Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Abbi-1
Calling Abbi in the studio to coordinate...
Abbi from the Situation Room emailed me just as I was about to leave Croatia asking me to join Rebecca MacKinnon on a segment for the Situation Room today. (This is the second time. The first time was in August.) We just finished recording. It will air on CNN Domestic 7 PM Eastern Time on Saturday and 1 PM Eastern Time on Sunday. Rebecca talked about global voices and I talked about blogs being conversations. Nothing new to readers here, but felt good having a chance to say it on CNN. I also quoted Thomas Crampton's post about how the IHT only gets 30 letters to the editor while we often get more comments on blog posts.

Abbi who runs the segment that we were in reads our blogs and is totally into blogs and new technology. CNN is lucky to have her. Her segment has a refreshing style and is something new... something we didn't have last year as far as I know. At least some of the main stream media is working well with us. I just realized that I was on CNN talking about what Thomas from the IHT was saying on my blog. Holy MSM remix. That's a lot of progress from last year... at least from my perspective.

I've accepted an invitation from my old friend Martin Varsavsky to be a fonero and an advisor to FON. Cory blogged about this in October, but FON is a cool P2P WIFI service which allows users to share their WIFI networks with each other eventually creating a global roamable network. They're launching first in Spain but plan to push out worldwide.

I've just spent five days in Croatia visiting Zagreb and Dubrovnik. The trip was organized by the Creative Commons Croatia dynamic duo, Marcell and Tomi with the support of CARNet. CARNet is the Croatian Academic and Research Network and I gave a keynote at their 7th Internet Users Conference in Dubrovnik.

After Dubrovnik, I went to Zagreb and gave two presentations organized by Marcell, Tomi and the mama team. mama is a very cool media center, library, community center that is the meeting place of a number of really interesting communities in Croatia. One of the communities that hangs out there is the anime community who I had a chance to meet. They were extremely organized, fun and knew everything about Japanese anime. I learned a lot from them and renewed my feeling that a stronger relationship between anime publishers and their fans would be a win-win.

While I was in Dubrovnik, Marcell drove me to Montenegro and gave me a full day talk on the history of the region and many of the issues. A lot of the news that I had been skimming in the past about the war in the region and the struggle of the people all sort of fell into place. The scenery was beautiful with a mix between ancient towns and cool new restaurants and bars. Although I'm sure Marcell is slightly biased, it was a great opportunity for me to learn about an area of the world that until this trip has been filed in my brain under "Eastern Europe". As I mentioned earlier when writing about my friend Veni from Bulgaria, I am going to make an effort to visit and learn more about Eastern Europe and make up for my embarrassing lack of knowledge of the region and I think this was a good start.

Thanks again for the hospitality and for sharing your culture with me.

I've uploaded a few pictures from the trip.

I'm posting this from my flight to Vancouver where I will be attending the ICANN meeting.

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Spent yesterday reporting on debate about a French law that increases the means of high tech surveillance.

Besides getting a chance to see the sumptuous interior of the Assemblee Nationale (where the press room has gold festooned napoleonic decorations) I got a chance to look at the French attitude towards police power versus individual liberties.

New provisions:

* Increased video surveillance around public buildings, companies, places of worship and transportation centers like train stations and airports. Current restrictions on such surveillance mean that France employs fewer than 100,000 cameras; Britain has more than four million.

* Police officials and prosecutors in France would also have easier access to the data supplied to obtain car registrations, driving licenses, identity cards and passports.

* Internet cafés that allow anonymous surfing would be required to keep a record for up to one year of all sites visited.

Such information collection has raised concerns at the government-financed National Commission for Data and Liberty.

Is this intrusive or necessary for safety?

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In studying blogs I have come to notice there are relatively few styles of postings.

In descending order of difficulty, they are:

Conversational: Asks for a response, implicitly or explicity. Often gets no responses but occasionally it hits a home run with a great discussion.

Informational: A "neat-o" style of posting that tells information but does not really encourage discussion. These tend to get links without comment. BoingBoing, Engadget, etc are very successful blogs of this sort.

Polemical: A posting that takes a strong opinion. These tend to get both responses and links. The responses, however, tend to be opinions. Can be dull unless you use it like a drunk leaning on a lamppost: More for support than shedding light.

Additions and comments welcome