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David Weinberger

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Top Stories by David Weinberger

Talk about “civility” on the Internet always makes me a little nervous. For a bunch of reasons. First, I generally try to be civil, but I’d hate to see a Net that is always and only civil. Some rowdiness and rudeness is absolutely required. Second, civility as a word feels like it comes from a colonial mentality, as if there are the civil folks and then there are the savages. I’m not saying that’s what people mean when they use the term. It’s just what I sometimes hear. Third, civility is so culturally relative that demanding that someone be civil can actually mean, “Please play by our rules or you shall be removed from the premises!” Which is I guess what gives rise to my second reason. Fourth, civility seems to be more about the form of interaction, the rhetoric of the interchange. That’s fine. But given a preference, I’d be hectoring people about dignity, not civ... (more)

Have social networks replaced groups?

Maxim Weinstein responded in an email to my post about what the social structure of the Internet looked like before Facebook, making the insightful point that Facebook meets the four criteria Clay Shirky listed for social software in his 2003 keynote at eTech. Here are the four with Max’s comments appended: 1. Provide for persistent identities so that reputations can accrue. These identities can of course be pseudonyms. 2. Provide a way for members’ good work to be recognized. < "Like" buttons, sharing 3. Put in some barriers to participation so that the interactions become high... (more)

The social Web before social networks: a report from 2003

The Web was social before it had social networking software. It just hadn’t yet evolved a pervasive layer of software specifically designed to help us be social. In 2003 it was becoming clear that we needed?—?and were getting?—?a new class of application, unsurprisingly called “social software.” But what sort of sociality were we looking for? What sort could such software bestow? That was the theme of Clay Shirky’s 2003 keynote at the ETech conference, the most important gathering of Web developers of its time. Clay gave a brilliant talk,“A Group Is Its Own Worst Enemy,” in which... (more)

[AIF] Beau Willimon on “House of Cards”

At the Aspen Ideas Festival, Michael Eisner is interviewing the creator of House of Cards, Beau Willimon. I’m not going to attempt to do comprehensive live-blogging. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people. The point at which SPOILERS begin is clearly marked below. Beau’s initial artistic expression was in painting. He was good but just not good enough. He... (more)

From Berkman: Zeynep and Ethanz on the Web We Want

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... (more)