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)
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
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)
“Prescription Painkillers Kill More Than Heroin and Cocaine … Combined”
“The U.S. spent more on defense in 2012 than the countries with the next 10
highest budgets … combined.” [NBC News]
“Apple Now Worth More Than Microsoft, Google … Combined” [Time
Just when you’ve been impressed by how much bigger something is than two
other things we already think are big, there’s a short pause, then:
We love the “more than ___ … combined” trope. How could we not? It
exists to surprise us. Are you impressed that the U.S. solar industry employs ... (more)
At Medium.com I have a short piece on what progress looks like on the
Internet, which is not what progress used to look like. I think.
I wrote this for the Next Web conference blog, but they haven’t posted it
yet. (I’m keynoting their Dec. conference in NYC.)
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