Wikinews/Interview of the month/April 2006 Questions

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This month's Interview with Ethan Zuckerman will be taking place later this month. Please place research, links, and any relevant information here. This months Interview will be taking place: at 1900 UTC, 28th April in the International Wikinews IRC channel (irc://


Ethan Zuckerman(his blog) 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, too.



  • Importance of different factors in the Digital Divide
Provided there's an unavoidable need for ICT infrastructures, a minimum threshold, what would be the share or weight would you give to the different pieces of the jigsaw to accomplish an evolution towards an information society / to overcome the digital divide?
i.e. 20% infrastructures - 30% capacitation - 20% content and services - 30% legal framework
In other words: in your opinion, what's more important, digital literacy? freedom of access? what?
  • What insipred you to get behind Geekcorps?
  • Has there been a big Geekcorps mission, yet?
  • What do you think is the greatest problem in International Cooperation? How would you fix it?
  • Do you enjoy blogging, and how did you get in to it?
  • 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?
  • How has immersion in the world of global blogging changed your travel experiences?
  • 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?
  • Why the Berkshires?
  • 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? Since you are involved in many projects and cannot devote too much time to GAP, are you considering to release it as Free Software on Sourceforge and let the community help?
  • You are supporting the Chinese filmmaker and blogger Hao Wu, who has been detained by chinese authorities [1]. What is he blamed for by chinese authorities? What are you doing to seek his release?
  • What is your opinion on companies like Google and Yahoo!, which cooperate with the chinese government?
  • If all the people would use TOR (, would it be possible to spot pedophiles exchanging images of children online? If not, are you ok with it? In our electronic times, there is no middle between "total freedom" and "total censorship"?
  • 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?
  • What's your opinion of the $100 laptop and the One Laptop Per Child project?
  • 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?
  • Do you see any way in which MMPORG (read "world of warcraft") can help in creating a better world for people in emerging regions?
  • 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?

  • Is Africa a country where business related to ICT is possible? Why and how? In which sectors? Shall entrepreneurs privilege countries in peace (examples) or countries with dangerous/war situations? What are their relative possible returns of investment?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • How good is AI (artificial intelligence) going to get in the next 20 years? Are there any cultural elements to how it will be developed -- i.e., will AI developed in the US have any fundamental difference from AI created in Africa?
  • 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?
  • Not so long ago, everyone was excited about 3D virtual reality, real-time chat rooms with voice and video, and some combination of the two. These days, asynchronous 1D interaction such as textual blogging, SMS/IM/IRC seem to be far more common, even among techies; voice-chat programs such as Skype have a hard time with more than a few people. 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?
  • You seem to be both a globalist and a regionalist. How do you balance these two? And as a restatement of the question above regarding outsourcing, is it possible to be a patriotic globalist?
  • How's the book coming along? When's it coming out? And what's it about?

Future tech prediction questions[edit]

Several questions about technology, and predictions about it, were included.

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?