At the Open Knowledge Festival, Helsinki

click to enlarge This week I’ll be presenting Wikipedia Illustrated and participating in other events at Helsinki’s Open Knowledge Festival. I would love to see you there: Monday, Sep 17, 5pm Open Publishing and Visual Free Culture – A satellite event hosted by M-Cult and Pixelache, discussing Collaborative Futures, Wikipedia Illustrated and more Thursday, Sep 20th, 4pm … Continue reading At the Open Knowledge Festival, Helsinki

לדעת קהלים נסתרים / Getting intimate with Invisible Audiences (Hebrew Translation)

The following is a Hebrew translation and presentation documentation for my Sept 2010 paper. I recommend reading the original, hyperlinked and slightly more up-to-date text in English. Both the original article and a video of the accompanying presentation are available in English.

Continue reading “לדעת קהלים נסתרים / Getting intimate with Invisible Audiences (Hebrew Translation)”

When Teaching Becomes an Interaction Design Task: Networking the Classroom with Collaborative Blogs

p>I wish I was in NYC these days for Mobility Shifts, an international future of learning summit. My recent parenthood along other commitments prevented me from joining but I was happy to contribute to the Learning Through Digital Media reader where I published an essay about my experience teaching with collaborative blogs. The peer-review process was interesting, and we were all invited to review and comment on each others works paragraph by paragraph. This definitely improved my paper and was generally an enjoyable and educating process.

Like the rest of the essays in the book, mine titled: “When Teaching Becomes an Interaction Design Task: Networking the Classroom with Collaborative Blogs” is published on the site and is available for download in multiple formats. My “Topics in Digital Media” graduate students at NYU’s Media Culture & Communication program have created a video response to the paper, which is possibly one of the most exciting memories I take with me from my NYC teaching years.

I am embedding an online version of the book here and would cross post the full article below it. I hope you would enjoy the essay, and hopefully find it useful for your own teaching. Let me know what you think.

Learning Through Digital Media Continue reading “When Teaching Becomes an Interaction Design Task: Networking the Classroom with Collaborative Blogs”

We only care for Tunisians if they validate our techno-fetish

It’s not a Twitter, Facebook or YouTube revolution. It’s a revolution of hungry oppressed people who had enough. They didn’t need Wikileaks to tell them how corrupt their government is. It was a burning man, burnt by his misery and oppression that got people out to the streets. Through the past three weeks the coverage … Continue reading We only care for Tunisians if they validate our techno-fetish

Introducing Forks vs. Knives

Format note: Written as a grant proposal.

Forks vs. Knives – Developing the code that governs us

Describe your project

Reaching consensus is never easy and when it gets really tough some reach for their knives. We say, drop the knives and pick up the forks.

Imagine a site – fvsk.org – where each community can store its social pact – be it legal, economic, ethical or religious code – and share it with its members and the world. Much like the social coding sites – Github and Bitbucket – the site will let each community member create her own version, a “fork”, and then share and discuss it with others. Forking becomes an opportunity to reflect, explore and innovate.

But we will not stop at that, communities need a way to agree on a mutual social pact. FvsK will support a well-defined enactment process for accepting forks and updating a pact. Using the power of distributed version control systems (DVCS) such as Git and Mercurial we will create a system that keeps the entire history of changes to the social pact and allows each member to propose changes. We will use the key processes of DVCS – forking and merging – to encourage free flow of ideas and to formulate agreement. On top of the DVCS system we will use tested organizational workflow solutions (such as BPM) to model the current process of pact revision approval and create simple tools to improve that process.

Our long-term vision is to create a system that can serve any size of community – from the manifest of a small ad-hoc activist group to a country’s statutory law – providing a way to keep their pact dynamic and encourage members’ participation.

This project will launch in Israel, one of the most challenging political environments today, where opposing communities are torn over national, religious, economic, racial and cultural differences. The future of our region is dependent on gaining the permission to read, write, and enact the codes that govern us, and to dare innovate, engage and affect them.

During the first year of this project we will build a system to serve two Kibbutz communities to be elected from the 256 “Kibbutzim” in Israel. Being a communal village of a few hundred people, the bylaws of the Kibbutz are critical to its members. The issues of private vs. communal property are hotly debated as kibbutzim adapt to economic changes and the evolving needs and wants of their members. Continue reading “Introducing Forks vs. Knives”

Getting Intimate with Invisible Audiences

Invisible audiences drive the success and failures of mediated social life. But before we rush to further network our private and public spaces we should consider this radical cultural shift. Some lessons can be learned from a recent ambiguous website and an old ambiguous book.

[Hebrew translation available]

Mushon Zer-Aviv (il) about getting intimate with invisible audiences from transmediale.

work by Liu Bolin

Binary Relationships

The privacy debate has been dominated by the cultural leaders of our time – software engineers. Therefore we should not be surprised that the tones of this debate have been often quite binary. Private or public, 0 or 1, all or nothing… these binary dichotomies make sense for packet switching and network protocols, but they are very different from the way we lead our social lives.

Privacy has become a selfish demand, and publicness—a public good. A public demanding the civil rights of information: “information wants to be free”. But this highly celebrated “free” information does not necessarily stand for “freedom”. Thinking that free information would necessarily lead to free societies is as misguided as the similar sentiment about free markets. Yes, technologically it is easier to set something public, “to set it free”, than to define a more limited context for it. But what does it mean for the way we’ve been communicating and contextualizing social relations since the dawn of civilization?

Continue reading “Getting Intimate with Invisible Audiences”