Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Response to the Statement by Wikileaks Central

Here is the statement made today by a group of Wikileaks supporters calling themselves Wikileaks Central

I agree, with one exception.

The exception I make to the WL Central statement is that I do not agree with its implication that Wikileaks itself, as an organization is an essential pillar of the Fourth Estate (the Press).  The Fourth Estate is an essential pillar of democracy because as Jefferson said, information is the currency of democracy.  Wikileaks is a Media Entity, a member of the Fourth Estate, and should enjoy the same legal protections as the Fourth Estate does in every democracy either by precedent under Civil or Common Law, or under Constitutional Law.

We celebrate Woodward and Berstein (Watergate) today, although the powers of the day in the USA certainly did not.  They were popular heros - doing the public a great favour by blowing the lid off abuses of authority, authority given by the people themselves.  Wikileaks is doing a spectacularly good job in sharing the information given by others to them, truths in which the citizens of the world have great interest.  Perhaps there should be a global mechanism established so that the public can always continue to benefit from Scientific Journalism as conceived by Wikileaks.

Wait a minute.  It's already here: the Internet.  No wonder China felt the need to control it.  Now likewise, those who assert they are the world's great defender of freedom and democracy, the United States of America, appear to be ready to put blinders on all its people by controlling and monitoring the Internet they have access to.  My 'fearless leaders' in Canada will undoubtedly follow suit if they do - citizen rights as defined in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms matter barely a whit to the current crop, irrespective of Party.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Twitter at Risk; What to Do

This morning I began to use, a service similar to Twitter which has a one'way integration with Twitter.  That is, updates I post at my account @daviddeweerdt are re-posted to my Twitter account @daviddeweerdt.  On the other hand, updates I post in Twitter itself do not get pushed back into my timeline.

The first few posts I made at went just fine...they replicated over into my Twitter timeline.  Then the API stopped working when I started sending a series of Wikileaks-related messages to Twitter contacts encouraging them to switch to

Twitter may just be filtering out these messages to keep me from enticing their users to a competitor (  Or, they may be filtering out messages that involve Wikileaks.  Either way, my experience this morning appears to underline my concern about the fact the Twitter is such an essential service to advocates of free speech as it relates to the Wikileaks Cablegate affair.

What if Twitter were really compromised as a vehicle for free speech?  Everyone wanting to discuss this issue without censorship needs to have an alternative channel of communications.  Cornerstone services of the public Internet including Paypal, Mastercard, Amazon and others have all succumbed to pressure from the US Government, so the odds that Twitter will fold are good - in my mind at least.

My expectation is that my government, and the government of the USA, Leaders of the Free World, will cleave to the principles given them by their free citizens (all enshrined in constitutional law).  Just in case the people we've elected think they are above the law (some of them clearly do), it seems smart to be a little prepared.  One of the things this means to me is that citizens need to ensure that free and uncensored channels of communication are available for us to talk with one another about what our governments are doing.

Even if they don't like us talking freely amongst ourselves.  Get an account.  And some others too. uses a distributed architecture (it isn't reliant on one company or just one server farm in one country).  It is open could even have a community server on your own hard drive at home.  A good precaution I think, in case other US-based Internet service businesses are intimidated into giving their controls to Big Government.

Please add me!  I am @daviddeweerdt on

****NB.  Evan Podromou just replied to a question about the mystery of the problem I had with the Twitter API connection with  The API works fine: has a rule that it does not push messages to Twitter which include an @person who is in  

My concern still stands.  We need an alternative to is too important a service to lose. looks good to me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

First It, Then You, Now Us

It's a superb time to work in the consumer Internet world.  Investment for companies in this space is increasingly available, human participation rates continue to soar, and consumer marketers increasingly spend their budgets on mobile and Internet channels.  Whether you are a mobile software coder or UX designer, whether your passion is for building web-scalable data structures or for viscerally appealing design, whether you are adept in voicing a human technology story or in writing it, it's a good time to be in the possession of your scarce talents.  Internet companies need you to be able to realize their opportunities. There is a high-dollar war for your talent between Google, Facebook (and everyone else), and it is a consequence of the explosive growth in mobile and Internet usage.

In this labour market, Neil LaChapelle and I are looking for a few co-founders.  It seems obvious that the personality and talent quotient of a company at launch is determinant of its future.  Jim Collins dramatized the criticality of founders to a company's future by reversing the typical founder's sequence counter-intuitively: "First Who, Then What", in his book Good to Great.  In keeping with Jim's injunction, once we have found the coding, marketing and UX leadership we want to add to our team, we'll be able to tell the world what exactly it is that we are about to do.  

How can we attract world-beating talent to our founding team?  While the huge established web technology companies battle over talent with Lehman Brothers-like financial perks and pay, we can attract people who are not as much in need of money as they are desirous of:
  • sharing in the credit for having made a meaningful difference in the world  
  • experiencing a dynamic and purpose-inspired work environment that supports health, family life and personal fulfillment
  • really satisfyingly thorny challenges to creative problem-solving ability

What is the Vision we have to share? Since February 2010, Neil and I have been working away to elucidate ideas for a compelling new kind of mobile and web experience.  The Cultural Web will be built upon on the the web's emergent geometry of time-location-social graph and topic.  It is centred in the gap between the web-as-data and the currently burgeoning Me-centric social web. The social object in Sceneing is 'WE', rather than 'me' or 'it'.

We have advisors now in Rome, Toronto and New York; the partners we seek may be here where we live near the University of Waterloo in Waterloo Region, or anywhere.  We are very keen to begin working with you, wherever you are.

Readers of this blog to date: You've have seen my public, passionate (oft unpopular and perhaps in many eyes antiquated) attachment to Canada's old Boy Scout ideals of individual human rights and dignity for all, equality and fair dealing.  This seems quite compatible with building a trusted web and mobile platform.  
Enhanced by Zemanta