News, views and what I choose to dos

Tag : Blogs and blogging

What does a truly democratic Q&A format look like?

Internet thinker and political operator David Weinberger has posed an interesting question: how do we design a question-and-answer format for…

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Stand up to Trafigura abuse of outdated libel laws

In October, there was outrage when UK libel lawyers Carter-Ruck prevented a newspaper from repeating questions asked in Parliament. The…

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Twitter wins the battle, now journalists and politicians need to win the war

Delighted to wake up this morning to find out that people acted on appalling press gagging regarding Trafigura and had…

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If you don’t use Twitter, that headline will look like gibberish, but basically one company that produces very short URLs…

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Why Google has a dangerous amount of power – Part 1

I have long said that Google is going to become the new Microsoft. People forget that Microsoft was once also a poster-child, before its control over the majority of the world’s operating systems turned it into a monster.

The fact is that Google has a dangerous amount of power and it is only a matter of time before that level of power corrupts. The fact is that Google has gone beyond providing neat, market-changing products for free and has started to dictate what is allowed online through the rules it creates. Again, it is only a matter of time before those rules start being bent in favour of the corporation, rather than the improvement of its products or an improved end-user experience.

So, my first quick example of where Google has a dangerous amount of power. This site – and my other main site – have this morning completely disappeared from Google. Last night my sites existed, this morning, they do not.

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The participative web – follow my Web2.0 ramblings at the OECD meeting

For those interested in Internet things – and in this case the sexy side of the Internet, Facebook and all that stuff – there is an interesting conference due to start in two hours in Ottawa, Canada.

I know because I’m here and I’m on of two official bloggers. See can see the full agenda here, and the front page to the blog, which I will be updating all day can be found here.

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Greek blog aggregator arrested

The Internet Governance Forum will start on Monday morning but already the debate has started – and it is surrounding freedom of speech online.

There are several reports that the Greek authorities arrested a man for linking – not writing, but linking – to blog posts that had satirised a businessman (possibly a TV evangelist). The businessman complained to the police and the police picked up the adminstrator of blog aggregation site – and charged him.

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IGF London meeting: rushes, worries and lessons

So Nominet held a big meeting in London on Monday covering the new Internet Governance Forum that will meet for the first time at the end of this month in Athens.

Nominet IGF meeting

In some ways, it was a sort-of mini IGF in that it took the same free-ranging panel approach and that it explictly held two panels on two of the four main themes of the IGF – “security” and “openness” (Nitin Desai pointed out that had the meeting been in a developing country, the panels and debate would have been on the other two themes – diversity and access).

It was also similar to the real meeting in the role that I have been asked to play: “chief blogger” – meaning scouring the Internet for interesting comments and reading them out to the room. Actually, this term “chief blogger” has led some to ask whether I’m some of kind of official IGF blogger, which I certainly am not, so I will refer to my role as “blog watcher” from now on.

The general feeling is that the meeting was a success.

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Steven Forrest outed as Bill Hobbs

Steven Forrest – the hopelessly biased blogger of Free2Innovate (aka Free2Fabricate) – has been outed as Bill Hobbs, a right-wing political blogger who receives payment for anonymously pushing corporate lines.

It’s long been known that Steven Forrest is a pseudonym and it has been widely assumed he was in the pay of VeriSign for the simple reason that every single blog posting over the past few years has agreed with VeriSign’s corporate line, and that Mr Forrest has frequently acquired information that only an internet insider would know of, yet he never attends meetings and no one has ever met him.

Kevin Murphy discovered that Steven Forrest was in fact Bill Hobbs well over a year ago, and my investigations led me to the exact same conclusion but having been unable to find any evidence that he was being paid by VeriSign, let the matter drop.

Blog Read More book bigger and better

I have passed the deadline for my book on and I estimate I am still three weeks to a month away from finishing.

How? How could I have miscalculated? And why is it taking so long? Well, there are several reasons:

  1. A book contains a hell of a lot of words and it is hard, relentless work getting them written
  2. I underestimated the depth of the story. I am *still* discovering new elements to the story. I suppose when you are talking about two characters like Gary Kremen and Stephen Cohen, it was never going to be simple. And they have been at it for 10 years now. I figure if I am going to write a book on the whole saga I have to do it as comprehensively as possible.
  3. It took me a month to escape from my news editor mentality. You really have to get into a whole different state of mind to write a book
  4. It just takes alot of time to read thousands upon thousands of pages, interview people and pull it all into a coherent mass
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