Net2Con: Human Rights and New Communication Technologies - Building an Architecture of Participation

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Hi, this is Ginny Hunt live-blogging for Human Rights and New Communication Technologies at the NetSquared conference. I'll try to catch as much as I can as fast as I can. Apologies for errors.

We're getting three different perspectives on how different technologies have been used to further the international human rights movement from Patrick Ball from Benetech, Bryan Nunez from Witness, and Dan McQuillan from Amnesty.

net2con: I tag the hand. . .

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These are just my quick notes - I'll come back to add reflections later... 

Beth's story on the use of tags to improve the efficiency of using nptech tags (and others) - I could see that many non-profits (and schools) are using outdated and inefficienty tools to accomplish their goals.

Chris Heuer believes that tagging is the most important aspect of web2.0. All events should have their own unique tag. He discussed folksonomies, his launch of brainjams as a response to web2.1 and tagspaces as a response to an identified need to search tags by subsets of users. He introduced Paramedia - networks of people with access to media publishing tools and training.

Notes from Activism session

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Marty Kearns - Green Media Toolshed

Price of calling anywhere in the world has gone down

Bowling Alone was wrong -- we have more social ties than we used to to have, it is coming out of sleep and TV. We know about creating individual and organization capacity for facilitating change. We don't know much about building networking capacity.

Networks matter. And now we can map them and see them, and we can use network theory.

The structure of Romantic and Sexual Relations at "Jefferson High School" (see

Talks about The rise of the "Do Not Call Network", and how fast people signed up Pug lovers network biggest on Meetup. 23,280 memeber in 133 groups. The FUH2 site, Mapping craters, Chevy Tahoe commercials

Net2Con: Anyone Could Call - Cellphones in the Global South pt. 2

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David and Eric tackled a large topic, agreeing that the future of cell phones in helping developing markets is optimistic.  They agree that If you want to see what's happening with cell phones you need to get out of the US to China, India & Africa. People aren't using them to just talk to people or check e-mails, but they're using SMS.

The uses of cell phones are coming because people are unserved, particularly around banking in Africa. The more regulated the market, the less creative the technology. The challenge is finding usage models that are of value to people. Lots of things are already being done, but they're not being done  in an ecomically efficient way.

Net2Con: Activism: When Emailing Your CongressPerson Doesn't Quite Feel Like Enough

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Online Activity -> Offline Action

This is why I came to this conference.  How to we use virtual connections to connect people in real life?  An then the other way around?

Michael Silberman ( worked on the Dean for President campaign.

At some point an organizer benefits from understanding the nuts and bolts of how to do an event or activity.  Michael's talk addresses this, but its not what I am looking for in this session. 

I find that these types of tools are great for people that have personalities that already lend themselves to doing events or planning.  But what about the people that are over-whelmed?  Tired?  Busy?  Scared?  Or may not really care?


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