Benjamin Melançon

by Benjamin Melançon

Oso uses a German pilot’s statement that he would not have shot down the author of the Little Prince, had he known, to ask: Will Global Voices’ coverage of Iranian bloggers have any influence one way or the other on a potential US invasion? It is comforting to think that it could, but realistically, I [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

The San Jose Mercury News’ location in Silicon Valley is not the first reason it should have become the newspaper of record in the Internet age. Reading about this year’s round of layoffs and cutbacks, I think about the journalist the Mercury News cut off twelve years ago during boom times. In 1996, a series [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Today, March first, is National Self-Injury Awareness Day. You may not know much about this issue. A Google news search turned up one article, in the independent Charleston Gazette. I am meaningfully aware that people self-injure only through a friend’s yearly blog post to mark self-injury awareness day: “We are male and female. We are [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Marketing guru Seth Godin urges companies to start calling “potential customers” and “targets” instead citizens. He means this term to be inclusive of those who have a relationship with the marketer and those who do not and to bring about a mental shift toward respect and humility. Nice to know that journalists are ahead of [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

At this year’s SalesForce.com Foundation gathering, “Innovation for Nonprofit Success,” the recurring theme was less the SalesForce software than the broader topic of the social web.  This is to SalesForce’s credit; Suzanne DiBianca, cofounder and director of the Foundation, set the tone when she introduced Holly Ross, Executive Director of the Nonprofit Technology Network, as [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Anonymous communication online is becoming quite a theme here on Idea Lab. The web site WikiLeaks.org (if you’re in the United States, right now you’ll have to access it through their IP address) reports that it has been censored by U.S. court injunction (it is also banned in China). The point of the web site [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

This is old news, I know. Various political forums mentioned the “Obama is a MUSLIM” e-mail smear campaign more than a month ago. But when I read about it, my understanding was this hatemongering and lying – or at least the lying – had been laid to rest. But then the e-mail was forwarded to [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

A previous post of mine had an inflammatory headline unjustified by the text: “Lies about Venezuela: If NYT.com ran Related Content“. I was guilty of looking at Jens Erik Gould’s article, “Venezuela’s Fateful Choice,” through a frame: that major media coverage overwhelmingly seeks to portray the Venezuelan government as illegitimate and bad. My own view [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

How about this for a video game? Free Speech TV has put out a short video about the current and threatened enclosure of the Internet: Disclosure: The video is produced by Steve Anderson, whose COA News is a client of Agaric Design Collective. Some surprising background on the current extent of concentration and tracking supplements [...] more »

by Benjamin Melançon

Lara, Venezuela, lacks widespread internet access, cutting off Agaric Design Collective from our sysadmin. If you want to tell us Hugo Chávez’s administration in Venezuela is doing a bad job developing the country, we have reason to listen, with prejudice. But the accusations slipping unchallenged into news articles that Venezuela is anti-democratic, that Chávez is [...] more »