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Berkman Buzz: Week of July 5, 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.

* Doc Searls remembers Persephone Miel.
* David Weinberger jots in the margin of the book's indefinite farewell.
* Ethan Zuckerman asks, "What if search drove newspapers?"
* Donnie Dong gets lawyerly with's ICP license.
* Herdict on Australia's progress toward Internet filtering.
* Andrew McAfee elaborates his Internet optimism.
* CMLP assesses debate on the reporter's privilege.
* PRX develops a free iPhone app for Boston's WBUR.
* Radio Berkman 157: "Gaming Grief"
* OpenNet Initiative on 'slandering' the Lebanese president, on Facebook.
* Weekly Global Voices: "Nigeria: The Facebook Page of Nigeria's President"

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The full buzz.

"We are what we do. We are more than that, of course, but it helps to have answers to the questions “What do you do?” and “What have you done?” Among many other notable things Persephone Miel did was survive breast cancer. It was a subject that came up often during the year we shared as fellows at the Berkman Center. It may not have been a defining thing, but it helped build her already strong character. Persephone also said she knew that her personal war with the disease might not be over. The risks for survivors are always there."
From Doc Searls' blog post Sourcing Persephone

"All part of our culture’s long goodbye to the Era of the Book. Books will be with us forever, but functionally and iconically they’re being replaced by networks that don’t glow nearly as sublimely in soft lamplight."
From David Weinberger's blog post [2b2k] The golden age of marginalia

"Zoe Fraade-Blanar presented a wonderful piece of work as her MFA thesis project for NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. “Current” is a Java application designed to sit on the desktop of a journalist and monitor trending topics on Google and the appearance of those topics within Google News. The application looks for stories that have widespread reader interest (i.e., they are trending on Google Trends) and little press coverage – these, Zoe theorizes, are the stories most profitable for news organizations to cover."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post What if search drove newspapers?

"As I have discussed in a previous entry, if Google’s ICP license is conditioned to provide filtered web search results, Google may not provide search engine service via anymore. may become a hub of Google’s services designed specifically for China’s market. Until today, the renewal of the ICP license for is still pending, and the webpage located at is still a simple link to In this post, I’d rather to discuss a more lawyering thing: is there any difference between shutting down Google.CN and blocking Google.COM.HK? Yes, they are different."
From Donnie Dong's blog post Choice of Forum in the Possible GoogleCN Dispute

"Australia’s path to Internet filtration has become darker even after the new Prime Minister has taken office. After replacing the previous and unpopular head of Australia, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, the new PM, has a lot on her plate right now. Besides the challenges of being the first female PM in Australia’s history, and the fact that the religious right is on the attack after she openly expressed her atheism, the debate on Australian Internet filtration seems to get only more complex each day, and she is providing no new hope for Internet rights activists, and freedom watchdogs."
From Alex Fayette's blog post for Herdict, Australia’s new PM and the Great Firewall Reef

"Most of these authors state that there is much that is good and beneficial about the Net. But their books heavily emphasize what’s bad and/or worrying about it. A person who woke up today after a 20-year nap and set about educating herself on the unfamiliar “World Wide Web” by reading these books would probably start panicking, and wondering why it hadn’t yet been shut down. They read like amicus briefs filed in a lawsuit against modern technology. So as a counter to these books and the cumulative impression they leave, I’m going to do something that’s frowned upon in in many bien-pensant circles: I’m going to cheerlead for technology."
From Andrew McAfee's blog post I Know I'm Not the Only Internet Optimist...

"A filmmaker's fight against an oil company seeking his raw documentary footage has spurred a national debate on the reporter's privilege, pitting media organizations and filmmakers against powerful corporations and criminal defense attorneys. At stake is the breadth of the protection given to unpublished newsgathering materials and, ultimately, the basic trust between journalists and their sources."
From Itai Maytal's blog post for CMLP, Court Battle for Filmmaker's Footage Spurs National Debate on Reporter's Privilege

"On Assignment / This feature brings public radio and its (iPhone toting) audience closer together, letting editors create assignments that anyone with the app can fulfill. A breaking news event is happening in your region? Put out an assignment asking for text, audio, or photos from the scene. Use PRX’s On Assignment curation tool to manage the submissions, then work them into your on-air or online coverage."
From the Public Radio Exchange post WBUR goes even more mobile (with our help)

This week on Radio Berkman: Professor Lisa Nakamura speaks with David Weinberger about "griefing" and how online communities respond...
Radio Berkman 157: Gaming Grief
More episodes of Radio Berkman

"On June 28th, The Guardian, Menassat, L'Orient Le Jour, and the AFP reported that Lebanon arrested 3 individuals (Naim George Hanna, Antoine Youssef Ramia, Shebel Rajeh Qasab), and Prosecutor General Saeed Mirza issued an arrest warrant for a fourth (Ahmed Ali Shuman). They were all students in their early 20's, and were placed under arrest for slander and defamation of President Michel Suleiman on Facebook. Currently, the first three have been released on bail of 100,000 L.L. each ($66.65 USD) and are expected to be tried later in Beirut with no news of the fourth suspect, according to NOW Lebanon."
From Sarah Hamdi's blog post for ONI, Lebanese Facebook Users Arrested for Defaming President

"Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan is on the popular social networking site Facebook. He opened his page to communicate with Nigerians at home and abroad on 28 June 2010. He send regular messages spelling out his vision for Nigeria and responds to comments from his followers. At the time of writing this post, his page has 97,443 followers. This is how he introduces himself: 'My life has always been about service. I am focused on serving my Creator, family and my country to the best of my ability and with your help I aim to be better at doing that.'"
From Ndesanjo Macha's blog post for Global Voices, Nigeria: The Facebook Page of Nigeria's President

(Related: Registration is now open for "ICT and Civic Engagement in Nigeria," being held July 19 in Abuja. Free and open to public.

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The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects:

Suggestions and feedback about the Buzz are always welcome and can be emailed to