Technologies for worldchanging

Between 15th and 17th of October 2008, Barcelona will host a seminar entitled «Sociedad Red: Cambios sociales, organizaciones y ciudadanos» (Net Society: Social changes, organizations and citizens), and the program is quite impressive. It includes highly reputed foreign speakers -such as Carol Darr, Tom Steinberg or David Weinberger– but  also well-known Spanish academics as Juan Freire or Enrique Dans. I could mention all of the lecturers, as all of them deserve it, but my special bet is on Ethan Zuckerman.

For those who do not know him, Zuckerman is a researcher at Berkman Center for Internet and  Society, a nostalgic of Africa and a brilliant analyst of technology effects on society and politics. As I do not like the word guru, I prefer to describe him here as «a champion of technologies for Worldchanging»: this professor/activist is always searching for ways to boost international development with the help of the Net. One of his main goals consists on building a real worldwide conversation online,  without political borders, social cliches or economic discriminations. And with that purpose in mind he is not afraid of writing critical, consistent posts which honestly remind that we still have to work hard for a perfect cyberspace.


With the present boom of data visualization tools, it might be appropiated to remember that Zuckerman presented the project «Global Attention Profiles» (GAP) already in 2003. It consists on a set of maps documenting the attention traditional media pay to the different countries of the World. GAP are automatically updated every day and allow a constant comparison between analogic publications’ and new digital outlets’ preferences. From 2003 to 2008, some problems seem to remain constant: for example, media tend to report more thoroughly on rich nations than on poor ones. And new digital contents only partially correct the trend.

Zuckerman uses to post about visualization techniques. Recently, he described fresh innovations in the field of political blogosphere architecture and perception (see below Anthony Hamelle‘s «influence graph» of the U.S. conservative red vs. liberal blue blogosphere). Hopefully we will have a bit of that in the ambitious seminar of Barcelona, which has been organised by the Center Ernest Lluch (the arm of the prestigious Menéndez Pelayo International University in Catalonia).





Via | Genís Roca