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Filtering by Category: "transparency"

Follow up: Web 2.0 creating world peace

Added on by Chris Saad.
I have posted before musing if Blogging could create world peace. Another weekend rolls around and am prompted to ask a similar question. Can Web 2.0 create world peace?

Check out WikiLeaks (referred to me by Cass!).

From the homepage:

Wikileaks is developing an uncensorable Wikipedia for untraceable mass document leaking and analysis. Our primary interests are oppressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the west who wish to reveal unethical behavior in their own governments and corporations. We aim for maximum political impact; this means our interface is identical to Wikipedia and usable by non-technical people. We have received over 1.2 million documents so far from dissident communities and anonymous sources

We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies. Many governments would benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information. Historically that information has been costly - in terms of human life and human rights. Wikileaks will facilitate safety in the ethical leaking movement.

Seems like they can't wait for Web 2.0 platforms to create organic and measured transparency in government institutions - they are going to force it by providing an anonymous platform.

We often say that new forms of media lower the barrier to entry for participants to have a voice and therefore strengthens democracy. And it's clear that this latest iteration of our media platforms is the most democratic of all. So does democracy include complete transparency?

This is a philosophical question as much as a logistical one. There have been books written about total transparency - and what such a world would look like. Some paint a very rosy picture.

Interesting Concept. I can't decide if it will result in anarchy or the end of corruption (or the beginning of new ways to hide corruption!).

What do you think?

Let's start a conversation for 08

Added on by Chris Saad.
Hillary Clinton launches a White House bid declaring 'I'm In'. Watching her video though (as well as a number of videos from Barack and Edwards - thanks to Scoble), I am struck by something that seems to be a recurring theme.

They seem to be focused on the idea of a 'conversation'. Are they speaking to us? You and me? The participants of the social media? Of course they are. They are announcing things online and trying to use the right lingo.

This is an amazing time to be a part of all this. I would, however, like to highlight a problem.

While they are announcing online and talking about conversations (giving the illusion of transparency) they are not actually being transparent. Each of them have been coy about their bid to run for President right up to the last minute. Hillary, even as of a few days ago, was still playing it cool.

Yes I know that's the way it's been done for years - but that's no excuse. Is this a transparent, online conversation or is it not. Stop being coy. Stop pretending like we don't already know the answer. Stop treating us like fools. We are not dumb.

Maybe it's asking a bit much for all of this to happen immediately. They need to learn how this transparency thing works. Maybe it will improve over time and they will actually open up comments, trackbacks and even make direct responses to the blog-o-sphere (feel free to comment here Senators) and maybe as a result... just maybe... they will begin representing the interest of their citizens more fully.

Until then I guess I will just be happy that they are trying to use the right lingo. That must mean they recognize the power of what is lurking here.

It strikes me that perhaps the latest round of Democratizing Information will once again force political democracy (in name) to be democratic (in form and function).

Maybe, eventually, it will create world peace. Just joking.

I am not dumb - I am wired

Added on by Chris Saad.
Chris Anderson recently posted a pair of articles about a Transparent Wired Magazine. What would that look like? The first post resembles my Media 2.0 roadmap. Read Post 1 and Post 2 here.

Post 2, is far more interesting however. He talks about revealing the internal staff hierarchy to the world, exposing internal staff wikis and scratchpads, publishing drafts and transcripts as they are created, giving users the power to rate comments and include them as part of the story, use their recently acquisition of reddit (or similar paradigm) to actually decide what makes it into the magazine, and my personal favorite - wikify everything.

Imagine that - a place where the articles on a given topic no longer represent a moment in time, but rather an evolving commentary on a given subject. Is this actually feasible? Would the result become unbearably long and detailed?

Something David Dobbs writes in response is very interesting...

Some of the unease rises from concerns that might seem vain or proud: I like to think that in many cases I really AM more qualified than others to write about a given subject and (more to the point) that doing a ton of research on a subject — reading hundreds of pages and talking to highly informed and involved people —gives me a deeper and more nuanced view of a subject that gives the resulting story a certain priority in placement and attention. Indeed, that's precisely what publishing is all about.

He does go on to admit:

(Yes, it's also about power and hoarding information that can then be packaged and sold, yada yada. I'll raise my hand and confess I'm almost certainly unwittingly doing all those things -- but then, so does a farmer or carpenter or plumber.)

I would argue that recently (and maybe for long, long time) in the 24 hour news cycle, the TV media especially has completely failed to provide any real context and neunce to ongoing stories. They seem to glob onto any piece of sensational news and fail to give it any broader meaning.

They use prejudicial words without giving any thought to their bias and they fail to consider the real impacts for real people.

As Chris is suggesting in his posts, Wired and other print journalists could be great at creating over-arching summaries or focusing a community around a topic and then summarizing the conversation at the end. Nuance, however, seems to come from bloggers - not professionals.

He also argues against publishing transcripts because...

Lots of ums and ungrammatical sentences and sentence fragments. Lots of digressions, side comments, and stupid failed wisecracks. All that clutter of broken strings and floating particles makes little sense if encountered on paper by a reader who wasn't present but makes complete sense (well, nearly complete sense) to the person who was there in the conversation.

I think that, unfortunately, Mr Dobbs is making the same mistake that most mainstream media outlets (including TV networks) make. They think we are dumb.

Transcripts reveal something about an interviewee that the resulting article cannot. It reveals character, personality and context.

I have been interviewed many times and, with no disrespect to my journalist friends, my quotes are often taken out of context for the purposes of narrative flow. That's fine for articles - but in this new transparent world - I'd like the option of digging deeper.

From Conversations to Influence via Attention and Intentions

Added on by Chris Saad.
The Cluetrain Manifesto was a massive influence on me. It changed the way I think about my entire field from technology to marketing and public relations. Cluetrain was a revolution in my mind. It still sits next to my bed with little post-it notes sticking out of it where I marked down my favorite parts. There are almost as many post-it notes as there are pages.

Since then, Doc's (and his co-author's) writings, I feel, have inspired (or at the very least been validated by) the entire blogging/social/casual revolution.

The result has been an explosion of information. We have all become participants in the ecosystem of giving and getting attention. More importantly than that, however, there has also been an explosion of transparency, accountability, participation and genuinely participant focused technologies and media experiences. It has literally made the world a better place.

This movement has spawned entire fields of study and innovation starting at Attention Management, moving into Intentions and now the most recent blip on my radar - Influence.

I only started to consider Influence seriously when I discovered BuzzLogic. Their demo at demofall and their blog is interesting and insightful. They have added even more depth to the picture for me.

I love their app (based on what little I have seen) but better yet I love the philosophy. As the Knight Foundation would say "One Man Can Make a Difference". Perhaps in the remake of Knight Rider the quote will now state "One Blog Can Make a Difference".

Influencers are all around us. Being able to map the landscape will be a powerful tool indeed.

Another interesting development has been that Doc has given the Buzzlogic guys permission to post the original manifesto in wiki form so that the community can begin updating it for the next phase of our little revolution. What a nice thing to do.

I also noticed that Buzzlogic's tool sends email alerts based on various conditions being met. I wonder if they need a client-side alerting platform.