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Berkman Buzz, week of August 11

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

In addition to our look at the past week's online Berkman conversations, we're taking a close look at conversations from 
"Wikimania 2006" and "Citizen Journalism Unconference."

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

* Open Net Initiative details censorship in Vietnam.
* Bill McGeveran and Terry Fisher document limitation of copyright in a digital education age.
* Rebecca MacKinnon defends citizen journalism.

Talk about Wikimania 2006.

* Ethan Zuckerman blogs about Wikipedia's problems.
* David Weinberger sums up Mitch Kapor's talk about Wikipedia community.
* BC Law IPTF blog thinks about copyright and Wikipedia.
* J Baumgart comments on wikis and usefulness to libraries.

Talk about Citizen Journalism Unconference.

* Gerd Stodiek recaps local blog talk about their improvement.
* Betsy Devine gives tips to citizen journalists.
* Doc Searls summarizes Citizen Journalism Unconference.

The Full buzz.

"Vietnam focuses particular effort on blocking access to sites related to topics that challenge the state's political orthodoxy, such as those treating political dissidents, political democracy, or the proposed Vietnam Human Rights Act in the United States Congress. Sites on topics related to domestic religious faiths, such as Buddhism and Caodai, are also subject to blocking, though less extensively. In nearly all cases, sites in the Vietnamese language are far more likely to be blocked than sites in the English or French languages..."
Open Net Initiative, "Internet Filtering in Vietnam 2005-2006: A Country Study"

"Perhaps no area holds more potential for such transformation than education. Many diverse and exciting initiatives demonstrate how rich sources of digital information could enhance the transfer of knowledge. Yet at the same time, the change in education arguably has been less radical, especially in comparison to mundane endeavors such as selling a used bicycle or booking hotel rooms. There are many complex reasons for this slow pace of change, including lack of resources and resistance to new practices. As this white paper explains, however, among the most important obstacles to realizing the potential of digital technology in education are provisions of copyright law concerning the educational use of content, as well as the business and institutional structures shaped by that law..."
Bill McGeveran and Terry Fisher, "The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles of Educations Use of Content in the Digital Age"

"In the world of read-write journalism, the public is not merely reading and listening to our reporting but participating - as well as filling in gaps that journalists may not be reporting at all for lack of resources, lack of space or airtime, editor's lack or interest, commercial pressures or the parent organization's political fear. Jeff Jarvis has written up a great set of recommendations for how journalism should be taught in the new read-write age. He made a great point about how journalists need to become curators and moderators of conversations  related to the subjects they cover taking place across the web.  A real value-add that professional journalists bring to the table is solid journalistic editing. According to the latest Pew study, despite the proliferation of information out there on the web, most people have not increased the amount of time they spend each day consuming it. Which means that there is a very valuable role for professionals to help the overwhelmed public find what they want and what they need to know - from credible sources - without spending all day looking. This should of course be in addition to the solid, hard work of infoming those conversations with strong old-fashioned gumshoe reporting that bloggers with day jobs might not have the time and resources to do. Those are a full-time journalist's major value-adds. It is definitely also true that the read-write web forces journalists to learn new ways to collaborate with bloggers and other non-professional creators of citizens media - not only for the sake of a better story but because audiences, especially younger ones, will increasingly expect to participate, not just consume information passively..."
Rebecca MacKinnon"'Real' Journalism on the Read-Write Web"

"One solution might be to push the Wikipedia community towards the idea of stable releases, though the community appears to push back against it. K-12 librarians aren’t going to accept Wikipedia with the rough edges it currently has - Mark Walker’s “stable” or “validated” Wikipedia proposals would allow Wikipedia to hand librarians a stable, not beta version. There’s decades of quality control experience in F/OSS to learn from. In offering advice to the Wikipedia community, West suggests that Wikipedia may need to learn from smaller wikiprojects - central authority often lacks control, and Wikipedia has become an enormous project to manage. ..."
Ethan Zuckerman"Wikimania: Wikipedia and F/OSS - some challenging comparisons"

"As a technologist, I had some unlearning to do when I entered the Wikipedia community" because the tools weren't all that good. But, Jimmy Wales taught him that the "secret sauce" isn't technology. It's community. It's the shared values: NPOV, being prepared to be edited, learning to make your opponent's case. To become a Wikipedian is to internalize those values...."
David Weinberger"[wikimania] Mitch Kapor"

"Kahle founded, among other things, the Internet Archive. His goal these days is “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” Part of his platform engages U.S. Attorney General Albert Gonzalez, in a suit seeking declaratory judgment, particularly against the Copyright Term Extension Act (”CTEA”). Kahle is working on building digital libraries of all available human knowledge. In his way is the CTEA that is blocking his publishing of books written between 1964 and 1978. Prior to the CTEA, these books would be public domain in 2004. But the CTEA extended their copyright, regardless of the will of the copyright owners, for “effectually perpetual” terms. Civil Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Kahle v. Gonzalez (Civil Case No. 04-1127). Kahle argues that if we could allow these works to fall gracefully into the public domain, then projects such as his Digital BookMobile, which publishes print-on-demand books for $1 a pop, could thrive and the world will be a better place. If copyright holders wish to continue their copyright, they may do so. But those who don’t, the holders of “orphan” works, should let their copyrights fall to the public domain. Allow a “conditional copyright regime” as opposed to the “unconditional” one established by the CTEA..."
BC Law IPTF, "Wikimania 2006 - Kahle v. Gonzalez"

"Mary Chimato is talking now of her medical library's adoption of a wiki and how people have been contributing to it and helping it grow. Once they got the wiki going, many staff members realized how they could use it for various useful purposes. Ellyssa Kroski tells us about the wiki her library staff began for tough reference questions. Her staff realized they lose information when they refer an inquiry to someone else in the library, then never learn the answer themselves. The wiki is one attempt to close that gap and record the knowledge for future use. Some people had a difficult time understanding the purpose of the wiki. Marketing the tool and its purpose is important..."
J Baumbart,  "Wikimania: Libraries and Wikis"

"The myth of the "magical work creation" and the corporate world calls it "user generated content." Placeblogs need improvements in autodiscovery of blogs via location, plug-ins for one-off advertising, going beyond reverse chronology, lightweight distributed directory technology. Demand for local journalism is there, yet the newspapers stopped publishing the "country correspondance" and replaced it with wire stories. Doc Searls mentions edhat as a great source for soft local news; he's looking to expand, since the local newspaper is crumbling in Santa Barbara. Williams adds that resort towns seem to have more placeblogs. Elizabeth Osder works at Yahoo News and wants to exchange ideas how to improve meta tags and improve the way how to find blogs. Westportnow is editor, publisher and politician of the town and says the site has become a key source in Westport, especially for real estate and its popular "take down" of the day. A lot of little companies will do fine, but setting the goals between making a living and being the next Google is tough, thinks Jason Calacanis..."
Gerd Stodiek"Live From Citimedia Unconference (Part 1)"

"So, you didn't go to journalism school--and nobody but Wordpress is going to publish your findings? If you find a story you care about, stick with it--you'll be doing what "real reporters" too often can't do.  Here are some of the things that I did with the NH phone-jamming scandal:
1. Create a timeline with lots of hyperlinks, to help new readers figure out what happened when.
2. Create a reference page with a who's-who list.
3. Go to public court hearings and report on what you find out.
4. Blog quotes from local papers or citizen opinions. That way, even if they disappear into some newspaper's invisible archives, people can still read the copy that you've preserved.
5. When you see something that's wrong, blog it loud and clear.
6. When you see something that's fishy, dig into it and blog your discoveries..."
Betsy Devine"My advice to citizen reporters"

"What a placeblog is. A criticism is that it's "minor", when they're really about the lived experience of a place. Attention will fall on stuff that newspapers cover, but in general there is not necessarily a lot of overlap between them. A lot of attention of a placeblog is often on what never appears in the newspaper. ..."
Doc Searls, Summary of the Citizen Journalism Unconference