Sunday, April 29, 2007

(in memoriam) Jack Valenti

Dan, I’m not sure he *could* have been on your side: he may have worked for Hollywood but I’m afraid he *believed* what he was saying (I think that’s why he was so good at it). I think the Berkman Center, for instance, was just as biased on copyright issues as the Hollywood cartel — just in the other direction (I think that’s a shame — no academic group should a priori advocate one way or the other; that’s NOT academia, that’s lobbying…) D.


I misspelled my new address so it's not posted on Dan's blog yet -- here's the duplicate


The way I see it, the idea that in the long run “extreme fair use, “ala Lessig for instance, helps scholarship is shaky at best (it’s NOT a balanced academic position but something interested private parties, especially attorneys such as Lessig, are free to advocate *outside* of academic settings…).

But even if this wasn’t an issue, your argument seems to amount to claiming that whatever would help scholarship would be a “principled stand” for an “academic-based organization”… (the way I see it, there wouldn’t be anything “principled” about it — just self -serving…)

I think that, on the contrary, a valid principled academic stand on the issue would mean doing a *neutral* evaluation of the situation and… arriving at… wherever that would lead! That’s why I don’t think you CAN have an “academic based” advocacy organization (such as the Berkman Center) — I believe it is a perversion of academia and a perversion of true scholarship… (Harvard should have told the Berkmans to take their money to Washington if they wanted to fund advocacy…)


Saturday, April 28, 2007

suggestions for Digg


Kevin & Alex:

you need to set up some easy and obvious way for people to make suggestions for improving your Diggnation podcast

my suggestion: get a woman between you two! (, I did NOT mean *that* -- I felt compelled to clarify this given that Alex appears to have a well developed dirty mind...) really! I think it would help a lot... (especially if you'd like to build more of a female audience -- I suspect it's very small at the moment).

as to which woman, I'd invite the "top female digger of the week" (whoever submitted the highest ranking story that week, even if it didn't get very far...) to be the third person that week -- think of it as diversity and affirmative action (when the male/female following evens's probably going to take a good long while... then you can just invite the "top digger of the week," regardless of gender).

Good luck with everything and take care!


Hi, all! So do *I* ... re: stand by my opinion

Tink: true... still, I think the overall effect would be positive, possibly VERY much so... So what if some would be joining Digg in the hope that they would make it on the show? It's not like it would be easy to beat everyone else (even just for the female category). The way I look at it... IF they make it, they deserve it! (And if they can't make it to Cali on their own, maybe Digg should help...)But the main point of my suggestion and where the real value is (if you ask *me*, of course...) is EXPANDING the "digger base," especially the female one which appear to be very underrepresented (I think Diggnation, in it's current form, is just not helping much in this respect and it could really help a lot!).That's my opinion... Thanks for sharing yours! D.

knowing about Digg versus joining Digg

plenty of people (including women) KNOW about Digg... much fewer JOIN Digg... why is that? it seems to me that, at least part of it, is caused by "uneven marketing" and the Diggnation podcast is perhaps the most obvious example D.

why not help?

I think is worth doing what can be done to increase the female base... especially if you are correct (and I think you *are*) that even if the marketing would be even, there would be more males than females that would get involved in this... D.

Diggnation, for instance, is "marketing" to me...

but of course plenty of other things (whether or not are intended to be "marketing") seem to fulfill this function... e.g. the front page (it would be a big decision but I think it would be worth finding out whether the current design is appealing to women and if NOT... at least *consider* altering it...) D.

that's why I said *consider* it..

(and that actually changing it would be a big decision) -- I gave the example because it was a very clear one (when people find out about Digg they go to the front page -- I think their reaction to it, which is pretty much like a first impression, is very important) Same thing with watching Diggnation... D.

I think the format would have to change if it was to be a movie (not to be mean to Kevin & Alex but I doubt I would have set through a movie length Diggnation in it's current form... ) D.

Hi there, Tokenuser/Moderator...

That's correct! I registered for the purpose of posting this suggestion; I thought I got it down pretty well and... moved on to other things... *Do* let me know what conclusion are you drawing -- I'm curious!


P.S. there's a link from one of my blogs to this discussion thread (so I kept an eye on it given that anybody who reads my blogs would get direct access to this). D.

Friday, April 27, 2007

is this really reporting? (or has it become PR?)

UPDATE: hmmm... it works if you use Firefox (but it does NOT if you use Explorer...) D.

Jeff doesn't seem to allow links directly to my comment, so here's the duplicate:

“Who says that reporters are in charge of interviews anymore?”

true and sad! those who are actually doing their job (collecting all relevant info, checking for accuracy, inconsistencies etc. seem to be a disappearing breed — just look at all the misinformation about craigslist, for instance).

Isn’t accuracy and completeness the goal?”

absolutely! but how can it be accomplished if the interviewer has become the interviewee’s stenographer and is supposed to bow and thank him for the privilege?

Yes, it is a privilege to be granted a *real* interview (where the interviewee’s words are NOT the gospel and real questions are asked and answered so the truth can come out) but it is an insult to be offered anything *less*…

Might just as well skip it or seek employment with the interviewee as a PR person (at least then just repeating what your employer said and marveling at it whether it makes any sense or not wouldn’t be deceiving people…)


P.S. otherwise, great points! (especially on transparency, built-in context links and the “never ending” interview/article) D.

(by default) aren't emails private letters?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

more on anonymity

a bunch of posts in that thread

Dan, as I already said I find your take on anonymous posts and the inferences you draw from peoples *choice* to remain anonymous extreme — *What* people are saying (whether they chose to remain anonymous or not) and what *evidence* they give for what they are saying is what matters to me… Much more than *who* said so. Unless they are “experts in the field” (and even then they would have to have adequate evidence for what they are saying), who cares if their name is Joe Dow or Mary Smith?


Well… you seem to have an odd hang-up on the need to give one’s actual name in *such circumstances* (now if you met someone in person and they gave you some made up name, yeah… you’d have no good reason to trust them) but on some board online? there is really no need or use for their actual names; besides, how would you know it was their real name anyways? Especially if it’s a common name… D.

I don’t see any issue with people choosing to remain anonymous in such circumstances — it seems to me that they just value their privacy (hard to hold it against them). IF it is done *to deceive*… of course that’s wrong but the intent to deceive is what makes it wrong, not their desire to preserve their privacy. Well… as far as *I* see it… D.