Monthly Archives: October 2007

Obama Supports Net Neutrality

I recored a video question for the Presidential candidates the other day for 10questions.com about Network Neutrality. So did someone else. He did a much better job than I. ๐Ÿ™‚

So Move On sent out a email with a link to this great video and within hours it was at the top of the voting pile. (Matter of fact on the same day that the email came from Move On, Oct. 28, this video was voted for 4,332 times. 83 against and 4,250 for. See Voting History data.) Here’s the video:

Because this video question was the top vote getter it was asked to Sen. Obama at the MTV/MySpace forum. They played the entire YouTube clip on MTV for the local audience and the TV audience. Luckily we have a copy of this on YouTube here.

Sen. Obama did a good job of explaining what is at stake and why we need Net Neutrality. Something that college age citizens really understand. I’m very happy to hear his commitment to protecting our somewhat level playing field online. Fact is the democratic party wouldn’t have so much power from its base if the Internet wasn’t as free as it is. I think it could be even more free but we MUST protect what we have. (How could it be more free? For starters we need the HIGHEST speed broadband made available to EVERY home in America.)

This is a pretty good example of participatory democracy in the 21st Century. We created our own questions, voted for them, and had them presented to candidates live on global TV. This is how the CNN YouTube debates should have been done. This is only the start of creating a more participatory and just democracy in our country.

What really blows my mind is the power of email and web advocacy to promote a cause and insert our collective concerns into a National debate. The work isn’t done yet. Now we have to get other candidates to talk more about Net Neutrality. (Back in May Sen. Edwards spoke at Google and addresses Net Neutrality) [video] Learn more about Net Neutrality at the SaveTheInternet.com FAQ.

I’m going to call the Kucinich Campaign next.

Civic engagement and technology: CMS

Yesterday I attended the Civic Engagement and Technology Workshop held by the Triangle Community Foundation at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development. I really enjoyed the discussion led by Rob Stuart and all kinds of local nonprofits. I’m excited to see what different groups do with what they learned about network centric advocacy and the web.

I got a chance to speak in a session that was sorta like speed geeking. [Speed geeking is a participation process used to quickly view a number of presentations within a fixed period of time.]

I talked to people about Content Management Systems. I defined them this way. A Content Management System is a type of web based application that can simplify the creation of powerful websites used by large numbers of contributors.

My primary goal was to answer questions and give practical advice that could be used right away. I lumped several different kinds of dynamic web application types under the CMS umbrella. Such as Portals (CMS), Blogs, Wikis, E-learning, and Forums. Here are the specific examples we talked about:

Drupal – full featured CMS
WordPress – blog software that can do so much more
MediaWiki– the software that powers Wikipedia
Vanilla – Great easy to use forum software

I told folks about the differences between this software and their similarities. I work with clients to discover what is right for them no matter the platform but I personally recommend Open Source software when ever I can.

Here are the links I shared to help folks learn more about CMS.

cmsmatrix.org – compare cms
WordPress.com – Free wordpress blog hosting
opensourcecms.com – Demo all kinds of free CMS

One of my main messages was just to jump in feet first and do it! You can set up a blog in under five minutes. Experiment and test out web software like a blog. It’ll help you learn about how this kind of software works. Learning by doing is the best!

Tarheel MeshNet Initiative

I just found this new group on Facebook. Its called the Tarheel MeshNet Initiative. If you’re using facebook login and look for this group. I’ll post an external public URL once I find one. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a wonderful thing to have locally. Yah UNC!

Our goal is to design and implement mesh wifi networks for future deployment in low-income communities.

What is MeshNet?
A mesh network uses multiple wireless routers, called nodes, to transfer data around a network. These networks are simple to set up, can run on off-the-shelf hardware, and can be used to blanket an area with network and internet coverage. For low income communities, this means that a small number of traditional high-speed internet connections, such as DSL, can be used to provide connectivity to an entire area. The range of the network can be extended simply by adding an additional node, which involves nothing more than just plugging it in.

Cross Posted on OrangeNetworking.org

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UNC Men's bball Number 1 on Coaches Poll

University of North Carolina Men’s Basketball team has won the preseaon coaches poll for 2007-2008.

This is the sixth season in which the coaches have selected the Tar Heels No. 1 to begin the season. UNC was also No. 1 in the initial coaches’ poll in 1957-58, 1981-82, 1985-86, 1986-87 and 1987-88.

via: Tarheelblue.com

Seems it was a tight “win”. So much to live up to.

In the tightest three-way preseason race since USA TODAY took over the poll in the 1991-92 season, the Tar Heels are No. 1 with 739 points, five more than second-ranked UCLA and eight points ahead of No. 3 Memphis.

via: USA Today

The top five where:
1) UNC
2) UCLA
3) Memphis
4) Kanasas
5) Georgetown

Gota give props to UCLA. I watched them place several times last year. They were fast, huge, and talented. Should make a great match up late in the season.

On top of this Carolina won the ACC Preseason Poll too.

The University of North Carolina was the unanimous pick as the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in men’s basketball in 2007-08 and Tyler Hansbrough was voted the preseason ACC player of the year when the ACC’s media convened in Greensboro on Sunday for the annual ACC Operation Basketball.

via: tarheelblue.com

I’m crazy excited to see both the Carolina men and women play bball this year. It was wonderful to read about this. Exciting! But man the pressure is on strong now.

Thank You Joe Herzenberg

OP Wears Black

Joseph A. Herzenberg 1941-2007

Joe Herzenberg รขโ‚ฌโ€ the first openly gay elected official in the American South, an ardent defender of civil rights and the environment, and the unofficial Mayor of Franklin Street รขโ‚ฌโ€ died on October 28, 2007 at UNC Hospital. He was 66 years old.

Check out the thread over at OP. orangepolitics.org/2007/10/well-miss-you-joe/ The comments about Joe are amazing and full of interesting detail. It shows how beautiful and loving our community can be.