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Archive for May, 2008

I’ve had my Chumby since last November, anxiously waiting for it (him?) to wow me.
Although the wowing was somewhat anticlimactic, it happened yesterday.

For anyone unfamiliar with the magical plush world of Chumby, think soft alarm clock that displays your choice of widgets. (Here‘s a decent primer.) Until now, my Chumby has been loaded up with Red Sox scores, a cuckoo clock, word-of-the-day, multiple tech-geek feeds, standards like the Huff Post, a reel of morphing Mona Lisa facial expressions, and classic artwork feeds like Stuff on My Mutt.
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As a follow-up to my recent posts about Ethos Roundtable and the Berkman Center, I wanted to reintroduce MobileActive.org, another group that I’ve blogged about a few times in the past. (They continue to take on more and more ambitious and inspiring projects every time I check back with them!)

Not only are they a great resource for global mobile news and statistics, but their blog (written mainly by Katrin Verclas) brings together a well-informed community of activists in the tech space. I had the pleasure of meeting Katrin a couple years ago when I attended the NTEN Conference for the first time, and her passion for mobile/social advocacy proves why she’s an emerging thought-leader in the space. I urge you to check out their blog and website and get involved.
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It’s always remarkable to watch the early-adopter tech community get caught in its own hamster wheel (no pointing fingers here… I’m admittedly being self-reflective). The tools that are quickly embraced are just as quickly critiqued. We’re not being fickle or needy, simply realistic. In a sphere defined by fast-paced conversation, we need our communication tools to work, and work well. Or we move on.

Case in point: This week’s Twitter outages (as if you didn’t know where I was going here…)
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Back in February, I spoke at a roundtable discussion about the intersection of new media (specifically Wikipedia) and social change.  A fun and diverse group of techies, nonprofiteers, and social media junkies came together to chat about ways that new technologies can be leveraged to encourage social activism.

One surprising discovery came when –amongst a crew of self-proclaimed advocacy nerds– we admitted that very few of us had actually edited a Wikipedia page.  The general diagnosis?  There is still an invisible hand reigning over the Wiki model; and until this is dissolved (likely as a gradual epistemic change), some semblance of a traditional authorial hierarchy will remain.
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For anyone attending the Berkman@10 Conference today and tomorrow, make sure to head over to the cocktail party tonight to check out Wiffiti!

All of you visiting from far-off places, at least you get a nice day in Cambridge (well, until I hit publish and it starts pouring).

If you’re not heading to Berkman@10, and you’re a Boston-area tech lover, I’ll assume you’ll be hobnobbing at POPSignal.  It’s sold out, but you can often scoot into the overflow space once the night wears on… Check it out at Tequila Rain over by Fenway.  Sox are in Baltimore, so at least you have a chance of not suffocating to death on the T ride home.

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