Revolution-By-Internet, Tethered To Gossamer Spin


A week ago most were in agreement that it wasn’t any of the particular social networking brands, like Twitter or Facebook, that ’caused’ or ‘enabled’ the uprisings throughout North Africa and the middle east it was the “network” or the power of mass communications more accurately.


The flimsy threads that tie blogosphere traffic together are difficult to maintain; yet, simple to defray. Over at the, “The father of modern-day content distribution,” – Dave Winer’s headline reads, “Does Facebook want their service to be used by Egyptians to overthrow their government? Probably not. They’re trying to get China to let them in.”

Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away ..

Dave Winer knows, better than most, that Facebook’s existence is not carved in anyone’s code or locked into any Wall Street vault guaranteeing a lock on its future. Internet numbers tend to fall faster than they rise and more dramatically. So it would be really interesting to see if what motivates an owner of such a large network like Facebook, a half a billion, or so, members and Twitter, growing faster than my eyebrows.

How do these guys calculate the ephemeral winds of Internet fame, and fortune, with the winds of geopolitics and security challenges? It would be good to know how a Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, a Brin, or even a Schmidt, or Jobs, or Ellison, or Biz Stone feels about democracy in Egypt. It would be good to know if any object to their apps being used by citizens organizing demonstrations. It would be good to know the boundaries each sees. I was always hoping those guys knew the best answers.

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Choosing the Right Security Solution: Moving Beyond SSL to Establish Trust
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Look at how easily governments are able to turn the people off, vis a vis, a “kill switch” perhaps. Dave Winer suggests we build systems that aren’t tied so to government’s hands. He says that the government should not be turning off sites they feel are “revolutionary” and allowing business as usual on other sites. Except in those situations where government is looking after our safety that is. Where exactly do I want my government to be on network neutrality and where do I want my business to be on the subject?

BACK IN THE NINETIES, another Dave, David Weinberger, a Cluetrain co-author, tried to sum up the power of the Internet, and why it is so,

“Our culture’s pulse is pounding with the web. This fervid desire for the Web bespeaks a lingering so intense that it can only be understood as spiritual. A longing indicates that something is missing in our lives. What is missing is the sound of the human voice.”

“The spiritual lure of the Web is the promise of the return of voice.”

While no one has a simple remedy to the challenge of an egalitarian distribution of Internet power, that power of access, we are all enchanted with the ability to communicate with the entire world, 24/7, 365 days a year. For the most part.

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