Just arrived at Beyond Broadcast. Here are some notes I’m taking as I go along:
Panel II: What the emerging participatory web media services are doing
I walked into my first panel on “Emerging participatory web media services” with Paul Jones from ibiblio and Skip Pizzi from Microsoft. The conference room was packed by several hundred participants, most of whom were typing furiously on their laptops.
I plopped myself down in the corner, fired up the laptop, and checked in on Second Life to see who was attending in the virtual space. There were some dozen avatars in the virtual Berkman. Don’t know if there were more in the Yuma Island space Joi Ito provided. The wifi was pretty sketchy and crashed Second Life after about half an hour.
Panel III: What is the community dimension of media?
Ethan Zuckerman gave a hilarious run through of the history of the Internet, from Minitel to BBSs to the first router to World of Warcraft.
Brendan Greeley, Radio Open Source: a blog with a radio show. There’s a danger to getting information through blogs. We forget where information is coming from. Blogs are the new talk radio. Content of show comes from blog.
Tom Gerace, Gather.com. Finding good content in blog-o-sphere is hard. 34 million blogs, doubles every 5 months.
Rhea Mokund, Listen Up : spoke about her project creates spaces for youth-created media and for groups doing interesting media work to find each other.
Thomas Kriese, Omidyar Network, talked about their sophisticated posting, commenting and reputation system that they have built, that guide their work as an investment fund.
Jonathon Ziitrain, law professor at Oxford Internet Institute and Berkman, beamed in via video from Oxford. He talked about reputation systems moving from the net moving online. Help us figure out who do we want to connect with. Tantalizing prospect. Questions about how to govern the space and structure the online and offline environments together in a way that brings out our best side.
Brendan. These reputation systems may be a problem for journalism. May lead to pre-judging people. Eliminates some of the blank slate. There’s a value to anonymity.
Tom noted that today we use network tools to assess the reputation of people we don’t know. Sometimes the reputation system is gossip, or calling the person who referred someone to you, or googling that person. So new technologies will facilitate what people are doing already.
Thomas made a good point about gaming reputation systems. (I observed that questions in the question interface were being “gamed” by people voting up and down the questions as people were talking!) He noted that people have strong disincentives to getting and giving negative feedback. On amidyar people often vote up comments that have been voted down just because they don’t like seeing negative votes.