Tech Companies Start to Stand Up to Repression

This is great news and we should encourage these companies – all companies really – to continue their efforts on this front so that when they are tested they will have the backbone to stand up for their code regardless of the cost they must pay to do so. The test is not defining the values but rather standing up for them when it matters.

The code, written over the past two years by technology companies, public interest groups, academics and socially conscious investment funds, covers an array of human rights issues that Internet firms might encounter in repressive countries.

[From Tarnished tech firms to adopt code of conduct]

Walker Fenton for OpenSocial Board

It’s election season and I want to draw your attention to my colleague Walker Fenton’s bid to join the OpenSocial foundation board of directors. In his own words here is why he wants your vote.

NewsGator was a launch partner in OpenSocial, and all of our widgets today support the OpenSocial specification. The reason why i’m interested in serving on the board is to better represent our Media clients as the technology matures… we are off to a good start, but adoption is limited from the development community as the users haven’t materialized. One way to get broader adoption is to help Media companies take advantage of the technology to better serve their audiences, which will drive usage and in turn encourage the development community to better support the spec. We at NewsGator are in a great position to help drive that effort, and a seat on the board of the OpenSocial Foundation will help us achieve these goals.

[From Hair On Fire: Speaking of Elections..]

NewsGator as the Anti-AP

Considering this latest announcement is an evolution of things we have been working on all year, this is probably a lot less exciting to us than for people hearing it for the first time. But it is genuinely exciting because it delivers on a promise as old as the internet itself, the ability to integrate text on-the-fly from many sources.

NewsGator is building widgets for a consortium of 32 online papers — one for each team in the NFL. While the newspapers are not necessarily owned by the same companies, they’ve decided to share high quality content with one another in a novel way. Essentially, we’re talking about the atomization of content — where, esentially, content is broken up into many pieces and distributed (often standalone) across the web; in this case, the online newspapers we’re parterning with are atomizing their content through NewsGator widgets. (For an excellent introduction to atomization of content, check out PR Squared’s post on the subject.)

[From Introducing Reverse Syndication & Atomization of Content Our Novel, NFL Widget Campaign Breaks New Ground: NewsGator Widget Blog]

Why is this the anti-AP? Simply because the AP takes it upon themselves to create or aggregate content which is then distributed to their coop members, it defines syndication. What we are doing is enabling a peer-to-peer based model rather than the hub-and-spoke where our network participants are getting what they are sharing, in this case news content concerning football (American football, not soccer for those of you outside of the U.S.).

Our theory is that there is plenty of content, high quality content, from local sources and the limiting factor has been the ability to programmatically aggregate all this local content and then provide a distribution mechanism. Widgets and RSS solve both of those problems and point to a future where content owners and publishers can seamlessly share and consume the best content on specific or generalized subjects and do so with little cost and zero friction.