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Hypergene MediaBlog » Recommended Reading

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Friday, 20 Feb 2004

Recommended Reading

Blogging in Iran
Iran’s Blogging Boom Defies Media Control: “Initially created to defy the nation’s tight control on media, these Web journals have turned into a cyber-sanctuary — part salon, part therapist’s couch — for the vast pool of educated, young and computer-savvy Iranians. As Friday’s parliamentary elections approach, however, there’s a distinct tone of worry that conservatives expected to regain control of parliament would step up pressure to censor the Internet.”

Bloggers will be reporters tomorrow in Iran: “I’m trying to encourage Iranian blogger to go out tomorrow, the election day, and report what they see and hear in their city and blog it. I also plan to gather all posts related to it in one place either in my own Persian blog or in Sobhaneh, the collective news blog.”

Tomorrow is a big day for the Iranian blog revolution: Jeff Jarvis comments: “This could be a watershed moment in citizens’ media and democratization. No matter what the mullahs do—shutting down newspapers—the people can still report. You can’t shut down news when every citizen is a reporter.”

• Also see: The Vulgar Spirit of Blogging: On language, culture, and power in Persian Weblogestan.

Should sites and weblogs be posting exit polls on primary days before voting closes?: Jonathan Dube pulls together a group of links on the debate in the blogosphere.

Online Publishing Risks Create Need for Libel Insurance on OJR: “Whether you’re a blogger, an independent magazine or a media giant -- if you’re publishing online you should at least consider having coverage. Two media advisors offer this guide to libel insurance for online publishers large and small.”

Looking for feedback on book chapters: J.D. Lasica wants your help to review his forthcoming book, tentatively subtitled, “Remixing the Future of Movies, Music and Television.” His TOC looks interesting. Sounds like a great book. This is similar to what Dan Gillmor did with his book, Making the News: What Happens to Journalism and Society When Every Reader Can Be a Writer. Wonder when that’s going to be published? His site says: “We’ll be posting some draft chapters soon. Stay tuned...” We are.

Lots on Lurking: Clay Shriky posts a nice selection of links on the nature of lurkers and lurking. We liked this thought from Eugene Kim: “Lurkers are part of a group’s latent energy; good things happen when that energy is activated. Lurkers are part of the all-important weak-tie network, and it’s important to keep them engaged, even if engagement does not translate to participation.”

Is there an echo in here?, David Weinberger’s thoughtful article on Salon: “The Dean campaign’s demise threatens to tar the whole Internet as an “echo chamber” — but the real closed system is in the mass media.” Excerpt:

While most of us had assumed that the Internet would increase the diversity of opinion, the echo chamber meme says the Net encourages groups to form that increase the homogeneity of belief. This isn’t simply a factual argument about the topography carved by traffic and links. A “tut, tut” has been appended: See, you Web idealists have been shown up—humankind’s social nature sucks, just as we always told you! Furthermore (says the memester), you Deaniacs were self-deluding, weak-minded children: Wake up and smell the depressing coffee!

The facts are not in question. They show that the links-to-blogs curve follows a “power law,” that people tend to buy books that express similar values and views, and that a small number of sites get a disproportionate amount of traffic. But the echo chamber meme, with its “tut, tut,” doesn’t follow from those facts. It rides on a rationalist view of conversation, defining conversations as the exchange of information with the purpose of discovering truth and changing minds.

Talk about your foolish optimists!

Howard Rheingold’s Smart Mobs blog has gotten much smarter since it unleashed an international Blog Mob to produce it.

Posted on Feb 20, 2004 | 5:44 am EST
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