Berkman Buzz: January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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Berkman's currently accepting applications for our Summer 2012 Internship Program!
Also! We have a new Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation.

Dan Gillmor explores the role of the news ombudsman

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It’s time to change the role of the news ombudsman. Two new posts/columns from the people who are best known in this job today prove it.

The most recent was a head-scratching query from the New York Times’ Public Editor (aka ombudsman), Art Brisbane — asking whether the Times should be telling its readers when sources don’t tell the truth. Brisbane, a friend, has taken a lot of heat for this, and I’m one of the people who’s disappointed that he would even ask this question. (He later said people misinterpreted what he was asking — and he’s not totally unreasonable about this — but from my perspective he invited the misinterpretation. Sorry, Art...)

From Dan Gillmor's blog post, "What a 21st Century News Ombudsman Should Do: Aggregate, Curate, Debate"
About Dan Gillmor | @dangillmor

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Good overview of #OccupyNigeria from @globalvoices - - follow @gbengasesan for realtime Twitter curation of ON voices.
Ethan Zuckerman (@ethanz)

danah boyd is "Generation Flux"

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I love talking with smart journalists. When they’re good at what they do, journalists can really prompt me to think deeply (and differently) about issues. Nothing makes me happier than coming out of a discussion with a journalist with my brain on fire. My conversation with Bob Safian from Fast Company did precisely that. I left that chat high as a kite with all my synapses buzzing. The funny thing? I didn’t know why he was asking all of those interesting questions. Then, a few weeks later, I was asked to do a photoshoot. And that too ended up being way way way too much fun. Totally silly. The groomer even got me to wear heels for the first time in 15 years. (When I was 18, I wore heels as part of a beauty pageant – yes, I entered a beauty pageant on a dare – and I fell off the stage. I haven’t worn heels since.)

Anyhow, that fabulous conversation and playful photoshoot ended up turning into a cover story for Fast Company: “The Secrets of Generation Flux.”

From danah boyd's blog post, "I am Generation Flux"
About danah boyd | @zephoria

Ethan Zuckerman liveblogs Wael Abbas's talk on video and social media in pre-revolution Egypt

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Wael Abbas himself to the crowd at Microsoft’s Social Media Symposium saying, “I’m just a blogger.” Yeah, and Clay Shirky, who introduces him, is just some bald dude. Here’s my attempt to transcribe Wael’s talk.

From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post, "Wael Abbas on video and social media in Egypt prior to the revolution"
About Ethan Zuckerman | @ethanz

metaLAB reviews Jeffrey Schnapp's new Electric Information Age Book

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The inexpensive paperback was an experiment in putting the mass in mass communication, bringing cutting-edge thinking to the widest possible public, as metaLAB founder and Faculty Director Jeffrey Schnapp shows in The Electric Information Age Book, his new collaboration with designer and Project Projects founder Adam Michaels. One in a series of inventive “kinetic paperbacks” Fiore and Agel produced to engage a young, media-savvy readership, Massage transformed typography, layout, and image from mere decoration to integral parts of the text. Schnapp and Michaels’ book explores the manifold innovations advanced by these works, which struck new stances not only in their design but in publishing and authorship as well, bringing together designers, artists, and intellectuals to produce fresh ways of making books and expressing ideas.

From Matthew Battles's blog post for metaLAB, "Artfully Suspended Judgment and the Electric Information Age Book "
About metaLAB | @metalabharvard

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Calling all manner of tech-inclined students: come do an awesome internship at the @berkmancenter this summer:
John Palfrey (@jpalfrey)

Herdict needs help with a mystery

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Herd: Help us solve a mystery!

As a crowdsourced project, we like when we get reports about websites that are up or down. And we love when we get a lot of reports! But we also keep a weather eye out for unusual reporting patterns that might indicate spam or an effort to skew our data.

Starting on December 18th, we noticed one such unusual event–a huge spike in reporting from Vietnam. Over a several week period, we received thousands of reports (both accessible and not), with a peak single-day total of 798 on December 27th. As fast as the peak began, it just as quickly seemed to end after January 8th.

From Matt Lavigueur's blog post for Herdict, "Surge in Herdict Reporting from Vietnam"
About Herdict | @herdict

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New @berkmancenter study shows that most mobile charitable giving are not in fact errant votes for @americanidol
Ryan Budish (@budish)

Weekly Global Voices: Kenya/Somalia: Twitter War: Kenyan Army Versus Al Shabaab

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Kenya's military incursion into Somalia against the militant group Al Shabaab, dubbed “Operation Linda Nchi” (Swahili for “Operation Defend the Country”), has turned into Twitter war. This came after the official military spokesperson Major E ChirChir going by the Twitter handle @MajorEChirchir posted old photos claiming that a Kenyan Al Shabaab recruit had been stoned to death recently by the group members because of “a difference of opinion”.

From Collins Mbalo's blog post for Global Voices Online, "Kenya/Somalia: Twitter War: Kenyan Army Versus Al Shabaab"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated

January 13, 2012