After watching the, “Welcome to the Berkman Center on youtube anchored by Ethan Zuckerman I felt I got a good idea on what the group was about. Ethan Zuckerman, a fellow at the Berkman Center for internet and society at Harvard Law School describes the group as an “unusual coalition of academics, lawyers, geeks, activists, and researchers” all of whom are united by a common mission of studying what is going on in cyberspace and also to become more in depth into helping the new internet frontier kick into full gear. The group executes projects to try and change the online world and what is going on online in general. There are many projects the Berkman Center works on such as the open net initiative which documents internet censorship all around the world. Also, a project known as Global Voices which Ethan himself helps to manage. Global Voices looks at web blogs from all over the Earth and translates them into English to make available for all English speakers to view. Personally I think that’s quite an accomplishment in itself and will definitely spread the popularity of blogging and the internet as a whole.
My experience with the wiki project was very difficult. It came during a hectic time in my life where I was constantly moving and had minimal use of technology. The project started as I began my long journey from my small base in Afghanistan home. If it were easy we would have gotten on a non stop flight from Farah, Afghanistan to Boston, Massachusetts. Instead we traveled from Farah to Kandahar to Kabul to Manis Kyergystan, to Germany to Indiana to Boston. Besides Kabul, where we were for thirteen days, the other stops were all about two to five days; all the while I’m trying to find a working computer to not fall too far behind in my project. Unfortunately, it was extremely difficult and I feel I let my group down a bit. In the end when I finally got home my “new” computer worked like one from the 90′s and the challenges I have with technology in the first place were overwhelming. In the end, if I could have done it over, I would have tried to do as much as possible before the project was even out as to save myself from the headache I went throughout the whole experience.
After reading Howard Rheingold’s concepts of smart mobs police in Germany believe they can use this idea to help them fight crime. In more detail, the police will be sending messages through cell phones to anyone who volunteers in the area to help fight crime. If a person would like to help keep their neighborhood clean and they are on the police lists they would be able to report suspicious activity or the police can tell them to be aware of certain suspects who may be on the loose. The idea is good considering the police are trying any and all methods to keep areas safe however, after the year long testing process there have been zero crimes solved with the new method.
Smart mobbing is not just a group of people rallying at a park. Two young men, David Pickering and Eli Pariser had virtually joined forces to overcome war. “War, Pariser believed, was the wrong answer; it would only slaughter more innocents and create more terrorists.” David Pickering, a student at the University of Chicago was posting a blog with a similar end goal on a campus web site and by September 14 of 2001 he had managed to obtain 1,000 signatures. Four days later on September 18, after the two had teamed up they had 120,000 signatures from people of 190 different countries all over the world hoping to end the war and save the lives of innocent people. Clearly, in the end after countless years of war in the middle east their efforts did not stop the war from happening. The concept of what they had accomplished and the attention and notoriety they had gained is amazing.
The concept of “smart mobbing” is derived from a book by Howard Rheingold. It seems the roots of smart mobs originated in Tokyo and Helsinki where teens used to text each other to organize raves or stalk celebrities which I find weird. I don’t know why people care so much about celebrities to want to stalk them. It’s not like they want to see you why would you want to go fall all over them. It’s like going to a party where your clearly not wanted. Some people just don’t make much sense to me.