BERKMAN BUZZ: A look at the past week's online Berkman conversations
If you would like to receive the Buzz weekly via email, please sign up here.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
What's being discussed...take your pick or browse below.
* Christian Sandvig insists on watching television alone.
* Internet & Democracy isn't the only group digging into the Russian blogosphere.
* Andrew Eggers takes a second look at lobbying as legislative subsidy.
* StopBadware weighs (in on) market incentives for cyber security.
* Doc Searls doubles our pleasure on the ProjectVRM blog.
* Ethan Zuckerman peers into the advertising blind spot.
* David Weinberger recommends two long posts by others.
* Dan Gillmor returns to the question of social norms and information permanence.
* Chilling Effects is also interested in the cease and desist of Stopp and Stopp.
* The CMLP rolls out its pro bono legal network to help online journalists.
* New on Publius: "Bring in the Human Rights," by Rikke Frank Jørgensen
* Weekly Global Voices: "Impact of ICT on Indigenous Cultures: Rejuvenation or Colonization?"
* Micro-post of the week: David Weinberger, reluctantly.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The full buzz.
"I really appreciated Nicholas Carr’s article “The Price of Free” in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, mostly because it makes many of the same points as my last blog post. I see from Web searching that the original title was possibly “The Price of Free (Television).” As Carr and I both wrote, the Comcast merger is about the threatening decline of the cable TV business. It is Comcast’s attempt to get into the content business and the Internet business before they are left out of business. Luckily the conference paper that my post was based on was first published in 2000 so we can win any disputes about priority… because Carr is a much better writer than I am."
From Christian Sandvig's blog post My Television is a Computer
"The wildly popularly Russian search engine Yandex has released another useful report on the Russian blogosphere based on its search data. While it is nearly silent on methods, it is nonetheless helpful to have another data point out there on the Russian blogosphere, which we’ve also been digging into at the Berkman Center following our Iranian and Arabic blogosphere research. 'The "average" Russian blogger is a 22 year old woman who lives in Moscow and posts on LiveInternet or Diary.ru (this is the first blogosphere we’ve looked at in detail where female bloggers are in the majority, and about 20% to 30% more females than we find in Middle Eastern blogospheres we’ve studied). Women write more often, and also comment more frequently on others’ blogs, than men in Russia.'"
From Bruce Etling's post for Internet & Democracy, Yandex on the Russian Blogosphere
"I spent some time this morning reading Hall and Deardorff's 2006 APSR article 'Lobbying as Legislative Subsidy,' because Larry Lessig cited it in his talk on institutional corruption. I had looked at this a while ago, but somehow reading it again I saw it as newly significant. The basic idea is that most lobbying is a subsidy to legislators; lobbyists essentially act as 'adjunct staff' who increase the productivity of legislators who already agree with them. This contrasts with the more common view of lobbying as bribery or persuasion."
From Andrew Eggers blog post Lobbying as legislative subsidy
"According to Wired’s Threat Level blog, the president of the Internet Security Alliance, Larry Clinton, blames many cyber security problems on individuals and businesses failing to take responsibility for the role they could/should play: [...] Clinton goes on to say that the solution lies in government creating market incentives, and he promises a proposal from the Internet Security Alliance soon. It will be very interesting to see what they propose."
From Maxim Weinstein's blog post for StopBadware, Larry Clinton: Government must change market incentives
"Two posts worth noting over at the ProjectVRM blog. The first is Intention Economy Traction, which riffs off David Gillespie’s illustrative and wise 263-slide narrative Digital Strangelove (or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Internet). Both of us see The Intention Economy as pretty much inevitable. The second is Advertising In Reverse..."
From Doc Searls' blog post Swelling ground
"Who pays for content and services on the internet? My friend Bo Peabody thinks we should be asking not just whether ad-supported journalism is feasible, but whether ad-supported social networks will work. In a Washington Post op-ed titled “Twitter.org?“, Bo leverages his experience founding and running Tripod.com to suggest that social networking sites are misunderstood as content sites, and won’t be profitable as ad-supported properties. He suggests that, because these spaces are critically important digital public spheres, we should consider supporting them as nonprofits if necessary, but shouldn’t expect them to sustain themselves based on advertising. As I look more closely at Bo’s thinking, I’m concerned that advertising may not be a viable model to support anything other than search online, and that systems we are increasingly reliant on may be supported by the shakiest of foundations."
From Ethan Zuckerman's blog post What if they stop clicking?
"Ethan Zuckerman ponders what good is knowing if it doesn’t lead to effective action…and he isn’t asking this rhetorically. You want to read this because Ethan himself is an extreme knower, an extreme care-er, and a full time agent of change. I found that this post caused me to have an internal dialogue in which I kept interrupting myself. The world is just so hard to change, even when the need is so obvious and urgent, and yet we can’t let ourselves believe that knowing and caring can make no difference at all."
From David Weinberger's blog post Two long posts well worth reading
"The German murders, Werlé and Lauber, don’t get much sympathy in this regard. Nor should they: Murder strikes me as the central act of these men’s lives, though we should also note that they have paid the debt to their society that entitles them to re-enter that society with some respect from others, difficult as that may be. Do they really expect, however, that even a ban on publishing their names will expunge their deeds from people’s knowledge? Yet the motive behind the German law is a sound one: to help those who’ve transgressed restore their membership in society."
From Dan Gillmor's blog post Scrubbing the Past
"Wolfgang Werlé, who was convicted of the cruel murder of a well-known German actor, has employed the wonderfully named law firm of Stopp and Stopp to send cease and desist letters to media outlets covering his crime and his release. The German-language version of Wikipedia has reportedly already been sued and the English version has been threatened with legal action if the name of the murderer, who was recently paroled after serving fifteen years of a life sentence, is not removed from the article on Walter Sedlmayr, the victim. The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that Werlé has also sued an Austrian ISP for the publication of his name and that case may go to the European Court of Justice."
From Rebecca Schoff's blog post for Chilling Effects, German Murderer Threatens to Censor Wikipedia
"The idea for OMLN [Online Media Legal Network] came out of CMLP's work over the last 3 years helping online journalists understand their legal rights and responsibilities. During this time period, we've published and updated our legal guide and legal threats database, blogged on topics of interest to online publishers, partnered with like-minded organizations on a variety of educational projects, and filed amicus briefs in cases with significant implications for online speech. While we are proud of the impact we've made and the success of the CMLP website, we also recognize that many online journalists and bloggers need more than generally applicable legal information—they need their own lawyers to tackle their own individualized legal issues."
From the CMLP blog post Citizen Media Law Project Launches Legal Assistance Network for Online Journalists
"The UN-based human rights system is supplemented by regional human rights mechanisms, which vary widely in constitution and effectiveness. In addition, development agencies have increasingly adopted a so-called right-based approach in recent years. According to the definition used by the UN Office of the High Commission of Human Rights, a rights-based approach is a conceptual framework for the process of developing policies that are normatively based on international human rights standards and operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights. Following from this, it would be natural to expect that the UN arenas for Internet policy also apply a rights-based approach, thus making Internet policies 'operationally directed to promoting and protecting human rights.'"
From Rikke Frank Jørgensen's essays for Publius, Bring in the Human Rights
"But can ICT truly preserve and protect distinct identities and culture? Does ICT by its very intervention introduce an element of westernization amidst the indigenous culture that it purports to preserve and protect? What is the optimum balance between preserving traditional knowledge and embracing remix culture? The cultural debate surrounding deployment of ICT in the field of indigenous/ knowledge and culture simply refuses to die down."
From Aparna Ray's blog post for Global Voices, Impact of ICT on Indigenous Cultures: Rejuvenation or Colonization?
"Since I tweeted Eco's wonderful interview about lists (http://bit.ly/288iu5), I guess I should tweet my response http://bit.ly/4sdXQv" [9:59 AM Nov 15th]
David Weinberger promotes his comments on Umberto Eco's promotion of his Louvre exhibit.
Last updated November 21, 2009