After a brief break we’re back and raring to go. What happened while we were away? I’m glad you asked…
In the news
Early last week China’s national firewall split open allowing users access to sites – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. – that they can’t go to normally. As a result Barack Obama’s Google+ page was bombarded with Chinese nationals calling for greater freedom in China. The crack in the firewall was repaired last Wednesday.
The Globe and Mail had an interesting piece about how a Kenyan chief is using Twitter to help keep order and organize villagers. Francis Kariuki uses the service to recover stolen property, fight crime, organize rescue parties, and distribute much needed information.
Spanish activists and artists have attempted to sabotage the countries new anti-piracy law. Late last year, after being threatened to be put on US’ blacklist, the Spanish government passed the ‘Sinde Law’, which allows for the blocking of sites reported to be infringing on copyright. Hacktivists teamed up with a sympathetic artist to flood the reporting system with legitimate notices of infringement. As claims must be processed in order of receipt the system has been overloaded.
Food for thought
The Nieman Journalism Lab has a fascinating piece about how NPR has used geo-targeting on their Facebook page to increase traffic and engagement. Experimenting with a local Seattle station they began targeting stories specifically to Seattleites. What they discovered was that there was not only an increase in webtraffic but also in engagement despite the fact that the audience was a fraction of the total audience for their Facebook page. I think that there are a lot of international, and even national, NGOs that could greatly benefit by giving this a try.
Facebook announced that brand pages will be moving to the new timeline format at the end of this month. That means some big changes and opportunities for NGOs. Stay tuned for more on this later this week.
Voting for TechSoup’s 2012 Digital Storytelling Challenge starts today. The competition is a chance for non-profits and libraries to flex their digital muscles and create compelling stories about their work and the people they affect.
The Verge has the trailer for Free the Network, a documentary on the Free Network Foundation who aim to create a decentralized global network that can’t be censored or shut down by governments.