Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I'm sitting in the Councilors meeting of the Internet Association of Japan. This is a foundation and the "process" is rather stuffy and official. I was thinking of speaking up against their rating and filtering system, but the "mood" is quite formal and not too conducive to "speaking up." I think I'll contact them privately and ask them to explain it to me in detail before making any official statement.

A custom that is common in Japan is that instead of the US style "motion", "second", "all in favor say..." process, many Japanese boards clap to vote yes. There isn't a clear way to show your lack of support for an issue other than not to clap. From a governance perspective, this clap to vote method seems to lack... robustness. ;-p

Oops. Almost missed another motion... clap clap...

soufle_logo.gifAlbert just sent me a link to their new site which allows registered users to save bookmarks in folders and browse and search each other's sites. It reminds me a bit of OpenCola, but this is server based and is integrated with Google using the Google API. You need to register and it is still very early stage, but worth a look if you like new stuff. I suggested that they needed to work on buddy lists and grouping. They're working on some of this stuff this week.

;-) I can't image the French ever liked Americans calling fried potatoes "french fries" anyway. In Japan, which is not known for its good sense in naming things in English, we call these things "fried potato," which sounds like an extremely practical position in this debate.

CNN
House restaurants change name of 'french fries' and 'french toast'
Anger over France's position on Iraq

Tuesday, March 11, 2003 Posted: 11:21 AM EST (1621 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The restaurant menus in the three House office buildings will change the name of "french fries" to "freedom fries," a culinary rebuke of France, stemming from anger over the country's refusal to support the U.S. position on Iraq.

Alexa shows us that of the top 5 websites in the world, 2 are Korean and they rank above Google which is 5th. Korea's new President is a self-proclaimed Internet president. Howard Rheingold sends the Korean cyberspace generation a message. The message has four main points, the first one sounds almost like it was written to me. ;-) Although his message is to the Korean cyberspace generation, his points are broadly applicable and are very relevant to the emergent democracy discussion.

Howard Rheingold
First, do not mistake the tool for the task. The democratization of publishing, communication, and organizing that is afforded by PCs, the Internet, and wireless mobile devices is indeed an important tool for grassroots activism. But it is the knowledge, intentions, and actions of people in the real world — where ballots are cast, political decisions are made, wars and demonstrations take place — that empowers democracy. Netizens must have more in common than their technical expertise in order for them to conduct discourse rather than flame each other, to act collectively in the physical world rather than sit in front of keyboards and type all the time. Long-term political organizing is hard work.

Click here to see the status of the situation on Iraq.

Thanks Rebecca!