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Monday 29 September 2008

Scrapbook clips catch up

Shockingly slow catch-up ... so sue me!

Danny Finkelstein likes the new Conservative website and, er, so do I. It doesn't actually just adopt the US template (like Paddick did) and has some innovations. Like Danny I fancied the Conservative Wall with its pop out voters.

And two thumbs up for a strong accessibility statement.

Via arstechnica: Fake popup study sadly confirms most users are idiots

Via techpresident: Tracking a Political Meme: McCain vs Paris Hilton. This has some fab animated 'maps' showing the meme's spread across the blogosphere.

Via fivethirtyeight:Intrade Betting is Suspicious. Very interesting post about how some partisans are - apparently - gaming this major online betting shop, one which is often reported on as an impartial predictor.

HT: Tom Watson: Election 08 on Twitter. V. Useful pull-together of related twitter feeds.

These tools were also used to great effect during the Republican convention, where mass arrests, including of many journalists, and 'pre-emptive' raids occurred.

Andy Burnham threatened web regulation in a recent speech, which contained the following daft quote:
"The internet as a whole is an excellent source of casual opinion. TV is where people often look for expert or authoritative opinion."
Half world's population 'will have mobile phone by end of year', apparently. Speaking at a conference, Hamadoun Touré, secretary general of the International Telecom Union, said:
"The fact that 4 billion subscribers have been registered worldwide indicates that it is technically feasible to connect the world to the benefits of information communications technology."
You'd have to think that much of the innovation will not come from the first world in this area (e.g. micropayments). Google has some good ideas though in this recent official blog post.

Two egov 'production' blogs - ones like the BBC's where the team feeds back and sources comment. Parliament and Aberdeenshire.

Very neat website add-on tool. odiogo converts text to speech for download or playing right there.

Another bit of political blogosphere content attracting shut-down notices and legal action, this time in Scotland.
An SNP councillor suing a Labour blogger for mentioning something that was already in the public domain is going to do more harm to the councillor and his party than ignoring it would have done. I hope that Alex Salmond has the sense to publicly distance the party from the individual actions of the councillor, otherwise the SNP will be open to attack for using the law to silence its critics.
Matt Wardman has more detail on blogger Christopher Glamorganshire's sacking from the Welsh Assembly and more from Wales. Plus a Welsh LibDem confirms that the recently worked out civil service blogging guidance doesn't apply to Wales (as they're writing their own)

Search text advertising has taken off big time in 08 election: Our Brand Is Crisis: Prez Candidates Buy Words To Brand Each Other Online.

Electronic voting machines are going to be extensively deployed in the election and a lot of people don't trust them. So a campaign is being organised to get tekkies to sign-up as supervisors - citizen undercover monitoring.

FT on how Google doesn't rule all of the world: It's mainly to do with language.

New York becomes first city to accept photos and video from computers and cell phones for emergency services (they already handle text).

“Internet optimists” versus “Internet Pessimists”
: TLF groups recent books.

Adherents & Their Books / Writings

Internet Optimist

Internet Pessimists

Yochai Benkler, The Wealth of Networks

Andrew Keen, The Cult of the Amateur

Chris Anderson, The Long Tail and “Free!”

Lee Siegel, Against the Machine

Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody

Nick Carr, The Big Switch

Cass Sunstein, Infotopia

Cass Sunstein,

Don Tapscott, Wikinomics

Todd Gitlin, Media Unlimited

Kevin Kelly & Wired mag in general

Alex Iskold, “The Danger of Free

Mike Masnick & TechDirt blog

Mark Cuban

And here’s a rough sketch of the major beliefs or key themes that separate these two schools of thinking about the impact of the Internet on our culture and economy:

Beliefs / Themes

Internet Optimists

Internet Pessimists

Culture / Social

Net is Participatory

Net is Polarizing

Net yields Personalization

Net yields Fragmentation

a “Global village


Heterogeneity / Diversity of Thought

Homogeneity / Close-mindedness

Net breeds pro-democratic tendencies

Net breeds anti-democratic tendencies

Tool of liberation & empowerment

Tool of frequent misuse & abuse

Economics / Business

Benefits of “free” (“Free” = future of media / business)

Costs of “free” (“Free” = end of media / business)

Increasing importance of “Gift economy

Continuing importance of property rights, profits, firms

“Wiki” model = wisdom of crowds; power of collective intelligence

“Wiki” model = stupidity of crowds; errors of collective intelligence

Mass collaboration

Individual effort

Academics need guidance on how to make best use of web 2.0 technologies, according to a report from the Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA).

UCISA also says that higher education institutions need dedicated local champions to promote and develop the new methods. It calls for academics to be given the time to learn and develop the skills to use technology based tools.

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