Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm sitting in a car on the way home from the airport after arriving in Japan from New York. I had a 14 hour plane trip where I caught up on email and wrote some reports. As it has been noted, the frequency of my posts (as well as the number of blogs I read) has decreased significantly since I started playing World of Warcraft. Originally I was attributing this entirely to the addictive nature of WoW, but I'm wonder if I'm also slightly bored.

I'm an early adopter type and I'm not asserting here that I represent any normal person. Reflecting back on my personal early days of blogging, there was something nifty and cool coming out every week. Blogrolls, facerolls, Technorati, etc. My traffic was growing, blogs were becoming global, and it was all new... at least to me.

New things continue to be developed, but more and more of the work seems to involve growing pains like scalability, oversized communities and integration of "normal people" as we cross the chasm. Also, the new consumer Internet bubble is attracting attention from non-participant investors. This is an important part of making blogs a truly ubiquitous phenomenon, but it definitely feels more and more like real work.

When I was in Helsinki visiting Nokia a few days ago, I playing with my phone waiting in line and in cabs. It dawned on me that what I really want is better moblogging. Now, when I am in front of a computer connected to the Internet, I'm mostly immersed in IM for business or Warcraft for fun. When I am mobile, I have idle time that I could spend reading blogs and writing to my blog. I guess this is a sign that, at least for me, blogging has moved from my primary online activity to my idle time filler. However, considering how much idle time I have with my phone, I think I could still blog at a relatively consistent rate. Also, I wish there were better ways to read and write when I am with my computer without a connection.

Anyway, I'm going to have to think about how I can have more moblog... Also, maybe my site needs a redesign too.

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Been testing out how to most interestingly Podcast a written article.

Problem: How do you best express quotes in spoken form?

Newspaper stories often use quotes in these two forms:

But the arrival of dot-eu is also dividing the Union. Some of those who run the domain names for individual EU countries are preparing a campaign to promote their own national addresses, arguing that .fr for France or .it for Italy conveys important cultural information.
"In this case, there is an inherent competition between individual countries and the EU," said Alberto Pérez, deputy director for international relations at Red.es, the government agency that manages the registration of the nation's .es suffix. "Our duty is to promote our country's domain name, not the EU."
The company overseeing the .eu domain name, a Brussels-based nonprofit called EURid, dismissed the idea that there could be any rivalry with national domain names. "We have no intention of being competitive," said Kurt Vincent, spokesman for EURid.

Both forms make it difficult to know it is a quote without saying "quote". That is clearly unacceptable.

Only alternatives I see are:

1- say before the quote begins: "Alberto Perez of Red.es said..."

2- just adopt a slightly different tone and hope people understand. this could be confusing when a paragraph of a story begins with a quote that is broken in the middle.

3- get rid of exact quotes and do them as attributed speech in a normal sentence

Which one is best?

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Europeans seem to be taking their real-world battles online with different views on domain names.

Wrote on it today: Cyberspace Unity Eludes Europeans

The EU wants people to use the newly launched .eu, while the national domain registries want people to use country domain names.

Neat fact:

The second largest domain suffix after .com is .de for Germany, according to Verisign.

Do domain names matter? Hasn't Google killed the need for them?

Dec505 Gala Frontcvr-1
Last night Mizuka and I attended the Focus For Change gala benefit for WITNESS in NYC hosted by Peter Gabriel and Angelina Jolie. I first became interested in WITNESS when I met Gillian Caldwell the Executive Director in Davos in 2004. I started talking to her about blogging then. I helped Gillian get her blog set up when she and Angelina Jolie were headed off to Sierra Leone to deliver the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations to the government in May. The blog was a success. We've been talking about other ways to use the Net. She invited me to attend the Gala last night which was an amazing event.

The videos and comments from Peter Gabriel, Angelina Jolie and Gillian were awesome and inspiring. However, the main event for me was Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier from Sierra Leone. He talked about how his life started as a happy kid who played soccer in the streets. As the war swept across the country, he survived the loss of his family and fled from village to village as he watched them being ravaged by the war. He eventually ended up being recruited as a child soldier. He was able to leave the military and attended college and appear before us last night to express his hope for lasting peace in Sierra Leone. It was an extremely well delivered and moving speech and really highlighted the strength of the words of a witness.

The festivities were also great. There were a number of great performances, but my favorite part was when Nile Rodgers and CHIC rocked the house with their classics. They did an auction with some pretty cool things. The only thing I bid on was the Nano programmed by Lou Reed, but I wasn't able to keep up and didn't get it in the end. ;-)

In total, the event was the best fund-raiser gala sort of event that I've ever attended. It had a clear and moving message and vision, it was fun and it was extremely well executed. Congratulates to everyone involved.

ICANN
NEXT STEPS ON PROPOSED .COM SETTLEMENT On 21 October 2005, ICANN announced proposed settlement terms between ICANN and VeriSign, including a proposed new .COM agreement. Since then, ICANN has been conducting extensive public consultations on the proposed settlement. At its 24th International Public Meeting in Vancouver this week, the ICANN Board has been engaged in consultations with the ICANN community on this topic, among others.

Today at its Board meeting, ICANN Chairman, Vint Cerf, announced:

"The Board has listened long and hard this week to all constituencies with regard to the .COM agreements

"We are deeply grateful to the efforts made by all constituencies to respond to the Board’s invitation to organize comments on the proposals and to provide, where possible, concrete suggestions for improving them.

"We are also very grateful for the time each constituency spent going over with the Board their ideas and reactions.

"We ask the staff to accept any further written comments until December 7 and to produce for the community a public report summarizing, analyzing and organizing the feedback provided on the .com and settlement agreements by December 11.

"We recommend that staff approach VeriSign with the results of the report on the proposed contract and settlement. We remind all parties that the Board has not yet agreed to the terms of the contract and settlement.

"We also note the existence of a policy development process on new gTLDs and strongly believe that this policy development process should be informed by the results of the comments received on the proposed contract for .com and settlement with VeriSign."

I realize there is still a lot of work to do, but as Vint is quoted in saying above, I really want to thank the community for a constructive and intense week of discussions. I hope that VeriSign and staff have fruitful discussions and that we can come up with something that reflects the issues raised this week. I was sincerely moved by the ability for the rather complex process to function in such a productive way and am proud to be part of this ever-improving "experiment" in bottom-up consensus.