Sustainability (and such)

Random Musing: Climbing the (Fire) Wall

Posted by Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. on January 13, 2014

We can’t always get what we want.  From intermittent media pay walls and mandatory log-ins to the Great Firewall in China, it’s often a cat-and-mouse game to see what true riches we can pluck from Interwebs.

As we, as students and social activists, continue to broadcast in a narrowcast world, it’s fascinating to see barriers crumble (such as Chinese users jumping that wall to check out censored cites) and blossom (the First Nations Development Institute’s required enrollment before allowing access to its Knowledge Center of reports and publications).

The latter example illustrates a measurement technique that’s especially valuable in gauging what content is needed by which audiences.  I readily logged into the Institute to prepare for the Food Sovereignty Summit and discovered a new series of fact sheets about Native American Food and Health; however, I also stumbled into a section about how to strengthen Native American Nonprofits that will greatly help our work with Global Spark.

My tangent is about how we painstakingly craft social media policies while unflinchingly creating log-ins and other leaps that create Big Data with large user bases.  Some of my tech-ier friends see this as an issue of connectivity — How many times are you asked to login with LinkedIn and Facebook?  Amidst worries about privacy and integration, it’s worth looking before you leap (over fire)… speak (via Google Voice) or cough up cash…

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