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Berkman Buzz: Week of May 3, 2010

BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
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What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.

* Stuart Shieber maximizes his irony.
* Ethan Zuckerman maps the ROFLverse.
* CMLP on science journalism online.
* Doc Searls is reading an encyclopedia of economic history.
* John Palfrey gears up to write a new book.
* Weekly Global Voices: "Announcing the Breaking Borders Award Winners"
* David Weinberger's book slips the leash.
* ProjectVRM springs your shopping cart.
* Peter Suber freezes the OAN blog.
* Jake Shapiro posts his talk from the FCC's recent public media workshop.
* A year ago in the Buzz: "Theater of the DMCA Anticircumvention Hearings"

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The full buzz.

"Justin Zobel has described his experience in submitting three papers to the 2002 WMSCI conference, all three completely unsuitable for publication in any venue whatsoever. (One, for instance, consisted of alternating sentences from two other papers on different topics. Zobel’s excerpts of the papers form very entertaining reading.) All three were accepted for publication with no reviews or comments provided, even after repeated prompting."
From Stuart Shieber's blog post World’s most excruciatingly ironic conference?

"Turns out I was underestimating ROFLCon. Yes, there were panels where the main question seemed to be, “What’s it like to be a microcelebrity”… which may have included the panel danah and I moderated. And yes, there’s nothing to make you feel old and decrepit like walking into a panel where you don’t know a single one of the internet memes being celebrated. (No, I’d never heard of cornify. No, my world has not been substantially broadened by listening to their founder, wearing a unicorn mask, discuss vampires.) On the other hand, the panel on race – I can haz dream? – was one of the best conference panels I’ve ever attended."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post ROFLCon: From Weird to Wide

(Bonus: Christian Sandvig compiles what he learned at ROFLcon at

"As the day ended, there was a call to arms of sorts for scientists and journalists to collaborate and improve the communication of scientific knowledge and information to the general public. Many scientists already write online, whether for an audience of other scientists or for the general audience, on topics ranging from genetics research, to paleontology, to the search for dark matter from the South Pole. You can even get deep sea researchers' take on the Gulf oil spill. Still, on Friday there were echoes of the concern voiced by Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Natalie Angier when she said that science journalism is "basically going out of existence" as mainstream news organizations downsize science coverage."
From Helen Fu's blog post for the Citizen Media Law Project, Out of the Lab and Into the Fray, Scientists and Science Writers Talk About the New Media Environment

"A long entry in, an encyclopedia of economic history, it unpacks a remarkable but mostly-forgotten stage of business growth in North America. In reading it I wonder what relevance it might have to the current problems regarding the financing, deployment and running of Internet infrastructure, especially for rural areas that are outside the geographic scope of telephone and cable company ambitions."
From Doc Searls' blog post Fee Enterprise

"As I’ve been gearing up to write a new book, I’ve been thinking about how to do it better this time — continuous improvement and all that. Some fairly obvious observations are on my mind: stronger argument, a more compelling narrative, less repetitive, probably shorter, and one big-picture idea,* below the rest of the post. With these thoughts of self-improvement in mind, I’ve turned to the pros to see what they have to say, and found a wonder of a book. It’s by former Basic Books editorial director-turned-agent, Susan Rabiner..."
From John Palfrey's blog post Susan Rabiner, Thinking Like Your Editor

"Honoring those who are working to advance free expression on the Internet, Google and Global Voices today have announced the first winners of the Breaking Borders Award. The awards, supported by Thomson Reuters recognize outstanding web projects initiated by individuals or groups that demonstrate courage, energy and resourcefulness in using the Internet to promote freedom of expression. The prizes, each of which comes with a USC $10,000 grant, honors work in three categories: advocacy, technology, and policy."
From Ivan Sigal's blog post for the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit 2010, Announcing the Breaking Borders Award Winners

"I may blog about that later, but something quite disturbing happened during the hour-long discussion. About three-quarters of the way in, someone (let’s call him Seth because that’s not his name), said, kindly, “I understand what this book is about, but with your other books I knew why they mattered. I’m not getting why this one does.” The problem is that Seth is just about my ideal reader. He even liked my other books. So, if I can’t explain to him face to face why 2b2k matters, then I have a problem."
From David Weinberger's blog post [2b2k] What’s it all about?

"I was talking to Joe Andrieu the other day about this, and in the course of the conversation we both realized that the browser itself serves as a kind of shopping cart, the owner of which changes as you go from one retail site to another. Think about how every shopping cart you use is provided by the store. Thus the question my wife asked in 1995 (see slide #3) still hangs in the air: “Why can’t I take my shopping cart from ome site to another?” The short answer is, Because it’s not yours."
From Doc Searls blog post for ProjectVRM, Beyond Brainwash

"My days of heavy blogging at Open Access News are behind me. In July 2009, I curtailed my blogging to make room for my new work at the Berkman Center, and in January 2010 I cut back even further --essentially to zero-- in favor of the Open Access Tracking Project, a more comprehensive and scalable alert service for the now very large and very fast-growing OA movement. OATP was not designed to do what OAN once did. But for several years now, the high volume of daily OA news has made it impossible to keep doing what OAN once did, even with an assistant."
From Peter Suber's blog post for Open Access News, Housekeeping

"Public broadcasting can become the vital center of a new public media, but only if it expands to include other public service sources; if it engages people far beyond its current core audiences; if it invests in digital-first infrastructure, content and services; and if it creates value as a network of networks."
From Jake Shapiro's post for PRX, PRX at FCC Workshop on Public and Noncommercial Media

"Every three years, as mandated by Congress in Sec. 1201(a)(1)(C) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights conduct a rulemaking on exemptions from the DMCA’s prohibition on circumvention of access controls protecting copyrighted works. This year’s revival opened in Stanford, then moved here to Washington DC for a three-day run..."
From Wendy Seltzer's blog post Theater of the DMCA Anticircumvention Hearings

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The Berkman Buzz is curated weekly from the blogs of current Berkman Center directors, fellows, projects: