Is Wikipedia going commercial?

“Having commissioned articles on Wikipedia dilutes one of the last respites from commercialization on the Internet. Perhaps worse, these commissioned endorsements are hidden by the guise of pure encyclopedic information.” (Maura Ewing,

“If PR editing from Wikipedia’s representatives — paid or not — were to be openly tolerated, Wikipedia’s reputation will most certainly be harmed in a way that is different from the harm done from vandalism or covert PR editing.” (Violet Blue, CNET)

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers’ Tactics - New York Times

Image: Wikimedia Commons

“Much as in a grass-roots lobbying campaign, the hackers spent weeks spreading their message through their own Web site and social sites like Twitter and Flickr. Their Facebook page called on volunteers to download free attack software and implored them to “stop child abuse” by joining the cause. It featured split-screen images of the pope seated on a gilded throne on one side and starving African children on the other. And it linked to articles about sexual abuse cases and blog posts itemizing the church’s assets.

It took the hackers 18 days to recruit enough people, the report says. Then the reconnaissance began. A core group of roughly a dozen skilled hackers spent three days poking around the church’s World Youth Day site looking for common security holes that could let them inside, the report says. Probing for such loopholes used to be tedious and slow, but the advent of automated tools made it possible for hackers to do this while they slept.” (Nicole Perlroth & John Markoff,

The Thorny World of Online Comments

The Thorny World of Online Comments - On The Media

Image: Marc Wathieu/flickr


We’re only about 15 years into this whole comment ecosystem. It strikes me that it hasn’t changed a whole lot.


That’s right. I think this has been one of the neglected problems of the Internet for two reasons. One is that having a wide- ranging conversation among large groups of people is not an easy thing to do. I haven’t really seen it work well off the Internet, and I’ve only seen it work well on the Internet in a few instances.

And the second thing is I think that for a lot of places creating good comment sections has just not been a priority for their developers. Building better content and promoting that content have really been the priorities of magazines, newspapers, other websites.


Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

“What matters here isn’t technical capital, it’s social capital. These tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring. It isn’t when the shiny new tools show up that their uses start permeating society; it’s when everyone is able to take them for granted.” (Clay Shirky, TED Talks)

Live Streaming As Activism

Live Streaming As Activism - On The Media

Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

“There were soccer moms streaming live from soccer games. There were people handing out real time live lectures. So students away from the university could ask questions and interact. A lot of nonprofit organizations picked up the tool here in Sweden. A lot of the political parties started to do press conferences.

Then it sort of moved over during the last years to more activists. Live streaming provides them the opportunity to not be afraid of losing their content, because in scenarios where you’re protesting and the police may confiscate your phones, doing a live stream the content is already out there on the Web.” (Mans Adler, On The Media)

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do - Scientific American

‘No Technology’ by Sammy0716 on Flickr

“The notion of being social on the Web is constantly evolving since we are connected not only via computers but also via mobile phones or handheld devices. The web is getting more powerful and social: new messaging services emerge each month; streamed media is becoming real even for the non-technical consumer; Google reshapes its services like a child rearranging building blocks; new ideas in federated rather than centralized systems are being explored, and more. The frequent change in layouts, privacy settings and interaction tools indicate that online dynamics require new classes of knowledge and skills to adopt such major changes on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other places in order to navigate and socialize online.

What is important to emphasize is that these digital divides, that go far beyond the pure infrastructure issues, need to become a key focus of engagement for profit and nonprofit organizations as they continue their missions to develop programs for social and digital inclusion.” (Danica Radovanovic, Scientific American)

Media, community, and zones of consumption

“The advocates of convergence culture in the US, for instance, argue that, as television relinquishes much of its capacity to construct the national community, convergent media forms have emerged to reclaim that capacity while also directing it more accurately to the needs of the individual. This leaves us with the paradox that the revival of community is located in a highly individualized practice of consumption.” (Graeme Turner, FLOW)