Wikinews/Interview of the month/April 2006 Log

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 <BrianNewZealand> Lets start with the about: Ethan Zuckerman  is the founder of Global Voices Online and serves as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, a non-profit organization that sends people with technical skills to developing countries to assist in computer infrastructure development.|  I am also plesed to annonce that next months Interview will be with Bryan Mendez of Stardust@home will be taking place on Thursday, 18 May 2006 at TBA UTC 
<BrianNewZealand> okay, What insipred you to get behind Geekcorps, and has there been a big Geekcorps mission, yet? 
<ethanz> I got interested in Geekcorps because I'd lived in Ghana as a student in 1993 and 1994
<ethanz> While over there, I was amazed at just how little internet connectivity was available
<ethanz> I did a bit of volunteer work helping wire an environmental organization, but basically the only people who had regular net access were US embassy employees
<ethanz> So I was fascinated to learn that my friends in Ghana were getting online in the late 1990s, and I wondered whether anyone would start building net-based businesses, as people were doing in the US
<ethanz> My wife and I went back to Ghana to visit friends and found that there was a huge deal of enthusiasm about the web and the potential it represented, but almost no expertise
<ethanz> people were really desperate to learn, but very few people were able to teach
<ethanz> 'at the same time, I was ready to step down from Tripod, and I knew a lot of burned out geeks
<ethanz> I started wondering whether some of my friends would be interested in sharing their skills in the developing world and whether that would be a useful thing to do
<ethanz> lots of international development folks seemed to think it was a good cause, so I started working on it fulltime.
<ethanz> We ended up sending about 100 people overseas over the four years I was involved with the project
<ethanz> we usually sent about 6-8 to a country at a time, working with a variety of businesses, NGOs and government agencies
<ethanz> biggest projects were in Ghana, Mali, Mongolia, Senegal...
<BrianNewZealand> okay, With Geekcorps you pushed the idea that newly tech-savvy citizens of developing countries could start online businesses to do digital work for the developed world. But from an American perspective, that's outsourcing, the bane of US workers. How do you justify working towards a goal that might cost Americans their jobs? 
<ethanz> It's a really good question.
<ethanz> Basically, I'm concerned about the ability of people all over the world to make a good living, send their children to school, build nice houses, have enough food and clean water, etc.
<ethanz> there's clearly something of a tradeoff offered by all sorts of globalization - as millions of chinese are lifted out of rural povery, industrial manufacturing jobs in the US disappear
<ethanz> but the US has a pretty good history of innovating and creating new jobs in fields that require a lot of intellectual endeavor
<ethanz> the US continues to found interesting software companies, pioneer new net services and generally do a lot of the interesting development on the cutting edge of tech
<ethanz> I think a lot of routine coding jobs are up for outsourcing, but I don't think that people who design software - or who manage the outsourcing and software development process - are going away any time soon
<ethanz> it's very hard to outsource creative activities - it's somewhat easier to outsource repetitive processes.
<BrianNewZealand> Lately you've been involved with projects including Global Voices and Worldchanging. Where and how do the two dovetail, and where and how do they differ? What are the strengths of each?
<ethanz> I think we need to worry less about individual job loss and more about the ability to continue creating new projects. at the same time, I'm very excited to see companies in the developing world moving up the value chain as well, starting to innovate and create new projects as well...
<ethanz> Sorry, that was the last sentence of the last answer...
<ethanz> On GV and WC...
<BrianNewZealand> no worries :)
<ethanz> They're very different projects and communities
<ethanz> WC is a magazine -it's a chance for a small group of smart people to write original content on green issues
<ethanz> it's a lot less global than GV - perhaps overly focused on the US and Europe - and has a tight subject focus
<ethanz> GV is an edited aggregator
<ethanz> People are not so much writing original, opinionated content on GV as they are linking to other content
<ethanz> indeed, we ask people to try very hard not to be especially opinionated on GV. Not NPOV, but a similar perspective - you point, you don't advocate
<ethanz> also GVO is huge - 10 regional editors, about 60 regular contributors, a network of about a thousand blogs we regularly link to
<ethanz> the community has a very different feeling - much more international, more 24/7. both are fascinating projects, successes in their own ways, but quite different
<ethanz> where they dovetail?
<ethanz> on the tech issues, a little - in both cases, we're taking very simple weblog tools and asking them to support very large communities.
<ethanz> and a little bit on the issue of how they interface with mainstream media
<ethanz> in both cases, we're interested in amplifying memes and getting them picked up by popular press as well as on the web.
<BrianNewZealand>  Isn't that a contradiction? you're asking people to be "less" opinionated, but not asking them to be unopinionated?
<ethanz> Blogs are essentially about opinion
<ethanz> asking for NPOV in the blog space misses the point - we want to know what opinions people in Syria have
<ethanz> but we want our middle east editor to try to fairly represent the different opinions taking place in that space
<ethanz> that said, he's got an opinion as well
<ethanz> so asking for NPOV isn't the right thing to do - asking him to point to a diversity of opinions is, in our case
<BrianNewZealand> Long one next: Global voices discriminates against US Blogs, stating "American blogs currently dominate the English-language blogosphere" and stating the focus is to bring under-represented countries and regions into the main-stream media's attention. One of the countries which is focused upon is Iraq, which is clearly not under-represented in main-stream media attention, and which also has an inordinately large number of blogs (the majority of the english-language blogs appear to be pro-US occupation as well) relative to its size and its median standard of living. How do you explain this apparent contradiction?  
<ethanz> Yeah - this is a question we get a lot. 
<ethanz> We made a decision early on in GV that we wanted to focus on countries that don't get much attention in the blogosphere.
<ethanz> This had something to do with my research on media attention, suggesting that Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe don't get a lot of mainstream news coverage as well
<ethanz> Rebecca's interest, on the other hand, was on some high attention countries - notably China - where there are a lot of media stories, but you very rarely hear the opinions of individauls on the ground
<ethanz> So we decided to build GVO around the idea that we wanted to amplify these voices that were otherwise hard to hear
<ethanz> This meant hiring editors for Africa, LatAm, the Carribean, the former Soviet Union, the middle east, asia, etc.
<ethanz> and skipping other areas - Western Europe, North America, most of Oceania
<ethanz> generally, we haven't been very moved to change this stance, because there are so many other services that make it easy to find bloggers and voices in those parts of the world./
<ethanz> (We do need to address the issue that we don't cover pacific islands...)
<ethanz> As for Iraq - 
<ethanz> it's becoming increasingly difficult for journalists to leave the green zone
<ethanz> so while there's a huge flood of media out of iraq, it gets harder and harder to hear the actual opinions of iraqis, making the voices from iraqi blogs more important
<ethanz> all that said - we're not opposed to someone starting am "American Voices" or something similar - we'd probably provide the software and would certainly link. but it's not a high priority for our team.
<ethanz> (And one quick note - a lot of bloggers we link to are expatriates living in America or Western Europe. It/'s the focus that's important to us, less the geography...)
<ethanz> (long question, long answer...)
<BrianNewZealand> okay
<BrianNewZealand> How do you interpret the results of the Global Attention Profiles project? Which regions are most unattended, and what are the reasons for this in your opinion? Is there any positive example for western media with respect to the coverage of topics from various regions of the world? 
<ethanz> I haven't worked much on GAP lately, mostly because doing better analysis requires better math skills than I have
<ethanz> What I learned from the project is that there's not much media attention to most of sub-Saharan Africa, much of Eastern Europe and some of Latin America
<ethanz> I also learned that there's a strong correlation between GNI (gross national income) and media attention
<ethanz> only one media source I studied - the BBC - bucked that particular trend
<ethanz> BBC does a great job in Africa, and often in Asia (though they're bad in LatAm)
<ethanz> But it's worth remembering that BBC is state media - it's free from some normal commercial constraints
<ethanz> it's very hard to find commercial media that's got a consistently global focus
<ethanz> the economist, perhaps...
<ethanz> this has a lot to do with why we started GV
<ethanz> we wanted to demonstrate the diversity of voices available out there for people to interview, talk to, feature
<ethanz> in many ways, GVO is designed as a service for journalists, helping them find stories and storytellers in countries they don't cover well...
<BrianNewZealand> What's your opinion of the $100 laptop and the One Laptop Per Child project? 
<ethanz> My opinion is pretty mixed.
<ethanz> I think it's great that NN is so focused on the idea - he's really dedicated himself to it fulltime and has a great deal of energy and expertise to put inot the project
<ethanz> and the hardware behind the machine is very well thought out
<ethanz> though they've still got major power generation problems to tackle
<ethanz> \But I think there's a whole other set of issues that OLPC hasn't taken as seriously
<ethanz> how does this get distributed? supported? repaired? disposed of in a way that it doesn't become toxic waste?
<ethanz> what happens when kids get mugged for their laptops? how do teachers teach using the new machines?
<ethanz> what happens to existing book publishers?
<ethanz> at some point soon, OLPC needs to move beyond the tough hardware questions into the tough social questions
<ethanz> I have high hopes that folks who work on ICT4D will help the project out, because it's now so high profile that it would be a huge setback for the field if the project doesn't succeed...
<BrianNewZealand>  Do you think there will be a new digital interface device that replaces keyboards and mice in the relatively near future? If so, any ideas on what it might be?
<Olipro> The Matrix?
<Olipro> :P
<ethanz> I've seen some cool work with gestural interfaces  - the sort of stuff where arm and hand gesture ends up replacing some keyboard functions
<ethanz> I know a few friends who take the idea very serioulsy and are working with motion capture systems
<Olipro> oh sorry about that, didn't mean to troll :sorry:
<ethanz> personally, I'm more interested in voice as an interface.
<ethanz> the cellphone is amazingly pervasive, even in the developing world
<ethanz> (my friends working on the gesture stuff are pretty amused by the matrix tech...(
<ethanz> :-)
<ethanz> On the voice stuff - 
<ethanz> with voiceXML, you can build pretty complex applications and let folks navigate them via voice or keypad
<ethanz> this is potentially pretty exciting for bringing computers to folks who have low or no literacty
<ethanz> Ah yes, I made a commercial plug for a company I've invested in - that must have gotten me kicked off... :-)
<ethanz> I pointed to Voxiva (disclosure - I'm an investor) which does health info over mobile phones
<BrianNewZealand> Related to the interface question is user interfaces. Not long ago 3D everything, including VRML for the web, was all the rage. But currently simpler text such as sms, IRC are clearly the preferred adoption. Even voice chat like Skype is having a hard time. Will online worlds such as Second Life or gaming platforms realize this old interactive dream, or are we still waiting for the right combination of technology, speed, and popular interest?
<ethanz> Interesting question
<ethanz> I see the same thing the questioner sees - at GVO, we're hugely dependent on email, wikis and IRC
<ethanz> and basically never use the telepresence stuff
<ethanz> but a lot of people - including some Berkman colleages - are hugely interested by Secondlife and other immersive web technologies
<ethanz> I think the question is less about speed and tech and more about usability
<ethanz> it's pretty hard for most people to author in second life
<ethanz> while people all around the world are discovering they can have a voice via wikis and blogs
<ethanz> when it becomes sufficiently easy for folks to really express themselves and generate content, I think these environments will become really important 
<ethanz> until then, they're fascinating and diverting, but not where I'm really focusing mya ttention...
<ethanz> one quick note on skype
<ethanz> it's hugely popular with geeks in developing nations
<ethanz> I know some Indian alphageeks who've basically converted to using it as their main form of interaction
<ethanz> while the quality still has issues - especially in multiuser - the economics are amazing for many people
<ethanz> and we love it at GV, as it allows us to podcast interviews based on recording audio from skype calls...
<BrianNewZealand> Currency is currently regional, but valuation is not. How far in the future (if at all) is a global digital currency? Will its introduction have any impact, positive or negative, on international development?
<ethanz> A question I'm totally unqualified to answer... :-)
<MessedRocker> What is your opinion of how advertisements are imposed on Tripod?
<ethanz> That doesn't mean I won't answer it - give me a sec, MRock... :-)
<ethanz> I think we're likely to see something like paypal become more globally acceptable
<ethanz> but not until there's a good way to turn it into cash in developing nations
<ethanz> this probably requires taking on the remittance issue in a serious way
<ethanz> remittance is a huge economic factor and has a lot to do with currency movements worldwide.
<ethanz> a system that let people make a payment online and take that money out as cash or cellphone minutes in Africa would be phenomenoally popular and important...
<ethanz> as for Tripod.,.,.
<ethanz> I haven't actually spent much time on the site for about five year
<ethanz> how are they currently putting ads on pages?
<ethanz> still in popups? popunders?
<ethanz> the theory on the popup, back in the day, was to provide some distance between the ad and the user's content
<ethanz> not implying that the user endorsed the product, for instance
<MessedRocker> popups and ad banners
<MessedRocker> the ad banner is imposed at the top of the page
<ethanz> but they got horribly out of control as people started running ad campaigns that did popups that sponsored other ones..
<ethanz> The logic is that they're providing a valuable service to you and asking for ad space in compensation
<ethanz> probably not a great idea to keep using banners these days - targetted keywords would be a better idea
<ethanz> but they're very hard to implement
<ethanz> many homepages don't have much text content, so fitting a text ad to them is a tough thing to do
<ethanz> and it wouldn't be possible - economically - to run the service without some sort of income from ads
<BrianNewZealand> You followed a path to advocacy and activism that started by making a hell of a lot of money in the private sector. Do you think this was a natural evolution of your interests from the personal to the public? How can more successful entrepreneurs (tech or otherwise) be encouraged to work on issues of social policy? 
<ethanz> I would dispute the term "a hell of a lot of money" :-)
<ethanz> I made a lot less than Jimmy, for instance... :-)
<ethanz> I was never especially motivated by money - I got very lucky.
<ethanz> I took the Tripod job because I was psyched about the tech - the money was basically an accident for me
<ethanz> Once I had it, I was in a position to buy some of my own time to work on issues I care more about
<ethanz> I think a lot of entrepreneurs keep making money because they love running companies
<ethanz> I'd love to coax more from the .com to the .org world, but they tend to worry that it's a hard jump to make
<ethanz> there's certainly a p;lace for successful entrepreneurs who finance cool charitable projects
<ethanz> (a lot of geekcorps' support came from Dick Sabot and Bo Peabody, who made a lot of money from Tripod)
<ethanz> but I do wish more entrepreneurs would put their skills to work as well
<ethanz> maybbe it's the matter of finding the right issue
<ethanz> for me, I always wanted to work on African issues...
<ethanz> it was obvious what to do next once I had the opportunity to do it.
<BrianNewZealand> How can you describe your work as a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society? Which are the topics you are dealing with?
<ethanz> Most of my Berkman work nowadays is on Global Voices
<ethanz> Rebecca and I are both fellows there
<ethanz> to keep Harvard happy, we end up doing some academic work on the spread of blogs around the world
<ethanz> I also do a lot of my work on internet security, privacy and secure publishing with my Berkman hat on
<ethanz> simply because Berkman has great contacts in those fields
<ethanz> Overall, my research is on the question of what happens as the next billion people get online... and the billion after that....
<BrianNewZealand> Do you enjoy blogging, and how did you get in to it? 
<ethanz> Heh. I enjoy it, though it occasionally feels like an obligation
<ethanz> Like most folks at Harvard, Dave Winer got me started
<BrianNewZealand> How has immersion in the world of global blogging changed your travel experiences? 
<ethanz> But my first post was about how much I resented blogs - they're very similar to what we did with personal homepages at Tripod, and I felt like they were totally overhyped. So I made a post about that
<ethanz> and then discovered that the post I put up was the leading hit for my name!
<ethanz> Which revealed something interesting about how blogs work with search engines... which got me interested in the whole question of blogs as influencers.
<ethanz> On blogs and travel - I very rarely travel that I don't make a point of meeting other bloggers
<ethanz> This gives a great deal of perspective on a country that you wouldn't get otherwise.
<ethanz> I always have questions about places that locals can answer better than books or tour guides.
<ethanz> beyond that, you end up feeling v ery at home with other bloggers because you can learn so much about them online
<BrianNewZealand> You blogged here ( about globophilia. Say more about that and why it matters?
<ethanz> It's a terrible word, since it also gets used by people who are sexually aroused by balloons.
<ethanz> lately, I've been playing with xenophilia, the love of the different
<ethanz> the opposite of xenophobia
<ethanz> basically, I think thhe world is an endlessly fascinating place and I can think of very little more interesting than exploring it and meetring different people with different perspectives and ideas
<ethanz> this isn't always a very popular stance in the US./..especially these days
<ethanz> but I think this sort of attitude is going to be critical to coping and thriving in a global world
<ethanz> I'd love to find ways to get people excited about globophilia/xenophilia as a concept and a goal - something we should be working towards so we're encountering the world in as full a way as possible...
<ethanz> xenophobes are doomed in the future economy...
<BrianNewZealand> You are supporting the Chinese filmmaker and blogger Hao Wu, who has been detained by chinese authorities []. What is he blamed for by chinese authorities? What are you doing to seek his release? 
<ethanz> The Chinese authorities still haven't told us what Hao is charged with
* mind|notallhere is now known as mind|brb
<ethanz> He's under "house arrest"... though not in his house, and no one knows where
<ethanz> the charges are still unspecified, and his family is not in contact with him
<ethanz> when his sister, Wu Na, has tried to get information on the case, she's been told the case is confidential and therefore she can't be told about it
<ethanz> it's an amazingly frustrating and scary situation
<ethanz> he's now been held for two months,...
<ethanz> basically, we're making as much noise as we can - weblog entries, media interviews, badges on blogs, a petition campaign
<ethanz> but it's impossible to know what, if anything, has influence on the Chinese government.
<ethanz> as a result, we feel pretty helpless about the situation
<BrianNewZealand>  The NASA clickworkers are a modern example of how collaboration on large projects can be distributed across a network. Do you know of projects or opportunities that exist in international development for this type of distributed collaboration?
<ethanz> I like to refer to projects like the NASA one as "human filtering"
<ethanz> they're interesting, because they're a new take on artificial intelligence
<ethanz> instead of writing better algorithms, we're finding ways to harness the power of individual people's ability to filter complex information
<ethanz> while I don't know of any specific international development projects focused on these methods
<ethanz> I think they're potentially huge in terms of economic impact for the developing world
<ethanz> there are thousnads of workers in Ghana who do human OCR - they read parking tickets and enter the data into databases
<ethanz> by Ghanaians standards, it's a great job
<ethanz> if we worked on really creative problemsolving, what could we do putting together distribnuted labor of a thousand people?
<ethanz> could be pretty interesting, especially on difficult image and audio processing tasks...
<BrianNewZealand> Will US AI be fundamentally different compared to African AI? Where will AI be in 20 years?
<ethanz> I love the idea that US and African AI could end up being very different
<ethanz> I don't know if it's true, but it's a neat idea
<ethanz> basically, AI in the US and Europe has tried to solve the problem of the scarcity of labor
<ethanz> because it's so expensive to employ someone, AI tries to eliminate jobs...
<ethanz> this isn't the way to approach the problem in Africa'
<ethanz> there the question is how you make it possible for a large number of people to do interesting technical proejcts together
<ethanz> using what humans do uniquely well - understand language, recognize visual features, etc.
<ethanz> I think you could see amazing innovations ala Mechanical Turk coming from African software developers, harnessing large numbers of smart, underemployed people
<ethanz> as for where AI will be in 20 years...
<ethanz> the truism is that when it becomes reality, it's not ai any more
<ethanz> but I'm very optimistic about collaborative filtering, which is still pretty primitive, and which can get a lot better
<ethanz> on some other fronts, I begin to wonder whether there's a limit to our progress
<ethanz> there will probably never be an unenhanced human who can run a 3 minute mile
<ethanz> similarly, I think speech recognition may get close to 95% accurancy, but we're going to need to work harder and harder to get that next 1% each year...
<BrianNewZealand> Thank you for your time
<ethanz> Thank you, Brian, for the chance to talk, and thanks to the community for great quesitons
<ethanz> what happens to interviews like this?
<Amgine> I think that's all of the prepared questions, so now we pepper you with whatever is on our minds.
<ethanz> do you guys put up the transcript, or summaries, or how does this all work?
<ethanz> Heh. and I try to let my poor wrists heal...
<Amgine> We will get a transcript up, and various articles will develop on this.
<Amgine> Hopefully the conversation and articles will be translated to other wikinews languages.
<ethanz> Cool. So are there other questions that came up which I can answer for you?
<Amgine> <grin> Well, I have a bunch of thoughts regarding GV, etc.
<ethanz> fire away...
<Amgine> But my first question is about the event you're running parallel with Wikimania. Andrew Lih wanted me to set aside time for that, but I haven't heard more since.
<ethanz> We haven't talked much about it yet
<Amgine> <nod> Okay.
<ethanz> SJ has asked us for help getting more voices involved in the process
<ethanz> He and I need to close the loop on that soon
<ethanz> Perhaps I'll take that as a kick to drop him a line...
<Amgine> GV attempts to bring more media attention to international blogging memes: why do you think another site will bring more attention than the already existing blog aggregators?
<ethanz> I think all aggregators have a tone dominated by their creators - ours included
<ethanz> most aggregation sites have an overt political or technological tone
<ethanz> we wanted to do something a little different
<_sj_> (ethan: please do!)
<ethanz> also, we thought that an edited aggregator was an important direction to move in
<ethanz> I run an unedited African blog aggregator - - and while it's useful, it's not as useful as blogs hand-selected by an African editor
<ethanz> basicaly, as much as I love aggregators, we thought they could be better...
<Amgine> <nods> You're currently working on a single server in the Berkman Center. The software is in place. But you have a range of editors. This is an unusually high ratio of paid employees to web demand. Comments?
<ethanz> Hmm... underpaid editors
<ethanz> :-)
<Amgine> <chuckles>
<ethanz> the editors are asked to do a pretty amazing amount of work - monitoring a few thousands blogs, posting every day
<ethanz> they get paid $800 a month
<ethanz> I've found that paying people a modest amount of money on project wheere they'd otherwise volunteer is a great way of showing respect for their effort
<ethanz> but contributors aren't paid and there's only one paid fulltime employee
<ethanz> it's actually much smaller than a lot of NGOs doing similar work
<Amgine> <nods>
<ethanz> I have great respect for efforts that do similar work purely with vols
<ethanz> that's not the model we ended up pursuing, mostly because very early on we were asking so much from kiey players
<Amgine> Who's funding Global Voices, directly and indirectly?
<ethanz> All the funding comes into the Berkman center as giftsx to the center
<ethanz> the biggest gift has come from Reuters. There's also major support from Macarthur and Hivos, a dutch NGO
<ethanz> as well as core support from Berkman...
<Amgine> <stretches to come up with other uncomfortable questions> Is the software supporting GV proprietary? if so, who holds the copyright?
<ethanz> Nope. We use wordpress
<ethanz> and we're happy to share the patches and templates and database hacks we've made to it
<ethanz> we haven't released it as a GPL package because it's not a simple, package install
<ethanz> more a very creative collection of hacks
<ethanz> we also use reblog - also open source, also somewhat hacked
<Amgine> <grin> Okay, I'm fresh out of probing questions. Are there any things we should have asked, but didnt'?
<ethanz> that's very much a conscious choice
<ethanz> the idea is to let other people recreate the project if they'd like...
<ethanz> I think there might be some good - what can wikinews and GV do together/learn from each other questions...
<ethanz> but maybe we should invite you guys over to our IRC and ask those questions... :-)
<ethanz> that, or we can argue about blogs v. wikis and NPOV... :-)
<Amgine> <grins> I'd be glad to. 
<ethanz> maybe around the wikimania conference...
<Amgine> Actually, there's one thing I'd like to work together with you and KevinMarks...
<ethanz> I'll mention the idea to SJ
<ethanz> sure - what's that...?
<Amgine> Getting a wiki-reading spider for Technorati, and others.
<ethanz> yeah - that would be huge
<Amgine> Because there are a bundle of hacks to MediaWiki to use it as a blog already.
<ethanz> Kevin's worth talking to, but you also might want to approach pubsub
<Amgine> I don't think I've met pubsub?
<ethanz> they're doing very creative stuff in ensuring that all RSS... not just blogs... are getting read
<ethanz> Worth a very close look
<Amgine> <nods>
<ethanz> very different technical approach from trati...
<ethanz> I see them as very complementary
<ethanz> but I really like the idea of smart, RSS-drected wiki spiders...
<Amgine> I've done a couple hacks for rss, and there's now a database rss tool.
<Amgine> <nods>
<ethanz> one of the things we're psyched about with wikimania is getting help on our wiki stuff
<ethanz> we use wikis to generate collections of blogs, message boards and info sources for different countries
<ethanz> but we have a very hard time keeping up with the wiki, because we're mostly blog folks over here
<ethanz> sj lends a hand, but he's busy
<Amgine> What wiki scripts to prefer?
<ethanz> we run mediawiki
<ethanz> but we need a lot of help with templating, spam, formatting, etc.
<Amgine> <nod> There's a hack now to allow e-mailed wiki entries.
<ethanz> that would be a big help for some of our users...
<ethanz> anyway, this is a longer conversation, but one our communities need to be having
<ethanz> I see the missions as very complementary and basically not at all competitive...
<ethanz> facts aren't our focus... :-)
<Amgine> ethanz: how are you dealing with language issues on GV?
<ethanz> language is a huge issue
<ethanz> GVO is an english site, for better or worse
<ethanz> several folks translate it, in parts, to their own languagess
<ethanz> a guy named Portnoy does frequent chinese translations for us
<ethanz> current priority is being able to read other languages and summarize them
<ethanz> we now have an editor who focuses on french blogs in africa and carribean
<ethanz> and we're now hiring translators, who do translations from spanish, russian, arabic, persian, etc.
<ethanz> one of the things the reuters money lets us do
<ethanz> in the future, we're hoping for new language projects
<ethanz> voces latinas, which rounds up spanish from around the world, en espanol
<ethanz> probably run off our server...
<ethanz> Folks, I gotta run - got something at 5pm, and have to ice my wrists after this interview
<ethanz> it was really fun and I look forward to seeing what comes out of it
<Amgine> Later!
<ethanz> please feel free to email with other questions
<ethanz> hope to see some of you at Wikimania...
<Amgine> <nods> Thanks again!
<bawolff> bye
* Quits: ethanz (�) ("bye..."�) <pre>