August 2008

Conveniently enough for this class’ blog assignment, I just this week had yet another run in with Digital Rights…except this time I am scratching my head on to who’s rights I actually infringed upon this time.

We all know the olympics are going on. Since we live in the US, we know that NBC is the exclusive coverage provider for this Olypmics. We also know, NBC sucks. Big Time. Apparently, these geniuses think we are living in the 1950s and don’t think we can simply go online for live updates on the Olympic results. So putting the premier Olympic track event, the 100 meter finals, on their precious TV channel was pretty pointless…..since they finally aired it TWELVE HOURS AFTER THE RACE HAD BEEN RUN.


The final class went very well, I thought the course all came together and I picked a good book to read for the last reading assignment.  I like all of the responses from my other classmates who also read the Shirky book, it was my favorite book that I read this quarter so it was good to be able to discuss it.  It was interesting to ask other people who read the book what they thought the key points of it were, and how they interpreted them.

I also thought the reviews done on the books I did not pick to read were interesting, and I definitely would like to read these books as well, in particular the Wikinomics book.

I got a lot out of this course, I feel it forced me to think about things I would not have normally delved into, opening up an entire new train of thought in regards to digital economics and networks.  I know there are several things I took from this course that I am already starting to apply towards my own work and career.

1.  How have the 3 books read in this class changed your way of looking at digital media, if at all?

2.  Which of the three books read has proven most valuable to your own views and explain why.

3.  How has this class expanded on any ideas you had regarding digital economics before the class started?

From starting flash mobs to retrieving lost cell phones, the power of organization is limitless. With the technology revolution that has swept the globe recently, coupled with the integration of the internet, those that have harnessed this organizational power have been able to accomplish amazing things that would have been impossible just a short time ago. Those that have felt the wrath of these organized technology users have had a rude awakening to this fact, whether it is the corrupt Belarus post-USSR government or the head of Northwest Airlines. No one would be wise to take the power of organization lightly.

The most startling realization about this organizational revolution is that it can be accomplished without actual organizations. Individuals can carefully get the ball rolling and a few blogs, message boards, and text messages later a flash mob is marching in protest in front of a government building. Like minded individuals can now become like minded groups. Anyone who see’s an injustice arise can use these organizational tools to transform their individual desperate cry into a deafening roar of a mob.


This was a good class, I enjoyed the webcast discussion, that was the first time I had gotten to be in a class where that took place.  The part of class where we discussed online communities was a key point of interest for me.  I remember in a class last Fall I posted about a message board I was a member of.  Since that post, that board has been pretty much demolished,  What went wrong?  Management.  I chuckled when people in class Monday were complaining about how some boards are moderated.  its true though.  People really get a sense of community on these boards, and when the people in charge over step their boundaries and abuse their members, people really get upset.  E-Revolts happen, I am being serious with that term as well.  The internet can be turned quickly from a common interest discussion board into a battle ground in the matter of days.

So what happened to that board that got gutted?  The members said they weren’t taking anymore abuse and left to start a new board.  This wasn’t just some renegade board though, it turned out to be a well thought out network and became much more far reaching and interactive then the previous version.

So thats the power of community, if people believe in something and feel a right of entitlement, they will passionately object to anyone that abuses their power on these message boards.  Sounds like a good book waiting to happen.  E-Communities are much more far reaching than their offline versions because, well, they can have people from all over the world as members.  Whats REALLY powerful is when both offline and online communities become intertwined……


The world as we know it is changing around us. Methods of communication and the explosion of the web have led to a revolution in the way people create content. As the web becomes more accessible, the rise of blogs, message boards, and other content outlets increase; changes occur in economic markets as well as individual and cultural traits. The impact of the internet is vast. The Wealth of Nations, published in 2006 by Yale University Press, Yochai Benkler analyzes and explains the changes and impact on society.


1.  If you believe ISBF will eventually occur, how far off do you believe we are from this being an accpeted policy and why do you think it will occur?

2.  If you do not believe ISBF will become the accepted policy, why don’t you think we accept it?

3.  With money not being the biggest hurdle in order to produce content that the entire web viewing population can view, what is the best way to distinguish oneself among the plethora of content creators?