BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 29 2012
There are really two stars of the new documentary "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"--the artist himself, and the Internet. The two are inseparable in the film, which both documents the life story of the man who has become one of China's most creative and courageous dissidents, and shows how he has maneuvered through the cracks in China's vast system of social control by using social media to reach a global and local audience. Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, October 9 2012
BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 28 2012
On the troubled northern border of Georgia, next to the disputed territory of South Ossetia, where two wars have been fought in the last two decades, an NGO has been quietly pioneering a new kind of distributed reporting system, one that uses SMS text messaging and the web to combine the data-rich mapping of Ushahidi with the meticulous requirements of human-rights researchers. In a region where few people have internet access, they've come up with an ingenious solution for data gathering via text. Read More
BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 25 2012
It's time to quit all of this wringing of the hands about the "future of news." We're in the damn future of news. People genuinely concerned about its direction ought to cancel their next speaking gig pontificating about that future, whether dystopian or bright, and put their hands instead to shaping it.
There's no better example of the problem and its solutions than the latest round of navel-gazing in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colo., late into the night of July 19. What began as an earnest attempt to understand a tragedy and then to parse this country's collective response to it has devolved into just another "journalists vs. bloggers" bull session. It's a false dichotomy, as almost everyone in that argument has already conceded.
Citizen media and "mainstream" media aren't even two sides of the same coin. There is no longer such a thing as "citizen media" or "'mainstream' media," as far as I'm concerned, because each is now such an integral part of the other.Read More
BY David Eaves | Monday, July 9 2012
A new website called DeadUshahidi launched recently with the express purpose of tracking Ushahidi mapping projects that experienced little use. While the Ushahidi team responded in good form, but it was hard not to see the website as a shot across its bow.
David Eaves explores why there are so many Ushahidi-powered mapping projects that appear to have fallen by the wayside — and why that might actually be a good thing for people who want to use geospatial data for social change.Read More
BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 11 2012
After previously helping to crowdsource translations of this year's State of the Union address, PBS Newshour is stepping up its efforts to crowdsource translations of 2012 U.S. election events. Broadcasting & Cable had reported in January that PBS had received a $420,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to organize the initiative with the help of crowdsourcing technology. The initiative uses technology now called Amara but previously known as "Universal Subtitles." This service, as the name implies, adds subtitles over the top of embeddable videos from services like YouTube or Vimeo. Read More
BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 10 2012
What if the Watergate scandal had developed in the age of the Internet? For the last three years, an advanced class of Yale journalism students have been asked that question, and every year they've said the scandal would have blown up in a matter of days and the Nixon Administration would have backed down or even collapsed in a matter of weeks. And then they get to talk to Bob Woodward. Read More
BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012
The closing down of an effort known as Expert Labs this month acted as a marker of sorts in the open government movement. Epitomizing the general ethos of the time, here was a group of Internet-famous hipster technologists and personalities who had decided to storm the barricades and focus their collective attention on helping the federal government to break out of the Beltway bubble to connect better with the public when making policy decisions. Why shouldn't the world be excited about what kind of change they could potentially bring about? As the organization closes up shop, here's a look at what it did after launching in 2010. Read More
BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 22 2012
Writing for The Atlantic, Alexander Furnas, a master's candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute, critiques the platform for collaborative legislative markup built at Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) and Sen. Ron Wyden's (D-Ore.) behest and launched with their legislative alternative to the Stop Online Piracy Act. The platform, he writes, is "flawed."Read More
BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 21 2011
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is looking online for names to read during a potential filibuster of the Stop Online Piracy Act, should it come up for a vote in the Senate. From the site, paid for by the progressive policy ... Read More