Just For Fun: First MySpace Love Song?

Though MySpace may have jumped the shark, this song is pretty cute. Sample lyric:

    I saw your picture on MySpace
    Maybe someday we can turn it into OurSpace, baby
    I don't care how long it takes
    I'm saving space in my top 8 for you
Then again, maybe I'm being too hard on MySpace. Maybe it's just a cultural difference, as danah boyd explains.

Young Political Junkies Are the New Filter

Interesting insight from the New York Times on how young voters are active disseminators of political news, not just passive consumers of it:

    According to interviews and recent surveys, younger voters tend to be not just consumers of news and current events but conduits as well — sending out e-mailed links and videos to friends and their social networks. And in turn, they rely on friends and online connections for news to come to them. In essence, they are replacing the professional filter — reading The Washington Post, clicking on CNN.com — with a social one. Read more....


photo credit: (Read more)

FrontlineSMS is a Finalist in the Stockholm Challenge


I'm really pleased that my friend Ken Banks' text-messaging hub for grassroots NGOs, FrontlineSMS, has been selected as a finalist for the Stockholm Challenge, a prestigious competition that rewards the best in ICT for development. Read more on the Stockholm Challenge site.

First Photos from My New Orleans Trip

Here are some photos from my trip to New Orleans - what a fascinating and utterly different city, what warm and wonderful people!

an Easter parade last Sunday on Saint Claude St. in the Upper Ninh Ward

Evelyn, a local digital activist and artist, in her parade costume.


Sarah, whom I met at NOLA Penguin Days, in front of a traditional "creole cottage"


"New Orleans: proud to call it home"


see more photos...

Inside Out: How Tibet Showed the Cracks in the Great Firewall of China

Last week, as protest rocked Tibet, the news was not only of the protests themselves but also of the role of the Internet in bringing news of those protests to a global audience. However, it was unclear whether the overall Internet story was hopeful or pessimistic. Did the Tibet case show critical weaknesses in the ability of China to control the Internet or was it just another story of oppression and censorship?

On one hand, the protests demonstrated the capacity of native and expatriate Tibetans, as well as foreign tourists, to use the Internet to get news of the protest

(Read more)

Heading to New Orleans

This next week is my spring break and I will be heading down to New Orleans to do some volunteer tech work for local NGOs. I already have two organization lined up - Beacon of Hope Resource Center and Citizens' City Hall - and I hope to add more organizations once I get down there. (Yes, it is impossible for me to take anything but a working vacation.)

More generally, I am hoping to move beyond the cliches, to find the ground truth.

If you are in New Orleans and would like to meet up, contact me at MaryCJoyce AT

(Read more)

Vote for Some Great Mashups!

My RaytTheNet co-founder Joe Solomon's project KnowMore and the Kenyan activists behind Ushahidi.com are both contestants in this year's NetSquared Mashup Challenge.  Please vote for them. The deadline is tomorrow (Friday) at 5pm PST.  You can vote for multiple applicants after you create an account with NetSquared.


Here's Joe's message: 

    Thanks again for checking on KnowMore.org.  I got the word out and now it's back up :-)
    I was hoping I could ask you to vote on the KnowMore Firefox Extension for the NetSquared Mashup Challenge...

    In addition to the KnowMore project, Ushahidi entered, as did a

(Read more)
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DigiActive on the New York Times' Blog

I don't know if I've officially mentioned it before, but about a month ago I and a friend launched DigiActive.org, a site which aggregates the most innovative digital activism techniques from around the world.

We are really excited because our coverage of the release of Fouad Mourtada was mentioned in the New York Times‘ blog, The Lede. (According to them, we’re a “rights group”.) Click the image to read their full post on Fouad.

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Fouad Mourtada is Free!

cross-posted from DigiActive.org

This is a huge victory for digital activism. Thank you to all the people who supported the campaign, both online and offline!


CASABLANCA, March 18 - Fouad Mourtada was released from Oukacha Prison at approximately 8:00pm local time today, having received a royal pardon.

Mr. Mourtada, a 26-year old IT engineer, was taken into custody on February 5th, 2008, and was questioned regarding a fake Facebook profile of King Mohammed VI’s younger brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, which he had created on January 15. During his interrogation, Mr. Mourtada reports that he was beaten, spat on and

(Read more)

Tibetans Use the Internet to Get the News Out

Last week hundreds of Tibetan monks took to the streets in and near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa to protest Chinese rule. Although the heavily censored Chinese media refused to cover the story, both Tibetans and foreign tourists used the Internet to get the news out.

cell phone image of protests published on the site of a Tibetan rights NGO based in India

According to the Vancouver Sun, “Amateur cellphone photos and video clips showing what were described as confrontations between police and Tibetans protesting Chinese rule poured onto websites big and small, including those for major news media,

(Read more)

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