Just found out about a fantastic new browser that is an add on to Firefox.  Will be testing it out over the next couple of weeks.  It is called Flock – http://www.flock.com

Everything Old is New Again

The winter issue of the Community Media Review is about ready to hit the stands.  I know its almost summer.  Perhaps it is the winter issue for the southern hemisphere.  This issue, entitled “Beyond Access,” looks at new forms of community media that are beyond simple access or the technologies of cable.  I wrote a piece about the foundations of community media and links to new technology.  You can check it out here:

And while you’re at it check out the other articles in the publication.

A Clash of Values

On Thursday, Russ Newman of Free Press and Susie Lindsay of the Berkman Center presented as part of the UMASS Lowell’sNew Directions luncheon series. The series is designed to bring thinkers and practitioners in the fields of new media and technology to the Lowell community. This particular presentation wrapped up the 2005-2006 series. Both speakers provided great background and activity in the realm of communication’s policy and participants were enaged in disucssing some of the key point highlighted.

For me, one of the most valauable insights came from Susie Lindsay and how she defined the various ages of “television” (broadcast, cable, Internet) and their varying value priorities. I’ve misplaced my notebook for the time being and with it the specifics of what the values in each era are. But the key thought was the idea that current communication battles are reflective of these clash of values (i.e; universal access vs. innovation).

I have thought for a while that the variety of regulatory environments (which I would also include telephony and sattelite) each brought with it a separate set of business practices and public give backs that have been embedded in the ways companies, communities and indivdiuals have come to expect and experience their variety of communication services. Looking at these battles from a value perspective helped me in attaching language to thoughts I’ve had for some time. Thanks Susie.

Connect – towards a sustainable communications ecosystem

So what does it mean to have a sustainable communication and information ecosystem. How do you build community capacity to insure that the information and communication needs of all are met? How do you ensure that local skills and infrastucture are built. This is the direction that I’ve begun working in at UML these days.

Here is part of a concept paper I have been working on that I’ll be brainstorming with ohters next week.

Communication and information systems are forming an ever-present ecosystem that is becoming harder and harder to separate from our daily lives. These systems are the roads, shipping lanes and railways of the 21st century form the bedrock of commerce and culture. Without access to the technologies that form these systems, both creative and consumptive, communities will simply not be able to compete. Individuals who lack access and the ability to use these systems will find they are unable to be engaged citizens. Some may find they are unable to support themselves or to participate substantially in the culture around them.

CONNECT collaborates with community-based organizations and individuals to create communication capacity within a social and economic development context.

CONNECT sees the opportunity to form sustainable communication systems that serve a variety of information needs for those in the Merrimack Valley and contributes to the overall health of the region. At the core of this system are content production & distribution activities, learning opportunities, community-based research and technical innovations that span across university, city, regional, and community organizations.

There is more, but you get the idea.