Category Archives: Media

Read and Write Access is Control

One of the great things about the web is that it’s read/write. Just about everyone can read it and write it. This can foster GREAT global equality IF everyone has access to and knows how to read and write the web.

I’ve read a lot on the web and email lists recently about false information being written on Wikipedia. Such as Adam Curry changing the Podcasting entry on Wikipedia to suit his version of events and John Seigenthaler Sr. being connected to the assignation of John F. Kennedy. This is really just a demonstration of new power. Now that people have the knowledge and the tools they have at it.

Dave Winer wrote:

In June I wrote People With Erasers about Wikipedia. Now after reading about the Seigenthaler affair, and revelations about Adam Curry’s rewriting of the podcasting history — the bigger problem is that Wikipedia is so often considered authoritative. That must stop now, surely. Every fact in there must be considered partisan, written by someone with a confict of interest. Further, we need to determine what authority means in the age of Internet scholarship. And we need to take a step back and ask if we really want the participants in history to write and rewrite the history. Isn’t there a place in this century for historians, non-participants who observe and report on the events?

The fact is we are all participants. No one who is reading the web is a non-participant. We have access to so much media we become part of it. If we compeltly ignor the media – like the web – then we are not part of it. If we are not part of it then we can not observe and report on it.

The tension I described above about the editing of wikipedia is just a growing pain. Pain from loosing control over others. Those who had control may not even realized they had it. The experts, trusted sources, gatekeepers, professors, teachers, editors, encyclopedias, dictionaries, media, leaders, and the parents are no longer in complete control. The masses have discovered that racket. Now we all can read and write. Let’s their be no one in charge!

Protests at WTO meeting in Hong Kong

Peace and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong working to stop the WTO. May you have success and return home safely to your families. Here are some links to stories about the latest protest.

From DemocracyNow (December 14, 2005):

The World Trade Organization has entered its second day of its ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. South Koreans have led attempts to reach the convention center by swimming across Hong Kong Bay. They have been blocked off by heavily armed police barricades and beaten back by riot police with pepper spray and batons. We speak with Anuradha Mittal, an expert on world trade issues in Hong Kong.

Protests Continue at WTO Conference as Talks Stall Over Agricultural Trade from democracynow.org
WTO Protest Action Hong Kong from Indymedia Ireland
Hong Kong People’s Alliance on WTO
Our World is Not For Sale
Protests to Greet WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong from San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia

Don’t Bomb Us – A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers

I’ve read on a few blogs that some staff members of Al-Jazeera, an Arab satellite TV station, have created a blog called Don’t Bomb Us – A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers. It appears to be in response to the story in the British Daily Mirror newspaper that Bush and Blair discussed plans to bomb the buildings of Al-Jazeera. (The fact is the US military did bomb Al-Jazeera buildings several times killing at least one Al-Jazeera staff member. Each time the US military claimed it was an accident despite direct hits on these buildings.)

From DemocracyNow:

The attack in Iraq killed Al Jazeera’s correspondent Tariq Ayub. Ayub’s widow, Dina, said she is now considering suing the U.S. government for her husband’s death. She said “America always claimed it was an accident. But I believe the new revelations prove that claim was false or at least not trustworthy.”

At first I was a bit skeptical that this blog was really by Al-Jazeera staff. Then I read about it on Global Voices Online, a blog I trust, and I saw the AlJazeera staff want answers flickr photo set. Propaganda? All depends on who you trust I guess. People in the US who still trust Bush will think so.

From the AlJazeera staff want answers flickr photo set:

Al Jazeera staff organised a symbolic gathering outside their offices Thursday, 24 November 2005.

We demand that the truth about Daily Mirror report to be revealed and that the Britsh and American governments tell us the truth about Bush wanting to bomb Al Jazeera.

These are a few examples why individual citizens using blogs and social software like Flickr are better than the main stream media. WE can develop personal trusted networks that can help to verify a story quickly AND democratically.

YES there are real human lives being taken by the US military! YES there are real people who live in fear of this violence! When we hear from people in danger US world domination becomes much less abstract. It’s not just some “terrorist TV station” or “evil other person” anymore. (Not that many of us ever belived these Bush government lies…) Blogs like Don’t Bomb Us can show the real potential of increased humanization that the Internet provides.

O’Reilly’s Rant Against San Francisco

Bill O’Reilly’s insane ranting shouldn’t be a surprise but this bit of hatred needs to be heard and remembered. He was “Criticizing a ballot measure passed by 60 percent of San Francisco voters urging public high schools and colleges to prohibit on-campus military recruiting” [Media Matters]

From the November 8 broadcast of Fox News’ The Radio Factor with Bill O’Reilly:

O’REILLY: Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I’m not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I’m the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, “Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you’re not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead.”

And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

O’Reilly hates San Francisco MP3

We love you San Francisco! You might say I am help O’Reilly by sharing his views with you. But we’re swiming in a sea of information and it’s easy to forget shit like this. Hell I’d like to just ignore it. But we can’t. We have to remember how corporate media like Fox News and robber barons like Rupert Murdoch poison our country and PLANET with this hate created to sell ads.

Via: Media Matters

Annotating: Metadata about Media

The tagline of this blog is Metadata about Media Activism. It is my way of saying I want to share with you the information I find about media activism – and other stuff. Information about information a.k.a. metadata. What if it was a lot easier to share and receive this metadata?

With all the audio and video being created and shared it’s hard to sift through it all. I try to navigate this sea of info [text, audio, video] by using chance. I scan other peoples blogs and hope they link to cool stuff I like. If something floats by me then I check it out. If it doesn’t I just wait for another bit of info to make it’s way to me. More times than not if something is important it circles back into my point of view. [Not always] In turn I link to stuff I hope other people will like. My hope is that our loose network of information sharing will better inform us.

Other times I seach for specific keywords that relate to things I want to know. This is where great search engines like Google come in.

When we scan we’re looking for a hook. A bit of information that captures our interest enough to dig deeper. To read a few hundred more words, to listen to a few more minutes of audio, or to watch more video. A good way to create a better hook is to create metadata about your content in a easy to search/scan format. As of this writing the most acurate format for search/scan is text.

Lots of people are working on software that annotates audio and video with text metadata to facilate better scanning and searching. This is also known as comments or “rich media clipping”. One recent example of multimedia annotation software is the BBC Annotatable Audio project. It’s a rather amazing flash application that allows you to listen to audio and create text notes about specific audio sections you select. (Check out the mov demos – editing / annotating a programme Quicktime Mov file (4Mb).) I just wish it was a open source peice of software that the entire world could benefit from. As far as I know this inovation just sits somewhere on a BBC R&D computer. A few other examples of annotating software, aka “rich media clipping”, were mentioned on J. D. Lasica’s blog in his post Annotating rich media. Including one being developed by Our Media.

Don’t blogs already create metadata about audio and video content ? When podcasters share their work they usually create blog posts about it. Often the create detailed show notes in OPML to annotate their audio. I supose people are trying to figure out simple ways to do this for all multimedia content. The solutions that work the best will be ones that help get more people involved. Social software for metadata creation and collection.

Video Games for Peace

The Washington Post has a story – Video Game World Gives Peace a Chance – about the development of multiplayer online video games that have the goal of countering bloodshed instead of creating it. Teams at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California, United Nations’ World Food Programme, and MTV are working to create and promote the video games. The subject of these peaceful video games ranges from creating peace in the Middle East, fighting genocide, and stopping hunger. The game Food Force, sponsored by UN World Food Programme is already launched and in full gear.

A few years ago when I read the online comic The Spiders – thanks Ruby – the concept of the video game console/Internet generation becoming PHYSICALLY active remotely from their living rooms amazed me. Not only could people playing peaceful video games develop positive social justice ideals, be creative, improve hand eye coordination, gain social skills, and make friends they could participate in NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION.

US solders are already guiding remote control flying robots that carry missiles and other weapons. What if the average citizen were able to wield this power? I wouldn’t wish such a nightmare scenario upon the earth but the potential of remote control empowerment is staggering. Video games already act as pre-training for battle. Especially in games like America’s Army, the US Army’s first person shooter video game. There have been reports of improved physical skills among soldiers who have played this game compared to soldiers who did not.

Instead of training new killers why not train activists to spread peace and understanding with high technology? Imagine a digital Engaged Buddhist monk wielding Akido across the physical world by traveling through the conduits of the Internet. William Gibson we are only beginning to understand the accuracy of your literacy soothsaying.

via: Boing Boing, Smart Mobs

ConvergeSouth-Ethics: What are the rules?

ConvergeSouth – Fri. Oct. 7
Ethics: What are the rules?
Meshing new tech with journalistic values
Lex Alexander and Jay Rosen

This is stuff I heard and captured my attention enough to write down. Not a complete transcript. 😀

MI = My Impression

Trust is estabilish differently umong blogers than it is umong the Main Stream Media.

You can’t take the “ten commandments” of ethics at the MSM and then try to use it to judge blogs on how they are doing.

Dave Winer says, “You sound so maternalistic like it’s your job to help us. Who are you to tell us how to edit our writting.”

(MI: I can’t get Dave’s exact question. This is a paraphrase…)

It’s a waste of my time to do interviews for 45 minutes where only tweleve words are going to be quoted. I don’t trust their editing. -Jay Rosen

Context: Dave Winer wants to know why we should trust a newspaper to edit our comments on their blog.

My Question:
The entire blogosphere is not journalistic in style or nature.
In the context of journalism, what do you think is the importance of these blogs?

(My question wasn’t formed well. Jay and Lex didn’t really understand it. It seems so by their answers.)

The first person to figure out how to use a blog to write true journalism news will be famous. – Jay Rosen

Where do you see blogs in the next 5-10 years? Will it hit the mainstream? -JOMC student

WKRN – broadcast journalist that get blogging.

Jay Rosen says, journalist exec. response to bloggers: “You don’t mean I have to put my name on what these blogers say!?!?!”

Should Pat Robertson be allowed in the UK?

I first read about Pat Robertson’s call for the US Government to assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from the Bolivian Blog. Then last night John Stewart on the Daily Show opened with the quip that he can’t even say “fuck” or “Fuuuuuucccck” without it being bleeped, but if you own your own TV network (as Robertson owns the Christian Broadcasting Network) you can call for the murder of a head of state.

This morning on the BBC for colonist via NPR (aka BBC Newshour) I heard that British Home Secretary Charles Clarke claims he will begin enforcing a new “anti-terror law” that will deport any non-citizen in the UK that does things like glorify terrorism, incites violence, preaches hate, etc. Still no word on exactly what actions are on the list of “unacceptable behaviour”. They don’t seem to be able to apply the same rules to British citizens. They can’t just deport them. Fact is all the men who bombed the London tube and bus were British citizens.

Just as the BBC show was ending they read a email from a woman in Waltham, Massachusetts. She asked if Pat Robertson would be on a list of non-citizens to be deported for glorifying violence and preaching hate? I wonder if the UK will keep a list of non-citizens who are not allowed into the county who’ve preached hate? Hmm the righteous sword of anti-terrorism rhetoric cuts both ways me thinks.