March 29, 2006


W ow, it’s been a while since I posted anything here!

I suppose I should officially announce that AEV is on indefinite hiatus, since that appears to be the truth :-) I may or may not come roaring back later with more posts, we’ll see. For now, if you want to keep up with what I’m thinking about, you should check out my main blog, Just Well Mixed, at

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September 12, 2005

Yahoo Presents: Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone

T his is interesting… Yahoo is sponsoring what looks set to be a very interesting microjournalism project.

Yahoo News Presents: Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone

As one of the world’s most respected war correspondents, Kevin Sites has spent the past five years covering global war and disaster for several national networks. On September 26, veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites will embark on a year-long journey as a solo journalist to cover every armed conflict in the world…

Veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites will travel solo to these conflict zones, aided by a U.S.-based “mission control” team: Producer Robert Padavick (NBC News, CNN) and Researcher Lisa Liu (Radio Free Asia, International Medical Corps).

Using the latest technology, including high-definition digital cameras and satellite modems, Kevin will deliver stories via a five-fingered multimedia platform of text, photography, video, audio, and interactive chat - all available on one website (

I’ve been a fan of Sites’ “solo journalism” from Iraq and Afghanistan for a few years now, so this is very cool indeed. If you don’t know who he is — remember that flap when TV footage showed up of the Marine shooting the wounded guy in the mosque in Iraq last year? Sites is the one who shot that footage.

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July 7, 2005

Remixing A Tragedy

H ow powerful are open APIs?

Within hours of the terrorist bombing attack on London’s mass transit system, check out how this one site mixed data from Google Maps, Flickr, and BBC News — all of which offer open APIs — to provide a contextual view of the story that you couldn’t get from any one of those sources alone.

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July 1, 2005

"A Content Management System For Users"

H ere is the first explanation of what Yahoo’s new-ish MyWeb 2.0 is, and why we should care, that actually rings my bell:

“My Web” actually is a content management system for users. It combines a number of new ideas — folksonomy tagging, social networking, recommendation engines — into a tool that helps users organize information around their own interests.

We all struggle with content management when producing our news websites. Rarely do we look at the problem from the user side…

Too true, and not just for news sites — all us e-advocates could say the same.

Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny says some interesting things about MyWeb, too:

[E]veryone I know is an expert… in something. If I have questions about electronics or radios, I’d ask my Dad. He’s always looking at that stuff on-line. Astronomy and Astrophotography? My Uncle. Construction and remodeling? My brother in law. Real estate? A couple of my old college friends. The list goes on.

The point is that for most topics I might want to know more about, I already know someone that’s smarter than me on the subject. I have my very own community of experts (we all do). I just need a way to tap into their accumulated experience.

My Web 2.0, the latest release of our My Web service might just be what they need. It gives them an easy way to bookmark, annotate, tag, and share sites they discover. And it gives me a way to get at their stuff. I can subscribe to an RSS feed of someone’s newest bookmarks, or maybe just those sites they tag as “funny” or “real estate.” I can search my entire community’s bookmarks. Or I can just start tag surfing to see what turns up.

From that description, it’s no wonder some folks are calling MyWeb a “ killer”. Or maybe it’s better seen as

There is an API available to allow you to integrate MyWeb into your own site or application. Take a look and start thinking — are there ways services like this can enrich online activism?

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June 16, 2005

Groundspring: It's Aliiiiive!!!!

G ood news for small non-profits needing advocacy tools — some of the refugees from the recent retreat of from the open-source advocacy space have re-formed as, offering an OSS advocacy toolset for a very reasonable price — $49.99/month, plus a penny per email you send.

I’m a client of Democracy In Action, which is also an excellent choice for groups in this space, but two strong products serving a market is always better than one!

(Thanks to Jon Stahl for the pointer, BTW.)

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June 14, 2005

Amen, Brother

F rom Firefox developer Blake Ross, some words on the state of software:

Iā??m not trying to be stubborn or difficult. Iā??m just disgusted by the status quo. Iā??m disgusted by what the average person has to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and I canā??t imagine a more irresponsible way to spend my time than to sit around pontificating on how else we can widen the gap between the people who actually understand computers, and everybody else.

Hereā??s what I mean: put a digital picture and an instant message window side by side and ask Mom to share the picture. Even though the windows are approximately five pixels apart, sharing them is about as intuitive as a W2 form. Itā??s actually easier to share a picture sitting on a server in China than it is to share your own stuff. And you want me to gush about podcasting?

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June 2, 2005

Book Burro

I f you’ve been wondering what the buzz about Greasemonkey is about, go get it and then grab the Book Burro script.

Once you see how much more useful Book Burro makes online bookstores, you’ll get it.

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May 17, 2005

F is an interesting new community-based online fundraising service that leverages the Plone CMS and the Paypal API.

In their words:

Fundable is a new service that lets groups of people pool money for various purposes in what are called “group actions.” Similar to an online auction, a group action has its own page, describing how much money will be collected and what the money will do. No participant takes a risk: if the collection for a group action falls short of its target on deadline, all money is refunded.

Fundable’s all-or-nothing approach to collecting money lets you participate in a group purchase or fundraiser without worrying about what other people will do. You will either get what you paid for or get your money back.

Right now you use it through the site, but they promise an open-source release of the software soon, so you can run your own Fundable server if you wish.

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May 16, 2005


D an Gillmor’s “citizen journalism” project has just come out from under wraps… it’s called Bayosphere, it covers the San Francisco Bay Area, and it’s driven by Drupal (read why). Dan’s the same guy who wrote the book on citizen journalism, We the Media.

This ought to be interesting…

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May 10, 2005

In Case You Know Someone Who Still Doesn't Get It

H ugh MacLeod explains it better than anyone else has yet:

Why corporate blogging works.

All these points apply just as well to public interest/not-for-profit/advocacy organizations, too…

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