A weekly summary of what I’ve been doing elsewhere on the internets. Last week was busy enough, but this week was even busier. Something’s gotta give.
- Patch Monday episode 94, “ISP filtering goes ‘voluntary'”. Even though Australia’s controversial mandatory internet filtering program is at least two years away from being implemented, internet service providers will soon start filtering child exploitation material on a voluntary basis. My guests are Peter Black, who teaches internet and media law at the Queensland University of Technology; Network engineer Mark Newton; Lyle Shelton, chief of staff of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- The only NBN monopoly seems to be on ignorance, for ABC Drum Opinion. My response to opponents of the National Broadband Network claiming that it’ll destroy competition in the telecommunications industry.
- Internet filtering isnâ€™t compulsory, but everyone will volunteer, for Crikey, covering the recent news the “voluntary” of filtering of the internet will soon begin in Australia, covering child exploitation material only.
- Voluntary filtering removes the controversy, for CSO. In this op-ed I explain how the voluntary filtering makes sense technically and politically, if not necessarily for effective child protection.
- Drug spam rules, thanks to WikiPharmacy: Symantec, for CSO. It’s a shame I didn’t notice that my headline is a crash blossom.
- If Facebook killed Myspace will Google+ kill THE social network? Crikey. At rather short notice, when I’d already been up very early to wrote two other articles, I was asked to write a piece covering the news of both Google launching Google+ and Myspace being sold for UD 35 million and how that’d affect Facebook. This is what resulted.
- Interpol blacklist goes live in Canberra, for ZDNet Australia. “Voluntary” internet filtering started on Friday.
Two radio spots this week, and a guest appearance on someone else’s podcast.
None. I am reliably informed that the drought will be broken next week.
Most of my day-to-day observations are on my high-volume Twitter stream, and random photos and other observations turn up on my Posterous stream. The photos also appear on Flickr, where I eventually add geolocation data and tags.
[Photo: A misty dawn at Bunjaree Cottages, 1 July 2011. This is the view from Roselle Cottage, not normally rented to the punters. The much-battered camera in my phone does not do this scene justice.]
Australia’s mandatory internet filter is at least two years away, but Telstra and Optus are only weeks from implementing their “voluntary” equivalents. Where are we up to with this controversial issue?
That’s what I covered in yesterday’s Patch Monday podcast for ZDNet Australia. And as I explained on the weekend, I’m returning to my habit of doing a blog post here for each episode.
For this internet filtering update, I spoke with Peter Black, who teaches internet and media law at the Queensland University of Technology; network engineer Mark Newton; and Lyle Shelton, chief of staff for the Australian Christian Lobby.
You can listen below. But itâ€™s probably better for my stats if you listen at ZDNet Australia or subscribe to the RSS feed or subscribe in iTunes.
Since this podcast was recorded, we’ve discovered that Primus isn’t so sure about voluntary filtering any more. They were the third ISP to commit to the plan last year. However the Internet Industry Association (IIA) has said most Australian ISPs will filter via the Interpol list this year.
Previous podcast on this issue covered the meaning of the Refused Classification content category, Senator Conroy’s announcement of the strategy in July 2010, and the apparent fact that parents don’t act on their cybersafety fears.
Please let me know what you think. Comments below. We accept audio comments too. Either Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.
Since the most popular posts for 2009 were pretty disappointing, I reckon, here’s my personal selection of my thirteen best, more timeless posts for 2009. Happy reading!
[Update 29 December 2009: In case it isn’t obvious, these are in order of writing through the year, not of merit or anything else.]
- Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions (26 January) It disgusts me that someone claiming to speak on behalf of “moral” Christianity deliberately distorts the evidence and misrepresents his opponents. It’s the most appalling hypocrisy. While this piece relates to specific events in the news, the explanation of his dirty tricks stands the test of time, methinks.
- “Clive Hamilton, you’re really starting to shit me!” (16 February) Wallace’s compatriot Clive Hamilton is equally guilty of dodgy rhetoric and straight-up misrepresentation. Again, some useful lessons about political messaging.
- Fisting Twitter and the birth of “trend fisting” (1 March) This was the most popular post too. Perhaps this is my true legacy from 2009?
- Pia Waugh: An interview for Ada Lovelace Day 2009 (24 March) This video interview was recorded before Pia started working for Senator Kate Lundy. An interesting backgrounder.
- Anzac Day 2009: Sacrifice (25 April) Anzac Day always brings out my reflective nature — though perhaps only I would start an Anzac piece with cat vomit.
- Look, about that damn topless gnomeâ€¦ (27 May) I’m annoyed that a tangential discussion about a $3.50 garden gnome soaked up so much time which should have been spent on the real purpose of Project TOTO. Nevertheless, it gave me a chance to make some points about independence and how organisations can get trapped in their own worldview.
- The Poverty Web (3 July) The only lengthy Project TOTO piece to be written while I was actually in Tanzania, and still perhaps the best — though more will emerge. Eventually.
- The really real revolutionary revolution of the Internet (23 July) I posit that things like the many Government 2.0 initiatives are still only nibbling around the edges.
- Conversations are not markets, people! (26 July) This one was popular. I’ve noticed that this year I’ve been increasingly concerned about the focus on markets and business at the neglect of other aspects of our society.
- Risk, Fear and Paranoia: Perspective, People! (27 September) Penny Sharpe MLC asked me to say something controversial at her NSW Sphere event on 4 September. Here it is. The full video and transcript of my somewhat rambling discussion of the challenges facing the Government 2.0 revolution.
- Letter from Newcastle (8 October) I wrote so very few “observational essays” in 2009. This is the best, I reckon.
- Media140: What do journos do better, exactly? (5 November) My presentation to Media140 Sydney was widely misunderstood. I was posing a question, a challenge, not saying that journalists have no purpose. What I was trying to say was that in a rapidly-changing media landscape, employee-journalists need to be able to answer this question.
- Virgin Blue’s mistake reveals countless selfish whingers (15 November) Apart from all my writing about Internet censorship, the other prominent theme does seem to be a certain dissatisfaction with selfishness and consumerism. What struck me most about the comments on this piece was that those who disagreed took it all so very personally.
One thing this list doesn’t reflect is that so much of my writing was elsewhere this year. My plan to do more paid media work and less geek-for-hire did actually unfold reasonably well.
I’ve been very happy with some of the pieces I wrote for Crikey, newmatilda.com, ZDNet.com.au and ABC Online, and the work I did on the podcasts A Series of Tubes and Patch Monday, and even the various radio and TV interviews that were linked to as the year progressed.
Most of the written material is linked from my Media Output page. I encourage you to explore — if only for your children’s sake.
You might also like to check out my personal favourites from 2008.
As the first of my end-of-year posts, here’s a list of the most-read posts from (most of) 2009.
- Fisting Twitter and the birth of “trend fisting” (1 March) I daresay that for many visitors this piece wasn’t what they were really looking for. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting Twitter case study. For some value of “interesting”.
- So what is Stilgherrian, exactly? (12 April) Almost as popular as the official About Stilgherrian, which isn’t listed here because technically it’s not a “post”.
- Virgin Blue’s mistake reveals countless selfish whingers (15 November) A combination of a good headline and being listed at mUmBRELLA helps boost traffic.
- Live Blog: Politics & Technology Forum 2009 (22 February) Again, proof that a slow, steady audience over time can be of great value.
- Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions (26 January) Wallace speaks for the Australian Christian Lobby about Internet censorship, using the “extreme libertarian” straw man and other fallacious debating tricks.
- Special Melon Pepperoni Edition now online! (28 March) It’s probably less that this post is about an edition of Stilgherrian Live, more that it includes Andrew Bolt’s astoundingly tasteless slur on those who oppose Internet censorship.
- What now for Senator Conroy and the Magic Filter? (30 March) Again, not what I’d have picked from my many writings about Internet censorship, but there you go.
- Conversations are not markets, people! (26 July) A long ranty piece that seems to have struck a chord.
- Project TOTO: the #secretmission has begun! (19 May) Interesting that the post announcing this project was the most popular, and then interest declined. Why? My guess is that visits to this post were inflated by so many people commenting on The Gnome Incident rather than the substance of the project. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
- Live Blog: ALIA Information Online 2009, Day 1 (20 January) This is a big surprise. However we’ve now moved well out of the long head of very popular content and all sorts of factors could come into play. I suspect that traffic to this page was a short, sharp spike around the time of the conference and then virtually nothing since.
Many older posts also continued to be popular.
Indeed, 5 of the top 10 posts of all time are not from this year, and it took longer to work down the list to find a Top 10 for 2009 than it did to find the Top 10 of all time — yet more proof that the more material you have on your website the more visits you’ll get. Don’t delete your old material, people!
This could also explain why the Top 10 above is mostly from the first half of the year.
OK, the Top 10 posts of 2009 that weren’t written in 2009.
- So this is human sexuality? July (2008) Little more that a collection of the popular words from sex-related spam, it continues to attract 2000-odd visits a month.
- Julie, I want to make you a star (in a Samantha Fox kind of way) (September 2007) My ode to Julie Bishop, popular because of its photograph of Samantha Fox.
- Live Blog: Internet censorship forum (November 2008) Can anyone tell me why this post is the most popular of the many I wrote about Internet censorship prior to this year?
- Hello Kitty, youâ€™re dead, and other surprise products (October 2007) People link to the (fake) photo of the Hello Kitty AK-47. Few seem to realise it’s a joke.
- Film Review: “Joy Division” (February 2008) I think most people link here for the classic photo of Joy Division by Kevin Cummins.
- Heath Ledger dead: jokes here please (January 2008) My tasteless experiment in Googlebaiting continues to attract visitors.
- More Steve Irwin jokes (September 2006) Another lesson: Providing a forum for the lowest common denominator of society generates hits — but are they of lasting value?
- The Madness of Corey Worthington Delaney (January 2008) And speaking of lowest common denominator… 😉
- What’s wrong with used knickers? (December 2007) Well, it’s a fair question, isn’t it?
- Used knickers, revisited (January 2008) I detect a theme developing here. Thank goodness we’ve reached #10.
You might also like to check out my own selection for what I think was best, plus the lists for previous years:
Episode 42 of Stilgherrian Live is now online for your viewing pleasure — including a rather odd opening sequence made even more odd by the lack of sound. Oops.
This was “The Off-Axis Pseudo-Sapphic Edition”, named to mark the news that Russian duo t.A.T.u will be breaking up after they complete their next album.
The winner of “Cnut of the Week”?
Well, after the nominations we received, it was predictable. SlideShare received just 4% of the vote, presumably by the SlideShare users affected by their April Fools’ Day stunt. I received 27% for my own stunt — even though I maintain that Whirlpool started it. And even Senator Stephen Conroy only scored 29% for his performance this week.
This week’s “Cnut”, with 41% of the vote, was Lyle Shelton, the Chief of Staff for the Australian Christian Lobby, for his comments on SBS TV’s Insight and the subsequent liveblog.
Some people have said that I wasn’t paying particular attention to the live chat stream this week.
Continue reading “Episode 42 online, with a predictable Cnut”
Two more articles from me about Internet censorship today. And it’s only Monday. I wonder what the rest of the week will produce?
- Google Takes a Slash and the world ends in Crikey, which riffs off the weekend’s glitch at Google and yesterday’s Internet outage in Melbourne and concludes that a glitch in ISP-level filters could cause massive problems.
- Christian Lobby: The New Lions Of Clean Feed in New Matilda, which looks at the dodgy arguments being deployed by the latest pro-censorship warrior, Jim Wallace from the Australian Christian Lobby.
Hey New Matilda, I know I haven’t included your logo, just Crikey‘s. But I couldn’t be arsed doing pixel-pushing just now. You’ll cope.