c|net has a set of interesting pages on various trypes of social software, including wikis, tagging and maps. Definitely worth a look.
Online mapping is evolving into a historic nexus of disparate technologies and communities that is changing the fundamental use of the Internet, as well as redefining the concept of maps in our culture. Along the way, map mashups are providing perhaps the clearest idea yet of commercial applications for the generation of so-called social technologies they represent.
They are, in a very real sense, bridging the gap between the virtual and physical worlds.
Here's a photo from WSIS flickr stream. A comment mentions this quote: "A slightly embarrassed Mr Annan inadvertently broke the crank handle of the non-functioning model on display as he left." The full news story.
"The costs of connectivity, computers and mobile telephones can be brought down. These assets -- these bridges to a better life -- can be made universally affordable and accessible. We must summon the will to do it." --Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations
"It is, quite frankly, unacceptable for the United Nations to continue to include among its members states which imprison citizens for the sole reason that they have criticised their government on the internet or in the media. As far as I'm concerned, it goes without saying that here in Tunis inside these walls as well as outside everyone can express themselves freely. It is one of the conditions sine qua non for the success of this international conference." --Samuel Schmid, Swiss President (NOTE: These comments were censored on Tunisian Television today)
...scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say they're close to creating a... tough, kid-friendly laptop that could be sold to poor countries for $100.
The laptop, which still lacks a cheap screen display, will be shown today at a conference in Tunisia. It will -- eventually -- have a hand crank to provide power. Wow, like those old telephones you see in movies sometimes. What a cool idea.
(or more from Jody Mahoney, our intrepid representative at WSIS)
Unlimited (if your body holds up). This was the first day of full WSIS operation. The President of Tunisia arrived this morning, the ICT4all exhibit hall was open with an array of multistakeholder exhibits, and the WSIS plenary hall was in full swing.
Three innovative organizations
CTCs in South African urban and rural communities: Refilwe Tshabalala of South Africa (who came highly recommended by David Barnard, Executive Director of SANGONeT in South Africa). Refilwe is very knowledgeable about Community Technology Centers, particularly about the social impact of CTCs. It was Refilwe's opinion that technology was in many ways the least important work of telecentres. Really good telecentres, he said, are able to address the fundamental social needs of people, providing them an introduction to techology within the social customs most familiar to them. He said a really effective telecentre understands that if technology is presented within the social customs of a group of people, not only is it likely to be adopted, but it changes the adopter, inspiring confidence and a willingness to risk.
Washington University and the University of Missouri at St. Louis have gone into the online matchmaking business. What's that - WU and UMSL competing with Match.com in the Internet dating game?
Well, not exactly.
Over the past several months, the universities have joined with the United Way of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and several other local groups to form a different kind of online dating service.
The aim, ultimately, is not romance, at least not in the traditional sense. Instead, the new group hopes to pair local nonprofits with men and women interested in serving on their boards.
The web is creating some strange... er... bedfellows these days. This does seem like a creative approach, however. Click on the image above to check out the actual site.
after further exploration: While this could be a good idea, the publicity seems a little premature, given that many of the menu items "connect" to empty pages. Which -- perhaps especially in light of the slick, pricey-looking graphics -- is not such a hot idea.
Sunday: On the plane to Tunisia, and it seems that most of my companion travelers are here for the same reason, to attend the second phase of the World Summitt on Information Society hosted by the United Nations in Tunis 16-18 November. In addition to WSIS, a series of conferences, talks, presentations and meetings occurs from 14 November through 18 November in parallel to WSIS, known as ICT4all.