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Berkman Buzz: August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

The Berkman Buzz is selected weekly from the posts of Berkman Center people and projects.
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The DMLP releases its guide to reporting at the 2012 RNC and DNC

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Many experienced journalists are not strangers to such tough situations, but the nature of the conventions as "national special security events" presents special concerns, especially around the norms journalists establish with local law enforcement. The Secret Service takes the lead during these national security events, and the normal journalist–police relationships that allow journalists to report from over police lines are likely to be jettisoned in favor of a strict enforcement of the law. It is vitally important for journalists to understand the fundamental mechanics of the law while on the ground, so they can be aware of when their actions risk arrest.

From Andrew F. Sellars's blog post on the Citizen Media Law Project, "Announcing a Guide to Reporting at the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions"
About Andy Sellars | @andy_sellars
About the Citizen Media Law Project | @citmedialaw

Herdict reviews ongoing reports of Iran's intranet

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Reports of plans for a nationwide intranet to replace the world wide web in Iran have surfaced once again. The Telegraph claims that Iran is planning “to move key ministries and state bodies off the worldwide internet next month” as part of “a project to replace the global internet with a domestic intranet system scheduled to be completed within 18 months.”

From Marianna Mao's blog post, "Continued Reports of Closed Iranian Intranet"
About Herdict | @herdict

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"A New Kind of Social Science for the 21st Century" An @edge conversation with @Harvard's Nicholas Christakis http://ow.ly/dd6wJ
metaLAB (@metaLAB)

David Weinberger discusses topics vs. authors in web publishing

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I suspect there’s a lot of truth in Richard MacManus’ post at ReadWriteWeb about where Web publishing is going. In particular, I think the growth of topic streams is pretty much close to inevitable, whether this occurs via Branch + Medium (and coming from Ev Williams, I suspect that at the very least they’ll give Web culture a very heavy nudge) and/or through other implementations.

Richard cites two sites for this insight: Anil Dash and Joshua Benton at the Nieman Journalism Lab. Excellent posts. But I want to throw in a structural reason why topics are on the rise rise: authors don’t scale.

From David Weinberger's blog post, Authors don’t scale. Topics do.
About David Weinberger | @dweinberger

Justin Reich reviews new research on collaborative learning in World of Warcraft

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The highlight of the book is chapter 3, "Assembling to Kill Ragnaros," the story of how Chen's guild organized a 40-person team to work collaboratively over months to learn to kill one of the most challenging enemies in the game. The heart of the story is how a technical interface, the KLH Threat Meter, becomes a member of their team.

KLH Threat Meter is a special interface that can be loaded into a player's World of Warcraft on-screen dashboard that provides data on which players are drawing the most attention from enemies (and therefore getting attacked the most by enemies). In short, KTM Threat Meter identifies which players in the raid group are really pissing off the bad guys and are going to get killed next. Useful information.

From Justin Reich's post, "Using Data to Kill Demons: Learning from World of Warcraft"
About Justin Reich | @bjfr

Ethan Zuckerman weighs in on Sweden's @sweden experiment

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Last year, Sweden took on an experiment in social media as a form of nation branding by turning over its national Twitter account, @sweden, to a different citizen each week. Citizens are nominated and evaluated by a panel, but their tweets aren’t reviewed or edited, which led some observers to predict the experiment would be a social media disaster.

Those predictions came true, more or less, with the week Sonja Abrahamsson took over the account. She spent the week offending as many people as possible, with offhand observations about Jews, people with AIDS, and the suggestion that her life would be easier if she had Down’s syndrome. In other words, she used @sweden to troll anyone who was paying attention. (Trolls, of course, hail from Scandinavian folklore and may be native to Sweden, so perhaps this behavior is simply part of the national character.)

From Ethan Zuckerman's post, "Now representing @Sweden..."
About Ethan Zuckerman | @ethanz

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A journalist who lets a presidential candidate dictate interview topics is not a journalist. Period. http://bit.ly/OzbkNB
Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor)

Kenyan Blogger Detained Over Controversial Tweets

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Controversial Kenyan blogger and Twitter user Robert Alai was detained in police cells on Tuesday 21 August, 2012, for allegedly abusing the Kenya Information and Communication Act.

Alai is accused of claiming that Kenyan government spokesperson Alfred Mutua wanted to kill him, and alleging Mutua's involvement in ordering the murder of human rights activists, Oscar King'ara and Paul Oulu, in 2009. Alai pleaded not guilty and was released on a cash bail of 100,000 Kenyan shillings.

From Ndesanjo Macha's blog post for Global Voices, "Kenyan Blogger Detained Over Controversial Tweets"
About Global Voices Online | @globalvoices

This Buzz was compiled by Rebekah Heacock.

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Last updated August 24, 2012

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