It requires a surprising amount of time to create 5 minutes of broadcast quality video. Blumenthal shows us data from the production he and his team have done at MindTV. A five minute show takes 20-60 hours to produce, depending on who’s editing the video. Community producers often get frustrated by the timeline and leave projects unfinished… and Blumenthal worries that viewers care mostly about what the content is, not about who produced it. Blumenthal’s vision for MindWorks is less community focused, less altruistic (his term) and more focused on creating and repurposing amazing, civically relevant content that gets distributed online and via broadcast media. In other words, what does Children’s Television Workshop look like when it’s focused on educating and empowering adults, and when it’s born in 2012, not 1967?
As the networked media environment increasingly permeates private and public life, our systems for identifying and responding to misinformation and propaganda are failing us, creating serious risk to everything from personal and financial health to fundamental democratic processes and governance. The use of fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is widespread in public relations, policy, and politics, spanning diverse communities and media spheres. In an age when many would argue that news and information have become key ingredients of broad social progress, our supply is tainted. Truthiness, or information that feels intuitively like the truth regardless of basis in empirical evidence or fact-based analysis, has leapt from the satirical to the serious.
Yesterday, Cynthia Germanotta and her daughter Lady Gaga launched their new initiative to empower youth: the Born This Way Foundation. The Foundation wants to create a kinder, braver world so that youth can be the change-agents that we all need them to be. For youth to be empowered, the Foundation recognizes that 1) youth need to be safe; 2) youth need to have skills; and 3) youth need to have opportunities.
....Alongside John Palfrey, I am proud to be a Research Fellow on this project. For the last few months, John Palfrey and I have helped coordinate researchers and synthesize research in order to help inform the foundation. As part of our efforts to advise the Foundation, John and I created a working paper series where we work with scholars to synthesize research and provide grounded advice.
I have been involved on the commons in one way or another for the past 10 years as part of the global movement and/or free culture movement, and particularly since 2008 it has become evident that the commons “paradigm” is increasing in social movements’ processes. From this perception, I was, some how, surprised that initially the frame “commons” was not present – or not with the protagonism I would expect - in the “indignant” mobilization and square occupations in the Spanish State since 15 May 2011.
As you’ve likely discovered from personal experience, timing is everything. And so the Internet & Democracy team is especially pleased to announce that just in time for this Sunday’s Russian presidential election, Karina Alexanyan, Vladimir Barash, Robert Faris, Urs Gasser, John Kelly, John Palfrey, Hal Roberts, and I are releasing a new paper that assesses the relationship between the Russian Internet and Russian political and social life: “Exploring Russian Cyberspace: Digitally-Mediated Collective Action and the Networked Public Sphere.” This work was made possible thanks to the generous support of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Zambia on 24 February; he addressed parliament, met key political figures and visited the Victoria Falls. None of these events have made as much news as his call on the nation to respect gay rights.