Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

The winners of the Prix Ars Electronica 2005 awards have just been announced. I was on the Digital Communities jury this year. We gave the highest prize, the Golden Nica to Akshaya, an Indian ICT development project.

The two awards of distinction went to the alternative media movements NewGlobalVision/Telestreet in Italy and the Free Software Foundation. We also gave a special prize to BitTorrent as an enabling technology.

The honorary mentions were: Upmystreet (UK), E-Democracy.Org (US), Wikimedia Commons (US), The Sout-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog (IN), Kubatana (ZW), Sistema de Información Agraria vía Internet para Agricultores del Valle de Huaral, Perú (PE), Borneo Project: Mapping Their Future: Digital Communities, Indigenous Lands (US / MY), Catalytic Communities (CatComm) (BR), microRevolt (US), TXTmob (US) and CouchSurfing Project (US)

There will be a proper jury statement coming out soon, but it was a very difficult task. We had to compare the value of telecenters in developing nations with things like BitTorrent. The definition of "digital community" was very broad. I would suggest that next year, we might want to split the category into access/digital divide oriented projects and project focused on new technologies and styles of communities.

Anyway, congratulations to all of the winners. We went through hundreds of projects and these projects are the cream of the crop.

BitTorrent have just launched a search service. It allows you to search for legal Torrents. Someone slashdotted the secret URL before it was launched and they moved it about an our later. The amazing thing is that someone wrote a Firefox search extension in the hour it was up. ;-)

Anyway, this launch is official. It looks like they underestimated the interest and the site is really slow right now, but give it a try in a bit.

I would also like to disclose that I am in discussions with BitTorrent about joining their advisory board. It's not inked yet, but I thought I'd mention it since I've been blogging a lot about BitTorrent these days. And just to be clear, this is a recent development and I was not in such discussions during the jury process when we gave BitTorrent an award.

Ethan Zuckerman @ Global Voices Online
Second draft of Anonymous Blogging Guide

I posted, some weeks back, the first draft of a technical guide to anonymous blogging. I've gotten great feedback from folks all over the world and have just posted a second draft of the guide on the Global Voices wiki, inviting collaborators to help me improve it. If you're interested in the suject of anonymous blogging, please visit the guide and lend a hand in improving it.

(If you're going to participate in editing this document, two requests: One, create an account on our wiki, so we can keep track of your contributions. Two, keep in mind the audience for this document - we're hoping to write a document that's fun, readable, technically correct, translatable, and aimed at activists in developing nations. We're not trying to write a document aimed at cypherpunks.)

Thanks for your help!

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am a strong advocate for anonymity and anonymous free speech. Ethan et al have done a great job on getting this started. If you can contribute to the document, I urge you to participate in the editing on the wiki.

I just noticed the Stealth Disco article on Wikipedia recently had an {{explain-significance}} slapped on it. This means that if we can't explain why it is significant, it will be nominated for deletion. Stealth Disco reminds me of the fun we used to have and it would be a pity to see Stealth Disco disappear from Wikipedia. Anyone have any good Stealth Disco stories or developments we can use to expand the article?

My first Stealth Disco

Stealth Disco'ed by Halley

UPDATE: Link to original Stealth Disco video from mhegge. (wmv) Must See.

I'm off to the US today. I will be stopping by San Francisco on my way to attend Future in Review in San Diego. I'll be on a panel about Japan. Meeting Karel van Wolferen the day before yesterday was helpful since I feel a bit out of touch with Japan these days. On the other hand, I felt that my views were just reinforced by a "kindred spirit", but this gives me the confidence to state my opinions firmly.