Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Had lunch with Halley Suitt of Halley's Comment and drinks later with Halley and Thomas A. Stewart, the editor of the Harvard Business Review. Halley had recently written a piece for the HBR called "A Blogger in Their Midst" as a fictional case study. The story features "Glove Girl" (who reminds me a lot of Gnome Girl) who is a blogger in a big medical supplies company. Glove Girl is blogging without permission of the company and her voice becomes very influential. The management of the company is posed with both the benefit of an increase in sales and visibility through Glove Girl and the risk of her honest and sometimes critical voice.

David Weinberger, Pamela Samuelson, Ray Ozzie and Erin Motameni comment.

It's a great article and summarized what will probably happen in almost any company where the CEO is to busy to "get it" while the employees begin to discover blogging. At Groove, Ray Ozzie does and amazing job of allowing people to blog, but defining a policy for it. I think management in any company should be trying to "figure this out" as soon as possible and this article is a good place to start.

Unfortunately the HBR is not online. I heard there was a unauthorized copy of the article online, but I don't have link. Halley found out about it, but didn't link to it. It is obviously a moral dilemma. My feeling would be to let the digital version out. The cartoons/illustrations are with $16.95 so you should buy the paper copy anyway. It's "a bad thing" that we can link to it and talk about it online.

I'm in the Barcelona airport now. I'm sorry I haven't blogged anything substantive recently. I'm on my way to Boston. I'll try to think of something interesting on the plane.

See you tomorrow!

I'll be leaving in a bit to go to a retreat on Menorca where I don't think I will have access to the Net. I'll hopefully be back online in Barcelona on Monday. See you then...

Ethan Zuckerman is the founder of geekcorps.

A US-based, non-profit organization, we place international technical volunteers in developing nations. We contribute to local IT projects while transferring the technical skills needed to keep projects moving after our volunteers have returned home.
Ethan's a GLT and one of the few blog savvy GLT's here. We've both evangelizing weblogs like crazy this trip. Ethan works a lot in developing nations and we talked about how to get technology to developing nations and how blogs could help get more coverage for issues in developing nations since the mass media tends to underreport them. One important part is to make them feel more culturally "close" in the way Salam Pax created a voice for Baghdad in the blogging community. We need more African bloggers. The other thing is to for other bloggers to understand and blog more about things going on in other parts of the world.

Ethan pointed me to a great resource for news about Africa, I think I'll start here...

Gathering at Madison Square Park

As part of our first trip to New York City, we are inviting everyone to join us in Madison Square Park, right near the Flatiron Building in Manhattan, on Saturday September 13th from 2pm to 4pm. Of course, it being New York City, Anil will be there, and our good friend and partner Joi Ito has promised to show up as well.