Berkman center presents: “A Tale of Two Blogospheres

A Tale of Two Blogospheres

from Berkman Center Newsfeed

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce the release of a new paper exploring U.S. political blogs:

A Tale of Two Blogospheres: Discursive Practices on the Left and the Right, by Yochai Benkler, Aaron Shaw, and Victoria Stodden

This paper compares the practices of discursive production and participation among top U.S. political blogs on the left, right, and center during the summer of 2008 and, based on qualitative coding of the top 155, finds evidence of an association between ideological affiliation and the technologies, institutions, and practices of participation across political blogs. Sites on the left adopt more participatory technical platforms; are comprised of significantly fewer sole-authored sites; include user blogs; maintain more fluid boundaries between secondary and primary content; include longer narrative and discussion posts; and (among the top half of the blogs in the papers’ sample) more often use blogs as platforms for mobilization as well as discursive production.

The variations observed between the left and right wings of the U.S. political blogosphere provide insights into how varied patterns of technological adoption and use within a single society may produce distinct effects on democracy and the public sphere. The study also suggests that the prevailing techniques of domain-based link analysis used to study the political blogosphere to date may have fundamental limitations.

To read the full abstract and download the paper, visit

Also, The Nation has published a piece about the study, as well as an interview with Yochai Benkler.

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Adobe vs. Apple

Adobe: Go Screw Yourself Apple from TechCrunch by Jason Kincaid Yesterday, Apple made a change to its iPhone SDK developer agreement that has left many developers furious: it banned ?applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer?. While many other tools may be affect, the most visible target of the … Read more

Direct British attack to digital freedom…

Draconian UK Digital Economy Bill passes: huge blow for digital privacy, security, freedom

from Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin

The Digital Economy bill, known on Twitter as #debill, passed today. The short version is that this thing makes the DMCA look like a warmup act. Cory’s traveling, but you can expect his thoughts here soon. For now, Mike Butcher sums up the danger eloquently:

Correcting the ignorant UK Members of Parliament who “debated” the Digital Economy Bill

from Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Stef sez, “As we all know, the UK Digital Economy Bill passed last night. Watching the debates, one of the things that shocked me was the repeated displays of ignorance of the technical and copyright issues by MPs on all sides. The Second, and Third readings are now online at I thought it might be good to use the annotations features to correct some of the more glaring and bizarre howlers. The annotated debates will stand as a record of this sad democratic failure. Remember to keep it polite and technical – MPs are professionally inured to plain abuse – We, the internet, clearly have a job of education to do.”

A guide to the recently passed Digital Economy Bill

from open Democracy News Analysis

The Digital Economy Bill survived the wash up with Tory support and has now been passed. The low turnout at the second reading (6 April; the day the election date was set) and consideration of amendments (7 April) has received heavy criticism. Below is a selection of coverage of and responses to the passing of the Bill, enjoy!

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