Wikinomics rap on the future of journalism

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Jan 28, 2010

My sister-in-law Sandra Amerie, who runs a popular laptop confidential series on YouTube, pointed me to this sweet piece developed by a group of journalism students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Sure, it’s not going win them many kudos on the source or BET, but I was nevertheless impressed by the thought and effort that went into this production.

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China’s information society dilemma and the Ghosts of Tiananmen

Category: Media & Technology | NGOs & Government
Published on Jan 14, 2010

Google’s clash with China raises some more fundamental questions. It’s now been 20 years since the June 4th incident in Tiananmen and political change has been, as Mao predicted, “like crossing a river, feeling for the pebbles one at a time.” The question, over the long term, is whether the ghosts of Tiananmen will come back to haunt China in ways its leadership could not have predicted. Just as India aspires to be more than the […]

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Google has thrown down the gauntlet — now’s the time for collective action

Category: Business & Economics | Media & Technology
Published on Jan 14, 2010

I was delighted to hear that Google has finally thrown down the gauntlet in China. No longer will it be complicit in denying freedom of information and expression to Chinese citizens. Google is now on the right side of the moral equation. But will it change anything? Like Iran and Burma, China has modernized and adapted its authoritarianism for the 21st Century. Rather than simply suppress news and information, it tries to influence online debate […]

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Reflecting on “Free Culture” and Lanier’s Digital Peasantry, part II

Category: Business & Economics | Media & Technology
Published on Jan 14, 2010

After criticizing Lanier on his arguments about the problems with “digital collectivism” I am finding some of his other arguments more compelling. He gets closer to hitting the mark, for example, when he talks about the detrimental impact of the “free culture” movement on knowledge producers who increasingly rely on indirect methods like advertising to reap economic rewards for their efforts. Now, if you’ve read Wikinomics, you’ll know I’m a supporter of the idea that […]

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Reflecting on “Free Culture” and Lanier’s Digital Peasantry, part I

Category: Business & Economics | Media & Technology
Published on Jan 14, 2010

I’ve not had an opportunity to read Jaron Lanier’s new book, You’re Not A Gadget, but it’s virtually impossible to avoid the debate raging (see here and here, for example) around its core premises. Let me say upfront, Lanier raises some very poignant issues that will shape the way our knowledge economy evolves in the decades to come. But I’m not sure he’s drawn all of the right conclusions. Lanier dislikes mass collaboration, arguing that “We […]

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Famous drummer to do anything fans want for $75,000

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 26, 2009

Here’s one of the more bizarre prosumer stories that I’ve seen of late. Upon releasing his second solo album, drummer Josh Freese (of Nine Inch Nails and Devo fame) has offered his fans a sliding scale of “limited edition” offers. For $7 you get a conventional digital download, including three videos. But check out the $75,000 package: T-shirt Go on tour with Josh for a few days. Have Josh write, record and release a 5 […]

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Facebook is ‘infantilising’ the human mind

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 24, 2009

Here’s one for my co-author Don and the Net Generation team to chew on or chew up. Baronness Susan Greenfield, a professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, and Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, has warned that the experience of growing up immersed in hyper-stimulating digital technologies will result in human minds characterized by “short attention spans, sensationalism, inability to empathise and a shaky sense of identity.” The remarks were made to the House of Lords and written […]

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Born Digital — will children grow up to regret their parent’s actions

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Feb 18, 2009

Caught an interesting editorial in the Guardian about the propensity of new parents to post birth announcements and  images of their newborns on social networking sites, often within minutes of an actual birth. My five-week-old son has had over 1,400 individual visitors to his website. Within two hours of his birth, he was Twittered because a friend got a text message announcing his birth. In a matter of days his name was indexed in Google. […]

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Social network analysis needn’t be complicated

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Jan 19, 2009

In an age of highly-complex and often highly-expensive social network mapping and analysis tools, it’s good to know that some people still appreciate the value of getting back to basics. Net-Map, a simple network analysis tool, was developed by Eva Schiffer while at the International Food Policy Research Institute to help farmers in rural Africa better understand the complex realities in which they work and make most of their influence networks. As pictured above, the […]

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Crossing boundaries: 16 year old metal fanatics playing with 60 year old blues guys

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Oct 27, 2008

A couple of months ago Wikinomics co-blogger Lawrence Chen wrote about Riffworks, an online recording application that allows guitar players around the world to compose music in a collaborative fashion. I recently had an opportunity to chat with Riffworks co-founder, Doug Wright, about Apple II classics, midi keyboards, and notator programs and how much the world of digital recording has evolved since then. Doug had a lot of insightful things says, but I found the […]

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