BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations. If you'd like to receive this by email, sign up here.
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*The Citizen Media Law Project looks at dwindling protections for speech in Canada
*Doc Searls asks, Is VRM Radical?
*Gene Koo discusses how to engineer a better virtual town hall
*Digital Natives intern Sarah Zhang explores the world of online Girl Scout cookie sales
*The Internet & Democracy Project explains how to blog anonymously
*Weekly Global Voices: "China: Youtube confirms blocked. For what reason?" from Global Voices Advocacy
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"Over the past few weeks everyone at the CMLP and Harvard's Cyberlaw
Clinic (with whom we share an office) has been focused on the question
of what legal protections courts should apply to anonymous speech (see
this post about our amicus participation in the Maxon v. Ottawa
Publishing case). When you are immersed in an issue like this, it is
easy to forget how lucky we are to live in a country that has robust
protections for speech...'"
From the Citizen Media Law Project blog post, "What We Often Take For Granted: Robust Protections for Speech"
"In this post at ReadWriteWeb, Bernard Lumm interviews Richard de Silva of Highland Capital Partners (a neighbor of ours here in the Boston metro’s northwest quarter). It’s about advertising, primarily. Richard and Bernard both agree that advertising is moving more toward “performance-based” models. 'Closer to the sale.' It’s a sell-side conversation, framed by the need to sell goods, move inventory, do branding, and all that. Which is good. Advertising needs all the help it can get, and both Bernard and Richard are clearly ahead of the curve on the topic..."
From Doc Sears' blog post, "Is VRM radical?"
"President Obama and his new media team are rightfully receiving kudos for their inaugural online town hall. Roundup at Personal Democracy Forum. It’s a brave step forward in a system that’s naturally (and understandably) conservative. Because it was a pilot, there’s room to improve, as the first commenter on the linked PDF post points out. Moving forward, the new media team should focus on re-tuning the technology to hit the core values and purposes of town halls and citizen participation: 1. Patch vulnerabilities..."
From Gene Koo's blog post, "Engineering a better virtual town hall"
"Looks like it’s not only the music industry that needs a new business model, even Girl Scouts selling cookies are running into issues with online sales. Well the issue is quite simple really: online sales aren’t allowed. When 8-year-old Wild Freeborn set out to sell 12,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, she enlisted the help of her tech-savvy father. The two made a YouTube video and set up a site to allow local customers to order boxes of cookies. Freeborn would then hand-deliver the cookies. What was the problem? After two weeks and 700 orders, parents involved with the local troupe approached the local Girl Scout council saying that Freeborn’s strategy was unfair, lionizing the local cookie market..."
From the Digital Natives Project blog post, "Girl Scouts, Born Digital"
"For readers and netizens living under an iron curtain of internet and political repression (fighting river crabs), anonymous blogging is an important free speech enabler. Like 18th century phampleteers (or even the writers of the Federalist papers), anonymous bloggers are empowered by their aliases to challenge taboos, censors and government power.This updated guide (edited by Global Voices/Berkman guru Ethan Zuckerman) lays out the best practices of protecting your identity without silencing your voice, including the Tor anonymizer with Wordpress and email tricks. The internet is the last bulwark against totalitarian control because of its fluid and democratic character. That is why anonymous blogging is so important..."
From the Internet & Democracy Project blog post, "How To Blog Anonymously"
"While Chinese foreign ministry spokesman refused to confirm Youtube had been blocked and stressed that China is not afraid of the Internet, Youtube confirmed yesterday (March 24) its website indeed has been blocked in China since March 23. Video clips on Tibet crackdown. It is not yet clear why the Chinese government decided to block the site, but reports said that it is related to the videos uploaded by Tibetan exiles on violent crackdown of Tibetan protesters by Chinese government in March 2008 and early 2009. I searched through Youtube and found a number of videos that have been uploaded in the past few days on the above topic…"
From Oiwan Lam's blog post for Global Voices Advocacy, "China: Youtube confirms blocked. For what reason?"
Last updated March 27, 2009