June 11th Final Class

June 22, 2007

As everyone on the civic activism class rolled in their presentations it is interesting to hear each other take on the content created and the take-home from the class.

Everybody brought their own life experience in the final presentation – including Tom and Gary that actually went even further by presenting a whole biography. –

I think any of us got a renewed interest about activism and I noticed that our discussions sometimes gravitated towards activism postings we saw on the main building bulletin boards, some of them propmted us to research and then add the site (if there was one) to our chicago activism site: more bulletins are appearing and I believe those boards are a very good source for local activism.

We talked about “Tweets” as the “mini-me” of Blogs; small version of blogs that contain impromptu thoughts and observations – well ok, sometimes they contain pure drivel and nonsense, but sometimes we need to read that to snap out of our seriousness and have some fun. –

We learned about creative ways to get the word out there – sometimes even if it is illegal or a copyright infringement – when we heard that someone put into song lyrics the hexadecimal codes that make up the signature of a program to break Blue-ray DVD encryption.

Comments abounded about how to implement a timeline for the activism blog and how could that be used to trace and research organizations that did, are doing or will do something to foster change in our society. Change that hopefully will bring progress and better living to everyone.


June 4th tech

June 11, 2007

Blogging Revolution on WIRED


April 2nd class tech

June 4, 2007

Here is an interesting blog a British newspaper about free speech – or the lack of it –

The Guardian Unlimited

April 23rd class tech

June 4, 2007

The “Macaca” video.

I found a blog talking about the video posted on u-tube; here it is:

e.politics on Allen’s “Macaca” video

May 14th class tech

June 4, 2007

After watching countless websites about blogging my window-close reflex stopped just milliseconds after positioning the cursor on the “close tab” righ-click menu.
This is the page I was reading at the time: http://blogs.atlassian.com/news/. This site discusses a subject very close to blogging: the use of wiki oriented sites. These sites in syntony with the web 2.0 “quick” (wiki means quick in Hawaian) pattern allow a group of people to share and edit content easily online.

Explore the site and navigate around to know more about wikis; here is an excerpt from the site:

Pioneered by Ward Cunningham, and named after the Hawaiian word for ‘quick’, a wiki is a website that makes it easy for anyone to contribute pages, and link them together.

May 4th class tech

June 4, 2007

Still thinking and struggling about what was said in last week class. It was about the military blocking blogging and sites like myspace from the soldier’s field computers connected to the internet.

My past tells me it was a very good idea, although I am not sure if the blocking extends past the events in time. Posting a picture of a soldier in a camp with a background image of the surroundings can give a pretty good idea where the camp is and that can be pretty dangerous for the people still there.

Perhaps they – the armed forces – should filter the content and allow the soldiers to blog, but then deliver it later when it is not deemed a “leak” anymore. I guess the problem then is who decides when to release the “offline” blog or website content.

Here is an article about Colby Buzzell, a former U.S. soldier in Iraq, who won a prize for a book he published later based on his blog entries that were censored at the time; find the article at http://www.technewsworld.com/story/57382.html.

May 21th class tech

June 4, 2007

Interesting piece of news about the Internet and Plagiarism in this blog: MetroBlogging Lahore.

We look at a big “information jar” out there to put your hands into. With so many people who are now a source of information — how valid we don’t know. Every tidbit of information is a sweet cookie (a real one, not the kind your browser digests) for everyone to include in their information porfolio. Given the fact that your information porfolio can be very profitable, when it attracts readers to read the ads in your web page or log, how many people will fall into temptation and how many will be caught with their hands in the jar?

It’s hard to tell; we can only hope people will genuinely want to put their ideas out there and not someone else’s. And when they do at least give credit to the source and have some sort of sportsman’s honor code.

Fortunately this article brings forward at least one tool to come to the author’s aide: Copyscape. You can find it at http://copyscape.com.

How many people will be caught with their hands in the jar? We still do not know, but we do know tools are being built to “turn on the lights in the kitchen.”

June 4th class

June 4, 2007

Phew, loooong time no blog.
Actually not much of anything that was not strictly related to kids and work. It has been two VERY long weeks. Frustration comes in abundance when your time seems to shrink down to nothing.

Well at least I am now feeling well and I am happily writing my class blog and going around to clean up all the class materials, find new entries for the Activism Blog and editing the powerpoint presentations.

Today in class we discussed more about the activism site and soem thoughts came about about the internet in general. We use this mean to do all this stuff and we never question its availability and existence. What if someone would “privatize” the Internet? it seems a very far fetched hypothesis, but there is in fact the possibility of such an event to occur. Talking with class members and browsing the net news and rss feeds we found some old articles about Google trying to purchase “black fiber” cables – optical cables that allow a greater bandwidth that were layed down a while ago (1995)  in the Internet boom and then never used commercially – and make their own private internet backbone from where to deliver exclusive content to paying subscribers.

Today – we discussed – we already pay for Internet service, so what is the difference? Most of us today pay for the connection and some of us for services provided  through the Internet; the Internet per se’ is an interconnection of networks that as been so far free for use and free to move content around.

There are countries – and perhaps the USA is not immune – that have governments that limit the content usable and viewable on the Internet; expecially all the content that resides on the world wide web. Larry pointed out that with the situation about terrorism in the US there are some governemnt agencies that might want to control content here too to “prevent” such actions. THe whole team agreed that perhaps they should use the Internet to learn more about this violent acts and prevent them by informing people so that such events could be prevented.

With all this information available it makes no sense to remove content; we should actually read and learn from it so that we won’t hear anymore one agency telling they were not told by another and so they couldn’t act. There will be no more excuses: the information is there for everyone to know.

Lynda brought up a very good point about the fact that even if the terrorists knew that we knew: that mere knowledge we knew what they were up to would have sent them cancelling the plan and try to find something else; something else that of course will be discovered and made public. People will not be caught by surprise then and thereby the greatest advantage of terrorism will be removed.

May 21th class

May 22, 2007

Tragic! Just found out we needed to turn in the paper for one of the assignments and completely forgot.

Lynda found something about a conference in Chicago about blogging.

Rogers Park bloggers are very active and rank 3rd in the Nation.

Tom read about corporate America like KFC are stealing clips from the ‘net and using it in their advertising.

GM got a big exposure by getting all the cars in Transformers to be GMs and you can blog with Optimus Prime (the leader of the giant bots to defend earth.)

Information wants to be free and somehow someone could find a way to use for evil purposes; like everything else since the Kirby vacuum.

The department of defense blocking utube and MySpace I really would like to see/hear what is that all about. I have a strange feeling that I might not agree with it.

News from the front is always difficult: why is it so important to know everything very quick?

I have a feeling that the PR world is completely populated by people who do not anything at all about war or any other combat situation. What is the difference about getting the information later on? Are these soldiers brainwashed just before getting home?

Gary wrote a piece about how to become an activist; seeing what makes the ordinary citizen to become an activist.

I need to send the link to this Blog to professor Tresser.

The beat for tonight is Social Justice.

May 14th class

May 15, 2007

Discussing where the class is standing for each one of us is bringing out all the students opinions and impressions. Linda started talking about the fact that we can write a lot about nothing. Something that looks and feels dull and meaningless to us might be interesting and even fascinating to an audience. Tom ilustrated an example of a guy that sold all his household items on eBay and then proceeded to go visit them in the different households they ended up in. He got so much feedback that he wrote a book about it.

This week has been particularly taxing and ended up to this day to drain all the energy I got; I am really having to switch back to school mode to pay attention. In sorts thismoment allows the mind to relax and be more active in the areas it was not used.

The importance of collecting contact information about people we talk to: phone, email.

More than one person expressed the original idea they had of the course was about to learn about history and about activism in Chicago. Tom Ramirez spearheaded the subject.

Holaday: Perhaps we need a guide to the blog; where to start – a page or link where people will navigate to to start their journey inside Chicago activism.

 Adriana noted she was learning a lot about the new medium and tools available on the net. SItes like yahoo flickr and blog engines, u-tube and mySpace. Some of these web 2.0 content drivern pages contain a lot of information that sometimes can look pointless and useful only to youngsters to lounge around. The same way it was done in the past in front of the ice cream parlor. This time the impact is much larger though and the sheer volume and behaviour of the “viral” information that potentially can derive from the internet can make nonsense into a great idea.

Tom Bergstrom announced the blog entries will hav eto be re-categorized and located on the neighborhood map.

“Mark” voiced the part of the group that is already using the internet as an everyday tool; he wants to obtain more information about activism. Check out Joe Moore’s web site on Rogers Park for activism hub example.

Oh boy I am tired, cold and hungry! Well perhaps finally I am not cold. Here in the land of eternal winter we reached finally something that in other part of the world is considered mild spring weather.

Gary evidenced the collaboration and cooperation part of the class and the fact that the information at hand made him more aware about. The phenomenon of how to use this directory we are building to fire up the spirit of people to join groups and make activism possible. Telling the story makes it accessible to us. It is not necessary to give up the daily job to participate.

Gary T and Beverly near him come up with examples about local sotries that impacted them and got them to participate,

Larry (cop and activist) : Information does not necessarily get out for something to be done about it. A public outcry for change and a massive amoun tof people are involved: change happens. Mass politics is at play here.

“Sex, drugs and updating your blog” on the New York Times talks about using blogging in the entertainment industry.

We are listening to a mediocre song now from the site mentioned in the NY times; HOW IN THE HECK DID THEY GET THE ENDORSEMENT? Who spun the piece of news to the media?

Viral marketing; apparently this happened before the interest of the ny times was peeked.

Prof attracted the attention to LinkedIn; zoominfo as search engine, zabasearch.

Blogging stats: web 2.0 distributed content : centralized processing: identity issues?

MIssion critical here does not seem to be part of the subject. He made a comment about the army guys posting stuff on mySpace and they should be able to. Perhaps he has never experienced enemy mortar fire?

Now blog is found more easly than any other page on the net. ? Big ?

Blog turns consumer relations from top-down to peer-to-peer.

Covering a topic for a year practically give s you enough material to write a book.

Align the readers with the content. There is always somebody out there that is a little bit more nuts than you about a particular topic you want to write about.


Andy Wibbels guest speaker

At daily KOS advertisement costs 9000 a week for the top slot.

DEmocratiziation fo the media thorugh this blog technology.

This class really starts to be interesting; perhaps the format should always be with a guest.

Deferred blogging

Blogging for small business.