancipation and Independence."
* David Weinberger finds new Pew blog report informative.
* Rebecca MacKinnon interviews Chinese entrepreneurs about censorship.
* Urs Gasser outlines Palfrey's lecture on cyberspace history.
* Dan Gillmor refers readers to Hsing Wei's citizen media survey.
* OpenNet Initiative documents Internet filtering in India.
* Center for Citizen Media podcasts conversation with

The full buzz.

"On August 1, 2006, Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence Day, I am hosting a program on the Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica’s inaugural broadcast titled “Emancipation and Independence” in which Jamaican leaders talk with me about Jamaica’s journey to freedom and the issues of emancipation and independence which still confront them. This program and accompanying distribution through public media is a joint production by PCBJ and the Berkman Center in association with SET. SET is a rehabilitation program rooted in Kingston’s prisons which teaches self development and digital skills, and which aspires to spread its wake-up development message to all Jamaicans. SET stands for Students Expressing Truth, which is the name the prison inmates chose to assert the core value their rehabilitation..."
Charles Nesson, "Notes and Fruits of Our Berkman Retreat"

"Pew Internet has a new report on a national survey of bloggers. It's the usual great stuff from Pew. 'Eight percent of internet users, or about 12 million American adults, keep a blog. Thirty-nine percent of internet users, or about 57 million American adults, read blogs - a significant increase since the fall of 2005. 37% say their favorite topic is their life and experiences. 55% blog under a pseudonym. 52% blog to express themselves creatively. Only 27% say they blog to influence how other people think. 87% allow comments. Only 18% say they have an RSS feed.Bloggers are racially and genderly diverse. 34% consider their blog to be a form of journalism. 56% spend time fact checking. (Let's assume that the 56% includes the 34%, or else much merriment shall ensue.)'..."
David Weinberger, "Pew report on bloggers"

"I've met with local Internet entrepreneurs, bloggers, Westerners doing business here in the Chinese Internet sector, some diplomats, and some low-level bureaucrats. I'm struck by the degree of disconnect between what the international human rights and free speech community is intending to do, and the way the criticisms of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! are perceived here on the ground.  While the leading international free speech and human rights activists view corporate collaboration in Chinese censorship as part of a global problem which will have a major impact on the future of the internet and free speech worldwide, most people in China who are aware of the issue see the debate mainly in terms of whether or not Internet companies should engage in China. They also see it as part of a larger political agenda to demonize China, or as an effort by Americans to tell the Chinese how to run their country..."
Rebecca MacKinnon, "The Internet & Human Rights - a long analysis"

"John Palfrey runs a session today at the Oxford Internet Institute’s Summer Doctoral Program on Internet Generativity, presenting and discussing Jonathan Zittrain’s paper on Internet Generativity (a.k.a. Z-Theory). John starts mapping the evolution of cyberlaw and policy discourses, leading up to the Z-theory..."
Urs Gasser, "JP/JZ Mash-up: Live from OII SDP"

"According to a just-released survey — “The Hype vs. Reality vs. What People Value: Emerging Collaborative News Models and the Future of News” — by Hsing Wei (pictured left) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, they are (among many, many other things): * mostly young and male, especially those who visit technology-related sites; * very active in their use of the sites; * looking for “a fix of unique, informative fun.”
* and “filling in the blanks” left by traditional news sources;       * sharing what they know; * looking for and finding multiple perspectives. I was especially intrigued by some of the data about why people participate. From the summary..."
Dan Gillmor, "Collaborative News Survey"

"Indian ISPs are as of July 13 blocking several Web sites, including Blogspot, Typepad, and Geocities. Several reports by bloggers seem to confirm that it is India’s Department of Telecommunications (DOT) that has requested Indian ISPs to filter the sites. Slashdot and Boingboing have picked up this story as well. The DOT has provided ISPs with a list of Web sites to block that runs 22 pages long. The list itself has not been made public, but several bloggers have started asking people to file a Right to Information (RTI) request asking the government to release the list of blocked sites. Not satisfied with the government’s lack of transparency, bloggers have been organizing themselves and keeping track of which ISP blocks what website. Vijay Rao wonders if the block is restricted to major cities only..."
OpenNet Initiative, "India Blocks Sites"

"That’s the whole point of Nashvillistalking — the title of the site is what it’s about. My job is to keep an eye on all of the locally produced blogs and be a human aggregator for what everybody is talking about. We just had a recent death-row execution, and there was a lot of talk about that, both pro and con; I try to do roundups where if you want a good sampling of where poeple are on one issue, you can come to Nashvilleistalking and find something from everybody who’s written about it…I notice that some people even start blogs after having read Nashvilleistalking; they notice that we have a really vibrant online community and they want to participate. Nashvilleistalking is not only a reflection of what bloggers are saying but has also inspired some people to start their own blog..."
Center for Citizen Media, "Conversation with Brittney Gilbert of"