Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Tomorrow I will be going to Paris to attend Les Blogs the day after tomorrow organized by Loic. Many friends will be there. I'm looking forward to it after going mainly to conferences outside of the blogging community these days. Wired News has a nice article on it.

Joho the Blog
The spit fight that ended my career at MSNBC


They want reports on what moderate left and right wing bloggers — "Nothing out of the mainstream," the producer told me yesterday — say about a "major" topic. What the hell does that have to do with blogging? And when two of the producers yesterday independently suggested that I report on the blogosphere's reaction to a Vietnam veteran spitting on Jane Fonda, I blurted out — because the flu had lowered my normal Walls of Timidity — that this wasn't a job I'm comfortable with.

What makes the blogosphere interesting to me is not that there are moderate left and right voices talking about mainstream topics. Mainstream major stories are about issues such as freakish celebrity pedophiles, a spit match over a fight from 30 years ago that the press is hoping to revive, and whatever unfortunate child has been reported missing and presumed (better for the story) murdered. I'm in the blogosphere to escape from this degradation of values.


So, fuck it. I quit.

I can't begin to imagine how hard MSM'ing about blogs is. It reminds me of the line from Jon Stewart on his show about blogging, "And that's CNN reporting on why blogs are much more interesting than CNN." (The quote from memory might be slightly inaccurate.)

Cory Doctorow @ Boing Boing Blog
Amazon directory of free MP3 downloads

Amazon has put together a single page listing all the free, no-DRM MP3s you can download from their site, as promos for CDs.


(Thanks, Ben!)

Update: Erin sez, "Amazon actually launched Free Music Downloads in February of 2001. The page mentioned is just the top 200 downloads, there are a lot more available here.


Although I missed two years or so, today marks ten years since I started working with Ars Electronica. I think this is my 16th time in Linz, Austria and for this reason I know Linz better than any other European city. I know taxi drivers, hotel staff, shop owners and it feels sort of like coming home when I visit now. I was on the first World Wide Web category jury in 1995 and we gave Idea Futures the Golden Nica that year. I remember getting a lot of "that's not art" feedback which marked the beginning of my struggle to forge my own definition of "art". The year after that we gave the award to etoy which continues to lead the way in the alternative digital art scene and with whom I continue to have a active relationship since meeting them at Ars Electronica. Last year Ars Electronica started a new category with the leadership of Howard Rheingold called Digital Communities and the two Golden Nicas went to Wikipedia and The World Starts With Me. I met Jimmy Wales and many of the Wikipedians for the first time at this Ars Electronica and we've become good friends since then. I've met many amazing people through this process and there are many people I ONLY see during the jury or the festival of Ars Electronica.

This year I am on the Digital Communities jury again and I've just started looking over the hundreds of projects we will be reviewing over the next few days. The jury is really hard work, but it is always a great way for me to catch up on all of the cool things going on on the Net and engage in rigorous discussion with fellow jury members about all of the projects. I both dread and look forward to this and imagine I will be drinking a lot of strong Austrian coffee.

I have a flickr set that I'll be adding to with photos.

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism
More Bad Behavior by 'Journalists'
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
How Companies Pay TV Experts For On-Air Product Mentions. Plugs Come Amid News Shows And Appear Impartial; Pacts Are Rarely Disclosed
Once again, we read a story of improper activities by people who appear to be journalists.

The most depressing part of this story isn't the individual behavior, though that's bad enough. It's the way these commentators' big-network employers -- maybe that should be enablers -- go through such contortions of logic to defend what's going on.

This is depressing. How can these people shake their fingers at us about our lack of blogging ethics. Would any blogger get away with secretly taking money for mentions?