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BarCamp Central Asia 2009 starts registering participants
Written by , Thursday, 19 Mar, 2009 – 15:24 | No Comment

The next “barcamp” format conference, i.e., an open, non-commercial educational conference for New Media specialists, for Central Asia will take place in Almaty on April 17-19.

By way of background, the term “barcamp” was invented by web 2.0 pioneer Tim O’Reilly to describe the difference between a traditional (i.e., boring) conference, wherein participants don’t really participate, simply listen, and a conference in which everyone potentially can become an organizer, speaker,and  presenter.

BarCamp Central Asia 2009 will be gathering together the “Kaznet” community – journalists, programmers, bloggers, web-designers, web-developers, etc., for three days during which they will be making presentations, sharing interests, exchanging experiences, actively and mutually listening, and co-creating the projects.

The conference is intended to have a worldwide effect, and already, we’re accomplishing that goal.  The conference’s website has been active for only one week, but according to Google Analytics, more than 700 visitors from 31 countries have already visited it.

The registration for participants starts on March, 19th, 2009, at www.barcampkz.net

Participation is free for private person.

Reposted from neweurasia’s homebase.

Soon to come
Written by , Saturday, 14 Mar, 2009 – 19:56 | No Comment

In the coming weeks neweurasia bloggers should expect to receive rough drafts of country- and thematic-chapters from the CyberChaikhana book project.  I will be asking for your insights, particularly with regards to suggestions for posts you feel I should include, as well as the overall narrative of the chapter.  Stay tuned!

A new year
Written by , Monday, 12 Jan, 2009 – 17:08 | No Comment

Your friendly neighborhood editor is back!  For those interested, I’ve posted photos and videos in my personal blog.  Incidentally, Transition Online‘s November/December issue of Open Society Education News has an article about schooling refugee children in Johannesburg.

In neweurasia news, the site reboot is imminent.  We are currently re-staffing.  Our editorial positions have already been filled with one exception: Managing Editor for the Russian edition (see: the advert on the homebase for details).  More importantly, we are need of writers.  Expect an advertisement regarding this matter shortly.

In CyberChaikhana news, I’m going to hit the ground running with new chapters.  I’m going to endeavor to keep up with once-a-week posting, but I want to make sure what I post is more often book-related than not. In my judgment, last year I digressed in this space a few too many times.

All-in-all, , expect a productive new year, O intrepid readers!  As Stan Lee likes to say, “Excelsior!

Agenda for the remainder of 2008
Written by , Saturday, 13 Dec, 2008 – 20:33 | No Comment

Well, it’s that time of year again — the end!  Although most cultures celebrate the turnover in the Spring and Fall, the evening of December 31st on the Western calendar has now become nigh universally celebrated.  There are, of course, many controversial reasons why this is so, including imperialism, globalization, and those creepy meanies, the Illuminati (that’s a joke, by the way!)

What’s the plan for CyberChaikhana as the year draws to a close? Well, it’s been a long year foreverybody. Speaking for myself, I’m in some serious need for rest and recuperation, so off to South Africa I go!  It’s costing me a pretty penny to do it, but by God, sometimes a person’s got to burn some money for recklessness’ sake, even if times are tough and financial Doomsday (or zombie apocalypse, as the case may be) is upon us.

My travels means I’ll be incommunicado for the remainder of December and a portion of January, but don’t worry, there will still be activity in this space.  Primarily, expect in the next two weeks excerpts of more rough draft material. (UPDATE 20/12/2008: Well, it looks like I won’t be able to keep this promise.  There were a lot of last minute details that needed taken care of in the lead-up to my trip to South Africa, and I leave this Monday.  That means the CyberChaikhana blog won’t be back in action until the second week of January.  But don’t worry.  Expect a big comeback, replete with blaring theremins and exploding pigs.  Cheers!)

When I return I will also release the results of our informal blogging-and-pluralism survey which I initiated two months ago.  If you’ve already added your input to the survey, do so now!!!  And while I’m away, check out Harvard University’s new Project on Islam in Eurasia, the focus of which will be upon the everyday lived aspects of the religion in post-Soviet life (click on the image above to learn more).

As many of you know, it’s a Western tradition that upon the coming of the New Year every person makes a resolution for themselves.  What’s mine?  Simply, to complete the rough draft of the entire manuscript by Springtime. I’ll be kicking into editorial high-gear when I return from Capetown, so stay tuned!

Have a happy and relaxing New Year everyone!

Rough draft: Turkmenistan, “The Length of a Man’s Shadow”
Written by , Wednesday, 26 Nov, 2008 – 22:16 | One Comment

What follows is the rough draft for the Turkmenistan-focused chapter.  Perhaps not-so-ironically, it focuses upon the legacy of Saparmurat “Turkmenbashi” Niyazov.   Keep in mind that this is still very much a work in progress.  For example, I’m considering a revamp of the introduction, as well as including some more coverage about youth and internet use while reducing the amount of overly political content.  Please feel free to leave comments or e-mail your thoughts. Read the full story »

Cyberjournalism: a (re-)definition
Written by , Thursday, 20 Nov, 2008 – 21:59 | No Comment

Cyberjournalism.”  It’s a term rarely used in journalistic and academic parlance, but one I’d like to promote as the world’s first ever International Cyberjournalism Congress approaches (click the link to go directly to the ICC website; click the image above to read Javier Díaz Noci’s post on the event).”I don’t get it,” you say.  “What the heck is ‘cyberjournalism’ and how is it distinct from ‘online’ or internet-based reporting?”  The answer isn’t so much that “cyberjournalism” is distinct from online journalism as much as online journalism falls within its rubric.  “Cyberjournalism” is a re-definition, a new category and lens through which we may come to understand the evolution of reporting in computerized mediums.In other words, all forms of computerized journalism qualify as “cyberjournalism.”  That includes…

But what of content?  Like their counterparts in the “old media” of print and broadcast journalism, the varieties of cyberjournalism are reciprocally influenced by the new cybernetic modes of expression.  Cyberjournalists are not constrained to report on matters wholly “RL” (“real life”); they can and do report upon matters wholly “VR,” as well.  For examples of what I mean, click on the various links above. Read the full story »

New Media(isms)
Written by , Friday, 14 Nov, 2008 – 23:30 | No Comment

In CyberChaikhana-related news, there are some promising developments on the horizon; for now, however, I must be hush hush about them.

I’m pleased to report that my lecture, “Log on, tune in, blog out: citizen-journalism, New Media, and subversive activity,” presented at Saint Joseph’s University, was well-received.

The lecture is a general survey of the darker side of Web 2.0-enabled New Media.  In particular, I explore some of its uses by subversive and revolutionary groups on the fringes of contemporary global society.  My case studies: Read the full story »

Preparing a lecture
Written by , Monday, 3 Nov, 2008 – 21:47 | 2 Comments

I’m pleased to announce that I will be presenting a lecture to Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on the happy topic of revolutionaries and online new media (click on the photo of the school to see a copy of the advertisement).  I owe the honor to Dr. Sabrina DeTurk, Associate Dean of Graduate Arts and Sciences Studies at SJU, and to the university’s Graduate Criminal Justice Program.

The focus will be upon an assortment of “Web 2.0″ platforms, including everyone’s favorites Second Life and World of Warcraft (for my Central Asian readers, these are crazy American games that have taken on real-world proportions), and of course the Tulip Revolution will be making a cameo appearance alongside recent developments in Europe and the Middle East.  Click here for an example of some of the frightfully hilarious/hilariously frightful things I’ll be talking about…

I’ve been preparing for two months now, but inevitably, as with all things academic, I have waited a wee bit too long to actually write the lecture.  So, the crunch is upon me, meaning that I’m going to be incommunicado until after November 10th.  I’m hoping to have the lecture recorded and posted on YouTube and in this space.  Stay tuned!

Some thoughts on pluralism and blogging
Written by , Saturday, 25 Oct, 2008 – 16:46 | 2 Comments

pluralism.jpgLast week I launched an informal survey on the subject of blogging and pluralism.  It was inspired by the Promoting Pluralism Knowledge Programme, a recent initiative of the Hivos Foundation in collaboration with the Kosmopolis Insitute and the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS).  Additionally, since this past March, Ben and I have also been using the editorial compilation process of the CyberChaikhana book as an internal pluralism audit of neweurasia itself.  I’ll let you all know the results in a few weeks (and as time goes on I intend to run more scientific surveys and studies, both of neweurasia and the Stanosphere).  In the meantime, I’d like to share a few thoughts on the role pluralism plays in a news service, especially one such as ours.

Read the full story »

Blogging and pluralism survey!
Written by , Saturday, 18 Oct, 2008 – 18:35 | 2 Comments

How pluralistic is neweurasia?  Do our bloggers represent a multiplicity of points of view?  Are we effectively broadcasting alternative or underground points of view? Does blogging itself help or hinder democratic conversation?

These are some of the interesting questions that have been occurring to me as I’ve been pouring over the posts.  To get your insight, I’ve made this survey that I would love if you all filled out.  Keep in mind that by completing this survey, you’re not only helping me shape the CyberChaikhana book, but will be helping neweurasia itself to generate and deliver content of real value.

Also, of course, feel free to leave a comment to this post!