Digital Backyards Forum “Technologies”: Public Talk with Géraldine Delacroix, Marcel Mars, Fabienne Riener, Spideralex

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  • “Technologies”: Public Talk with Géraldine Delacroix, Marcel Mars, Fabienne Riener, Spideralex

    Lecture Nenad Romic aka Marcel Mars, Maastricht: „Learning by Google“

    Field of Research:
    – increasing privatization of space: public/private binary -> open/close
    – finding similarities and differences of internet innovations and technological/business innovations

    GFAeB:
    – GFAeB (Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay) = digital natives of business world -> stronger than before -> monopolies
    – their activities: digitizing, trading, building clouds, selling ad space (Google AdWords), friendships, recommendations, reliability –> makes them the ruling class of digital world

    Why Google?
    – free software/open source
    – platforms for collective communication
    – financial support for Firefox and Ubuntu
    – free web services (Mail, Docs, Groups, Calendar)
    -> Google as a big actor who provides services people want
    – before: radio station used to be a broadcasting station instead of a both way communication
    – Google’s position now: paid huge amount of money to advocate allocation to the privatization of a free, digital spectrum

    Understanding Google:
    – Google transforms attention time into rent of advertisement land -> time is transferred into space -> Google rents that space for advertising (not more).
    – same as media that sells their land to advertisers
    – Google is no media because no content production but works in the same way
    = power of abstraction

    Many say: Google is not human, because they use algorithms, so we are scared of algorithms.

    How Google works:
    1. page rank: search result
    2. MapReduce framework
    3. AdWords auction: distribution of ad placement

    General Developments:
    – personal computer -> revolution -> almost everyone bought it
    – free software (1984) -> infrastructure -> businesses built on top of free software -> privatization
    – internet -> network of computers, reduced prices for computers
    – latest trends: 95% of start-ups are based on free software, they gamble if they‘ll be bought by big companies

    ->Amazon affects every selling branch
    ->Google affects everyone in intellectual field
    ->every industry is scared of one of these actors: Google, Amazon or Apple

    Discussion:
    – Is a return to the time of building free software in 1984 possible?
    -> More than 600 companies work collaboratively on open source (Linux)
    – Does Facebook have a political impact?
    -> when we change the way we are using Facebook (as replacement for media/newspaper like TV), it will destroy the dreams of the CIA
    – Problem of filter bubble: news are prefiltered by Google
    -> outsourcing brain power to computer power isn‘t that bad

    Presentation and discussion of best practice cases

    Géraldine Delacroix, Paris (Mediapart)

    – journalist and community leader of Mediapart.fr
    – news website & social network since 2008
    – 62.000 subscribers, 100.000 readers daily
    – 2011: revealed big L‘Oreal scandal -> number of readers increased

    Fabienne Riener, Berlin (Sourcefabric)

    – COO at Sourcefabric.org, which was founded 2 years ago
    – Sourcefabric provides news/media organisations, universities and book publishers with open source software (online, print, air) across the globe
    – products: Airtime, Booktype, Newscoop (CMS), Superdesk
    – project examples: ecojournalism, Yemen Times, TS Press (Georgia), West Africa Democracy Radio, Tages Woche (Switzerland), Brazil 247
    – Solving journalistic issues: local news – global audience, independence, stability, security, sustainability
    – open source: no license fees, free download, open for developers
    – project funders: NGOs, UN, EU initiatives

    Spideralex, Barcelona (Lorea)

    – hacker and cyber activist at Lorea collective
    – Lorea.org: free, federated, secured, self-managed, social networks for civil society since 2008
    – providing tools for groups (organizing, documentation,…)
    – tasks: connecting civil societies with resources, establishing technological sovereignty, doing workshops about privacy and social networks
    – applying logic of slow/organic food movements to technology
    – idea: Lorea = flower (Basque), Social Networks = seeds -> flowers, all flowers = garden of shared knowledge
    – privacy options of network: https, install software on own server, no data selling, digital suicide is possible, no commercials, no sexism, culture of nicks and avatars

    Discussion:
    – Why build a new Facebook? Facebook is used as a megaphone and networks like Lorea or Secushare are used for conspiracy work, organisation in groups, documentation
    – Role of media? Only news or also helping to organize?
    – always need for same tools: mailing list, blog, wiki,… – all brought together in one network is better than different websites
    – users demand ways for collaborative writing

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