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A TechPresident Podcast: On Internet Freedom Day, Politics and the SOPA/PIPA Fight

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 18 2013

Today, open Internet advocates are celebrating "Internet Freedom Day," the anniversary of widespread online protest against the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act that rattled Congress enough to kill both bills.

One year later, what does the nascent politically active web mean for members of Congress? For activists? And for individuals?

In the first of what we hope to turn into a regular series of podcasts, editorial director Micah Sifry and I hash through how we think about these issues at techPresident. We sat down to record this for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers.

We're also opening up a question not just to subscribers, but to everyone.

It's clear some issues, like an "existential threat" to the open Internet or bills that would limit access to health care for women, travel better online than others. But this is far more art than science.

So join the conversation on our Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #pdchat: What is it that makes a cause or an issue that travels well on the Internet, that picks up the kind of steam that SOPA/PIPA or even "binders full of women" accumulated in a short amount of time?

TechPresident's editors and writers will be chiming in on this throughout the week, and hopefully we'll be able to revisit the answers in our next podcast.

This is something new for us. In the weeks and months to come, we hope to use this new podcast series to bring new insight and context into the news and trends we're seeing at techPresident and that we think are important. With other members of our own staff and special guests, we'll be stretching our legs — and our podcast voices — to bring subscribers the kind of insight and analysis that you've come to expect from our writing.

As with everything on the Internet, there will be a conversation around this idea. We'll be listening, and we hope you'll share ideas with us about how to make it better.

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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