Uma revolução social e de costumes ganha território nos rincões do Nordeste do Brasil. O movimento saiu das lan houses das áreas pobres do interior e da capital, expandiu-se pelas zonas rurais, entrou nas casas e em comunidades. Promoveu grandes transformações coletivas, sociais e culturais. O cotidiano de famílias, associações e escolas foi alterado. Percorremos 11 mil quilômetros, nos nove estados da região, e constatamos que o Nordeste está atravessando uma nova fronteira - a fronteira digital.

O acesso a computadores, celulares e à web formou redes de comunicação no mundo real. São redes que têm a internet como ferramenta de apoio e que ligam cidadãos em torno de interesses comuns. É um fenômeno novo, estágio avançado da inclusão digital. Investigamos as mudanças provocadas em um lugar que teve quase o dobro do crescimento do número de internautas nos últimos cinco anos. O Nordeste aumentou 213%; o Brasil, 112%, diz o IBGE - embora muitos continuem excluídos. É o mesmo que desponta no topo do ranking de acessos a sites de relacionamentos virtuais (75%). Este especial multimídia mostra a inclusão para além da lan house e do Orkut, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube e outras redes sociais - algo que também já foi popularizado neste território. Gráficos e quadros ilustram o Brasil do qual estamos falando; entrevistas com especialistas e links para estudos fornecem informações extras para os interessados. Textos, vídeos e o mapa das cidades visitadas desvendam nomes e sobrenomes dos que desenham esta nova geografia sociodigital, a nova fronteira das expressivas mudanças que vêm ocorrendo no Nordeste.

A reportagem percorreu os nove estados do Nordeste. Ao todo foram 11 mil quilômetros. Entrevistamos mais de 50 pessoas …

… Según sostienen teóricos neoliberales, el sujeto se comporta como lo haría una empresa y se enfrenta a sus pares de la misma manera: de forma estratégica, calcula los posibles beneficios y pérdidas que se desprenden de la interacción y busca ante todo defender sus intereses. De esta manera, surge lo que denominamos el sujeto-empresa, el empresario de sí mismo, el emprendedor que compite en el mercado por mantener su nicho y hacer viable su existencia. Obviamente este proceso no ha acontecido de espaldas a marcos institucionales y sin el auspicio de políticas de promoción, que han sido determinantes a la hora de crear la figura del emprendedor/a tal y cómo la conocemos hoy en día. En un trabajo anterior he estudiado cómo se ha ido construyendo el discurso en torno al emprendizaje en cultura en el Estado español y qué tipo de dispositivos e instituciones se han creado para propiciar este fenómeno (Rowan, 2010). A lo largo de los últimos años se ha edificado una densa arquitectura institucional compuesta de incubadoras, planes de promoción, oficinas de información, eventos, charlas y talleres, líneas de financiación o espacios de co-trabajo, que complementada con programas de televisión, eventos públicos, películas libros y revistas, han impuesto un modelo empresarial muy específico en el campo cultural: la figura del emprendedor/a cultural. Este proceso ha venido acompañado por importantes cambios en las políticas públicas y los discursos que las sustentan …

la aparición de sujetos-marca, es decir, personas que son empresa hasta sus últimas consecuencias. El sujeto-empresa es aquel que aprende paulatinamente a implementar y a hacer suyas diferentes estrategias de mercado, y a moverse en un entorno poblado por otras empresas, la producción de una marca fuerte que le representa es tan sólo una consecuencia de este proceso. Así, el emprendedor explota todos sus activos, es decir, sus saberes, sus contactos, sus redes, sus intuiciones y sus afectos y se convierte prácticamente en una máquina cuyo objetivo es aumentar la productividad  y competir en el mercado con otras formas empresariales. Debe poner su cuerpo a trabajar y depende de su capacidad para autogestionarse lo que le hace viable o no como modelo empresarial. Como cualquier empresa debe aprender a producir una constelación de signos, elementos visuales, discursos propios y rasgos identitarios que le diferencien de sus competidores y ayuden a su identificación. Es entonces cuando se empieza a producir el sujeto-marca, es decir, se genera un interfaz capaz de mantener de forma sostenida al sujeto-empresa en la esfera pública. La marca es la condensación del valor del sujeto-empresa, es el punto en el que sus activos se exponen al escrutinio de sus posibles clientes y potenciales competidores …

El valor simbólico, que siempre ha sido crucial en el campo de producción cultural -como bien argumentó Bourdieu- , adquiere ahora unos mecanismos optimizados para su construcción y diseminación, y por lo tanto resulta imprescindible analizar el auge del sujeto-marca para entender las recientes transformaciones en el campo cultural. Para ello se puede servir de diferentes herramientas y tecnologías de la comunicación como los blogs, cuentas de Twitter y de  Facebook y otras redes sociales que sirven para construir la identidad digital de la marca, y al mismo tiempo sirven para promocionarse dentro de los espacios de validación social de la cultura: inauguraciones, saraos, presentaciones, conferencias, etc. De esta manera su cuerpo deviene la barrera última que distancia a la empresa de sus clientes, el cuerpo es el propio interface de la marca. Es por esta razón por la que en ocasiones se hace muy complicado separar lo público de lo privado, lo íntimo de lo social, la realidad de lo que se busca proyectar. La necesidad de regular lo que la marca comunica implica un proceso de regulación, es decir, es necesario hacer un trabajo constante de evaluación en torno a qué emociones se exteriorizan y cuáles no, qué ideas se pueden formular en público y cuáles no, qué comportamientos son deseables y cuáles no. En este sentido la marca puede terminar siendo un marco de contención y un límite al desarrollo de la subjetividad, el autocontrol se transforma en paranoia. Un tweet demasiado mordaz, un comentario desafortunado, una emoción mal calculada pueden hacer que la marca se resienta …

… is a shift towards localism, allowing communities to shape their own future. It is about small scale activity as opposed to those on a national or global scale, on everything from food and energy production to politics. Again this trend is not specific to the UK but finds resonance in other parts of Europe and North America. Taken together, localism and regionalism form part of a powerful countercurrent to globalisation. In the UK however, the  debate about the government’s Localism Bill has been soured by the suspicion that, for all the proposals to devolve power to communities and local authorities, the bill is no more than a Trojan horse for a hidden agenda of economic growth at any cost, unfettered by planning regulations or community consultation.

It is these trends which combine to allow the emergence of new forms of civic activity using the internet as both an organising tool and a means by which skills, information and ideas are shared and spread rapidly. There are four examples that are worth looking at. Others can probably add to the list. 

[1] The first is the spread of what are called ‘hyperlocal websites’, citizen run websites where news, views and issues are aired and discussed. … three well established neighbourhood web sites Brockely CentralEast Dulwich Forum and Harringay Online. All of them, with their mix of news, blogs and discussion forums reflect the interests and concerns of local people. People are free to publish content on any subject unmediated by the filtering effects of commercial newspapers …

[2] The second example is the creation of online resources such as OpenlyLocal andMySociety which are driving forward more open, accountable government

[3] A third example is online sites which are repositories of spreadsheet data. These have grown exponentially as the result of the push for open data. Two of the best known ones are Guardian Data Blog and Google Public data and both hold a range of data on everything from child poverty to school league tables. This data has been pulled from sites such as data.gov.uk  or Eurostat and turned into simple powerful visualisations such as heat maps, bar charts or pie charts …

[4] Finally there are the peer learning networks and training organisations to which community activists can turn for help and resources. Our Society is an online peer learning network where you can set up a profile to say a bit about yourself and join working groups that usually focused around a particular theme such as community organising, localism or sustainability.   But for many community activists unfamiliar with the interne, there is now a growing range of hands-on support and training  offered by organisations such as  Networked NeighbourhoodsTalk About LocalPodnosh and Social Reporter to name but a few …

While representative democracy remains central to our state institutions it needs to be complimented by more open government at the local level which allows people a direct say in both the decisions that shape their lives - and the means by which they are carried out. It is this prospect offered by the internet and social media tools in particular - and the contours of this new landscape are already evident.  

Nor is there any let up in momentum. These technologies are barely ten years old and are accompanied by the spread of cheap broadband and free wifi. The digital divide still means that significant numbers of people in our most deprived communities don’t have access to a computer at home; but  smart-phone technology is beginning to fill the gaps. Technological advancement and the open data movement combined with the localism agenda, have created too great a momentum to be knocked off course by the heated contention about the present government’s approach. These are paradigm shifts that are bigger than any political party and will outlast this government and the next …

Back to the “wall”: How to use Facebook in the college classroom, by Caroline Lego Muñoz and Terri Towner. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 12 - 5 December 2011

AbstractThe evolving world of the Internet — blogs, podcasts, wikis, social networks — offers instructors and students radically new ways to research, communicate, and learn. Integrating these Internet tools into the college classroom, however, is not an easy task. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the role of social networking in education and demonstrate how social network sites (SNS) can be used in a college classroom setting. To do this, existing research relating to SNS and education is discussed, and the primary advantages and disadvantages of using SNS in the classroom are explored. Most importantly, specific instructions and guidelines to follow when implementing SNS (i.e., Facebook) within the college classroom are provided. Specifically, we show that multiple types of Facebook course integration options are available to instructors. It is concluded that SNS, such as Facebook, can be appropriately and effectively used in an academic setting if proper guidelines are established and implemented.

OCCUPY WALL STREET is not only a mass protest movement intended to draw attention to economic injustice and political corruption. It seeks to embody and thereby to demonstrate the feasibility of certain ideals of participatory democracy. This is, to my mind, what makes OWS so interesting, and so unlike a tea-party protest. OWS is not simply a group of like-minded people gathered together to make a point with a show of collective force, though it is that. The difference is that it has developed into an ongoing micro-society with a micro-government that directly exemplifies a principled alternative to the prevailing American order. The complaint that OWS has failed to produce a coherent list of demands seems to me to miss much of the point of the encampment in Zuccotti Park. The demand is a society more like the little one OWS protestors have mocked up in the park. The mode of governance is the message …

There is a great deal wrong with American governance, and not only within government. I think that the concentrated management and diffuse ownership of public corporations has left a relatively small numbers of corporate managers with insufficiently checked control over trillions of other people’s property. And I think that the relatively unchecked power of government to make or break fortunes has made it more or less inevitable that corporations would in time end up writing their own regulations to their own advantage. Occupy Wall Street is a great boon to the extent that it helps draw attention and build effective opposition to the unjust mechanisms of upward redistribution and to the many flaws in our political economy responsible for the disproportionate influence of the wealthy and powerful over the rules that profoundly affect us all. However, insofar as OWS is meant to persuade Americans to adopt a wholly different and better way to live with one another, it is bound to fail. Even if consensus-based, leaderless participatory democracy could work on a grand scale, Americans aren’t interested. And face it: sooner or later, Brookfield Properties is going to get it’s park back. So for those deeply committed to realising a lasting community governed by the ideals of OWS, let me recommend a seastead.

Abstract. Geographically referenced user generated content provides us with an opportunity to, for the first time, gather perspectives on place over large areas by exploring how very many people describe information. We present a framework for analysing large collections of user generated content. This involves classification of descriptive terms attached by users to photographs into facets of elements, qualities, and activities. We apply this framework to two contrasting photographic archives — Flickr and Geograph, representing weakly and strongly moderated content respectively. We propose a method for removing user–generated bias from such collections though the user of term profiles that can assess the effect of the most and least prolific contributors to a collection. Analysis and visualization of co–occurrence between terms suggests clear differences in the description of place between the two collections, both in terms of the facets used and their geographical footprints. This is attributed to the role of moderation/editorialising of content; to the role tags and free–text have on descriptive behaviour and to the geographic footprint of content supplied by the two collections.

Synopsis: What do Wikipedia, Zip Car’s business model, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, and a small group of lobster fishermen have in common? They all show the power and promise of human cooperation in transforming our businesses, our government, and our society at large. Because today, when the costs of collaborating are lower than ever before, there are no limits to what we can achieve by working together.

For centuries, we as a society have operated according to a very unflattering view of human nature:  that, humans are universally and inherently selfish creatures. As a result, our most deeply entrenched social structures – our top-down business models, our punitive legal systems, our market-based approaches to everything from education reform to environmental regulation - have been built on the premise that humans are driven only by self interest, programmed to respond only to the invisible hand of the free markets or the iron fist of a controlling government.
 
In the last decade, however, this fallacy has finally begun to unravel, as hundreds of studies conducted across dozens of cultures have found that most people will act far more cooperatively than previously believed.  Here, Harvard University Professor Yochai Benkler draws on cutting-edge findings from neuroscience, economics, sociology, evolutionary biology, political science, and a wealth of real world examples to debunk this long-held myth and reveal how we can harness the power of human cooperation to improve business processes, design smarter technology, reform our economic systems, maximize volunteer contributions to science, reduce crime, improve the efficacy of civic movements, and more. 
 
For example, he describes how:

  • By building on countless voluntary contributions, open-source software communities have developed some of the most important infrastructure on which the World Wide Web runs
  • Experiments with pay-as-you-wish pricing in the music industry reveal that fans will voluntarily pay far more for their favorite music than economic models would ever predict
  • Many self-regulating communities, from the lobster fishermen of Maine to farmers in Spain, live within self-regulating system for sharing and allocating communal resources
  • Despite recent setbacks, Toyota’s collaborative shop-floor, supply chain, and management structure contributed to its meteoric rise above its American counterparts for over a quarter century. 
  • Police precincts across the nation have managed to reduce crime in tough neighborhoods through collaborative, trust-based, community partnerships.

A taxonomy for measuring the success of open source software projects. by Amir Hossein Ghapanchi, Aybuke Aurum, and Graham Low. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 8 - 1 August 2011

Abstract

Open source software (OSS) has been widely adopted by organizations as well as individual users and has changed the way software is developed, deployed and perceived. Research into OSS success is critical since it provides project leaders with insights into how to manage an OSS project in order to succeed. However, there is no universally agreed definition of “success” and researchers employ different dimensions (e.g., project activity and project performance) to refer to OSS success. By conducting a rigorous literature survey, this paper seeks to take a holistic view to explore various areas of OSS success that have been studied in prior research. Finally it provides a measurement taxonomy including six success areas for OSS projects. Implications for theory and practice are presented.

Cuihua Shen and Peter Monge (2011). Who connects with whom? A social network analysis of an online open source software community. First Monday, Volume 16, Number 6

ABSTRACT: By examining “who connects with whom” in an online community using social network analysis, this study tests the social drivers that shape the collaboration dynamics among a group of participants from SourceForge, the largest open source community on the Web. The formation of the online social network was explored by testing two distinct network attachment logics: strategic selection and homophily. Both logics received some support. Taken together, the results are suggestive of a “performance–based clustering” phenomenon within the OSS online community in which most collaborations involve accomplished developers, and novice developers tend to partner with less accomplished and less experienced peers.

My report on the SXSW session The Era of Crowdsourcing: General Principles, featuring Scott Belsky of Behance and Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Digg…

According to Belsky and Kalmikoff, the crowdsourcing definition needs to evolve, especially beyond the common misconception that crowdsourcing means access only to free labor. They mention three business models:

1) Crowdsource wisdom (or knowledge/expertise/skill), as with Wikipedia.
2) Crowdsource labor, as with Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or traditional spec contests.
3) Crowdsource both wisdom and labor, as with Digg or Threadless. Keep the community active in the business.

To the question of crowds vs communities… a crowd is definable through a common purpose or set of emotions. Where crowds are concerned, sourcing exists in sprints.

In communities, intent, beliefs, risks, etc. may be present in common, affecting identity and cohesiveness. Sustainability exists inherently in the organic, adaptive nature of communities.

- Since 2003, megafone.net has been inviting groups of people on the fringe of society to express their experiences and opinions through face-to-face meetings and mobile phones. The phones, which allow participants to create audio recordings and images that are immediately published to the web, act as digital megaphones, amplifying the voices of individuals and groups who are often overlooked or misrepresented in mainstream media.

- Desde 2003, megafone.net invita a grupos de personas en riesgo de exclusión social a expresar sus experiencias y opiniones en reuniones presenciales y a través del uso de teléfonos móviles. Éstos, que permiten a los participantes crear registros de sonido e imagen y publicarlos inmediatamente en la Web, se convierten en megáfonos digitales que amplifican la voz de personas y grupos a menudo ignorados o desfigurados por los medios de comunicación predominantes.

- Desde 2003, megafone.net convida grupos de pessoas em risco de exclusão social à expressar suas experiências e opiniões em reuniões presenciais e através do uso de celulares. Ao permitir que os participantes façam registros de sons e imagens, publicando-os imediatamente na Web, estes telefones móveis se convertem em megafones digitais, que amplifiam a voz de pessoas e minorias ignoradas ou desfiguradas pelos meios de comunicação predominantes.

From Free Software to “Do it yourself” Biology. Conferencia con Chris Kelty y Sebastián Muriel

El Software Libre ha transformado el diálogo político y de la innovación a lo largo de los últimos 15 años. Esta presentación explica cómo las prácticas de diseño de Software Libre se han adaptado para ser aplicadas a un amplio espectro de actividades periféricas, desde libros de texto hasta una nueva generación de proyectos de “biología abierta”. Chris Kelty es Profesor de Estudios de la Información en la UCLA, EEUU; Sebastián Muriel es Director de Red.es.
5 de mayo de 2009