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Berkman Buzz: Week of November 10, 2008

November 14, 2008

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

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*John Palfrey looks at the successes of the Obama campaign and expresses his hopes for the next administration
*Charles Nesson explains why he's taking on the copyright system
*The OpenNet Initiative discovers filtering in Argentina
*Gene Koo discusses the role of the Internet in civic engagement
*David Weinberger wonders if the new White House will blog up to its potential
*Hal Roberts discusses the lack of pizazz in AdWords ads
*Derek Bambauer looks at the legality of the New York Times spoof
*Weekly Global Voices: "Nicaragua: Concerns About Fraud in Recent Elections"

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"There are many things to be thankful for this week, as we celebrate the Obama victory.  It means so many good things about America and offers — truly — such hope for the future of our troubled world.   After a few days of reflection, there are three things, perhaps idiosynchratically, that I find myself particularly thankful for..."
From John Palfrey's blogpost, "Being Thankful"

"isaac has found the justice-of-the-peace case from alabama, which is close on point, an unconstitutional system for passing out speeding tickets unconstitutional because the enforcers were paid from the take. the declaration of this statute punitive unconstitutional would do a most wonderful service. when we argued Eldred in 1998 the Court then had little or no appreciation for the public domain. The public domain is, in internet terms, all you can get to on the net for free. The law for our digital future was set in place by the smart lawyers and lobbyists for the copyright industry in 1976 before anyone recognized the interest of the mass of coming population of digital natives that value what they can reach and do on the net for free..."
From Charles Nesson's blogpost, "the copyright theft deterrence act of 1999"

"Since 2006, Internet users in Argentina have been blocked from searching for information about some of country's most notable individuals. Over 100 people have successfully secured temporary restraining orders that direct Google and Yahoo! Argentina to scrub the results of search queries. The list of censorship-seeking celebrities includes judges, public officials, models and actors, as well as the world-cup soccer star and national team head coach Diego Maradona..."
From the OpenNet Initiative blogpost, "Adiós Diego: Argentine judges cleanse the Internet"

"Barack Obama promises to re-ignite American civic life; he repeatedly proclaimed that the election wasn’t about him but rather 'you.' His Plan for Voluntary Citizen Service describes 'a craigslist for service,' with 'user ratings and social network features.' Frankly, this idea is rather dull and unimaginative, besides being redundant of Idealist.org. (Also, most nonprofits need commitments, not one-shot volunteers; Match.com offers a better template than craigslist)..."
From Gene Koo's blogpost, "From campaigning to governance 1: civic engagement"

"I like the fact that the Obama administration put up a site - Change.gov - for the transition within a couple of days of winning the elections. I like that it has a blog. But it isn’t yet a real blog. It’s a news page, written in the safe voice of the trained professional. It’s early days, so I mainly want to appreciate it, not criticize. But there are reasons to think a White House blog is always going to tend towards the bland. A president could blog, speaking in his or her own voice. But, have you seen the list of what President Obama has to deal with? If he has time to blog, he’s not paying attention..."
From David Weinberger's blogpost, "Can the White House blog?"

"I’ve been reading up on the history of media and advertising lately, including a book by Stephen Fox on the history of advertising called Mirror Makers. Fox’s core argument is that advertising strategies are cyclical over time, varying between straightforward, plain text advertising that describes the price and value of the product to atmospheric advertising that attempts to attract attention and build up the reputation of a brand. He includes lots of examples of early advertising, including the following jingles about “Sunny Jim” used to sell Force cereal in 1902..."
From Hal Roberts' blogpost, "Sunny Jim says 'Where are the AdWords jingles?'"

"There is a terrific parody (or, perhaps, satire) of the New York Times available both in cyberspace and in print (over a million copies were distributed in cities nationwide, mostly New York and LA). (The Times is calling it a 'spoof.') This is detailed, careful artistic work: if you explore the site, you’ll see that the fake content goes several levels deep, and even knocks off the ads one commonly finds in the Times (or on New York subways). Here’s the rub: is it legal..."
From Derek Bambauer's blogpost, "Brilliant New York Times Parody: Legal?"

"The streets of Managua were not the only place where supporters of the two political parties in Nicaragua were present during the recent municipal elections held on November 9. One could also find them on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In some cases, there were virtual confrontations, where the written word was used as a weapon and the bloggers also did not hold back. However, at least in these spaces, there were no victims or injured as a result...'"
From Eduardo Avila's blogpost for Global Voices, "The votes are in: An overwhelming loss for mainstream media"


Last updated November 14, 2008