This week there were two out-of-the-park posts by Berkman folk: Ethan
Zuckerman on advertising as the Net’s original sin, and Zeynep Tufecki on
the power of the open Internet as demonstrated by coverage of the riots in
Ferguson. Each provides a view on whether the Net is a failed promise. Each
is brilliant and brilliantly written.
Zeynep on Ferguson
Zeynep, who has written with wisdom and insight on the role of social media
in the Turkish protests (e.g., here and here), looks at how Twitter brought
the Ferguson police riots onto the national agenda and how well Twitter
“covered” them. But those events didn’t make a dent in Facebook’s
presentation of news. Why? she asks.
Twitter is an open platform where anyone can post whatever they want. It
therefore reflects our interests — although no medium is a mere reflection.
FB, on the other hand, uses algorithms to determi... (more)
I was less depressed than I would have expected about yesterday’s ruling
that the FCC does not have the authority to tell Comcast to let us do what we
want with our Internet. In part, that’s because I was expecting to lose. In
part it’s because this battle is far, far from over. There’s the
possibility of an appeal (although the 3:0 decision seems pretty definite),
Congressional action, or reclassifying the Internet. The third is the most
interesting, although it has its own risks.
I am not a lawyer and I do not understand these things well, but this ruling
could spur the FCC to... (more)
David Weinberger's Blog
There's a really interesting (free) article by Amol Sharma in the Wall Street
Journal about Google's expected cellphone software, and whether Google will
be able to do the necessary deals with the mobile carriers. In addition to
providing core Google apps (search, maps, YouTube, etc.), the rumor is that
the Google mobile operating system will be open to developers who want to use
the phone's services, such as GPS data.
The article includes this from Microsoft:
Microsoft executives question what impact Google will have. "The idea that
there are all these t... (more)
I’m at Supernova. (live stream) I’ve come in a little late on an
Werner Vogels talks about cloud computing. He contrasts it with a 1900
Belgian beer brewery that had to have its own electricity generator, which
took a lot of maintenance and didn’t help it make better beer. He warns
that any offering that taps into the large social networks may find itself
with traffic suddenly spiking by orders of magnitude.
NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key
information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small
matters. ... (more)
Marginal Revolution has a terrific post about giving advice.
I find myself conflicted about the topic. Although I am an occasional
consultant and adviser, I don’t think of myself as giving advice. Sometimes
I know stuff (or think that I do) or have opinions that I’ll offer if asked
(or, in a blog post, unasked): “I had bad luck with this vendor,” or
“Don’t over-specify it at launch, so it can be more emergent,” or “I
use Kayak. It’s faster and it doesn’t clutter itself up trying to sell me
stuff.” I suppose those all count as advice, but they don’t feel like
very interesting cas... (more)