Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

President Roh of Korea is visiting Japan and I was invited to attend a lunch with him today. He has been in office for about 100 days and was widely reported as being the world's first "Internet President". I wrote about it in Feb. Since then, his popularity has gone from about 60% to 40% because of difficulties in execution of domestic financial policy and constantly changing positions on the US and other issues. His trip to Japan was also very controversial back in Korea because Japan just passed a new law broadening the powers of the Japanese military's ability to defend itself on Friday. Former victims of Japanese military occupation are very negative about any expansion of the Japanese military.

I was very interested in how the Internet would play a part in his leadership and deliberations so I was anxious to meet him and ask him about Emergent Democracy. Unfortunately, the "lunch" turned out to be a pretty formal and huge lunch with 150 business leaders. There was only time for two questions and the people asking the questions were already pre-chosen. The discussion focused around free trade, helping each other's economies, China and about Korea trying to become a hub for Asia and a railroad gateway to Europe.

Mark Norbom, the CEO of GE Capital was at my table and I hadn't seen him for a long time so that was nice. Also got to see Chairman Nishimuro of Toshiba who I'd also not seen for a long time. Other than generally schmoozing around, it wasn't much fun and there definitely wasn't any emergent anything going on as far as I could tell.

I've just upgraded my Technobot. It is run every 10 minutes on my server and goes to technorati, gets my cosomos, and does the following:

  • Makes my technorati sidebar for my blog
  • If there are new inbound links, it sends the link info to to the following places:
This is yet another step in the rather blasphemous experiment to connect all of the social software I can find together into one big blob. It's rather interesting watching people discover or rediscover new communication modes and the new meta-modes that the connections enable. For instance, I think that wikis and IRC seem to work well together since wikis are an easy way to log some of the interesting things in the rather transient conversations on IRC. Blogs are cool in IRC because it's a nice way to find out more about each other or to link to things one has said without quoting it in IRC.

Now I'm beginning to have the too-many-windows-to-focus-on-syndrome. Maybe I need another screen. ;-)

Thanks to rvr for helping me with the irc stuff...

Just testing the new TypePad Button Renderer... himena.jpg howsit.jpg ;-)

There appears to be a conflict with a Supernova sponsors dinner on the originally planned date for the party on July the 8th in DC. We can either do it on the 7th or the 9th. I'm taking a vote on my wiki.

Olivier on the left and Karl on the right
Had lunch with Karl Dubost, the Conformance Manager of the W3C and Olivier Thereaux who also works for the W3C. I met Olivier once when he dropped by Moda when I was spinning records. Karl was visiting Japan and working with Olivier. Karl's well known to many of my friends and it was cool meeting him after having heard about him from so many people.

Karl's job at the W3C includes making sure that the standards and the processes "conform" and are well-formed. He's kind of the standards guy for the standards guys.

We talked about RSS, open API's and the balance between simple standards with low barriers to entry and strict and consensus based standards which have a higher "cost" associated with them. Karl talked about how they were trying to make some of the processes at the W3C simpler. I think we all agreed that it really depended on the stage and the type of standard when deciding what sort of process was best for standardization.

We talked about the difficulty of getting developers in English speaking countries to think about internationalization issues. We agreed that we needed to keep pushing people to use UTF-8. I think we got over some of the initial negative reaction to UTF-8 in Japan and how we needed the developers in the US to start using UTF-8 so it will make our (I personally didn't do much) efforts worth it. Both Karl and I have our blogs set to UTF-8.