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Interview Audio: Duane Elgin, Futurist & Media Activist, OurMediaVoice.org

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Listen to the Interview with Duane Elgin, Futurist & Media Activist, OurMediaVoice.org (Length: 9:46)

More interviews from the Consciousness & Healing Conference.

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Transcript Coming Soon...
July 10th, 2005

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Why I Want to Help Innovate Open Media

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I asked some of my volunteer transcribers to tell me some of the reasons why they're helping with this project, and a lot of their responses shows that they are largely driven their concerns about the state of US politics and the mainstream media -- as well as a number of other personal reasons as well.

I originally started the film with an advocacy goal trying to convince people that they should adopt my progressive worldview after I laid all of the facts out on the table. I was really pissed off with everything that's going on in this country both with politics and the media and the war, and I just wanted to provide information so that people could think just like I did -- Then all the world's problems would be solved, right?

But then I went through quite an evolution after interviewing so many different perspectives last July. I decided to put my focus and energy on how I could use this documentary project to create more inclusive and collaborative journalistic paradigm that could help solve a lot of the problems with the press that were identified by these insiders.

I intend to help create a media that promotes dialogue and understanding and not one showcases people screaming ideology at each other for the sake having a dramatic debate that scores big ratings....

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Citizen Journalism Implications of Blog Doc Controversy

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(UPDATE 6/7/05 6:08p.m. -- John Hart has posted a public reply on his website, and I'm a bit speechless. It is certainly not a very rational response to the whole situation. Below were my thoughts on what I saw developing with the project independent of any outside influence or input from Chuck Olsen.)

There could be a bit of a PR nightmare brewing for the 59 Bloggers documentary in pre-production that I mentioned a few days ago. Independent filmmaker Chuck Olsen titled his film Blogumentary and expressed concern to the 59 Bloggers director John Hart that there might be some confusion over loosely throwing around the "Blogumentary" meme on his site.

Hart sent back a curt e-mail telling Olsen, "Please don't bother me with this bullshit nonsense." Then Olsen published an excerpt from Hart's e-mail on his blog. Hart apparently threatened Olsen with some type of legal action for publishing the e-mail.

Then David Weinberger -- one of the potential interviewees for the 59 Bloggers film -- responded to the controversy by saying, "I've seen how this new guy responds to a civil inquiry, I have asked him to drop me from his list of interviewees."

Hart then backtracked and removed all references to "Blogumentary" on his website -- along with a lot of other background information. Here's Olsen's archival screenshot.

At this point, we're only hearing Olsen's side of the story because Hart is not keeping a production blog (Bad PR on Hart's part).

So I see four lessons for citizen journalism from this little episode:

1.) There's a difference between social capital and normative standards and institutional capital and legal standards
2.) There are ethical and legal issues with publishing e-mail correspondence
3. ) This may have implications for establishing credibility and building trust with potential interviewees for citizen journalists
4.) It's bad to write something in an e-mail correspondence that you wouldn't want published in The New York Times.

More details below...

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Themes for the Future of New Media

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Using the tagging technique in Final Cut Pro described here, I was able to come up with a number of major themes from the interviews that I conducted with 13 leaders of the new media movement at the Personal Democracy Forum.

* Internet revolution was in the Demand Side and not just the Supply Side.
* Audience are not just consumers, they're now producers
* Audiences can now supply their own demand.
* Audience wants more choice and control
* Markets are conversations
* Journalism is becoming more of a conversation than a lecture.

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Phase 08: Deliberation on Supporting Evidence & Editing Decisions

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Keywords

* Scaling Deliberative Democracy
* Democratizing Media
* Drupal Modules

Context

* The gathering and analysis of information from the previous phase feeds into this deliberative phase. I imagine that there will be iterations between the analysis of facts and deliberations surrounding the subjective interpretations of facts.

Intention

* Use insights from Dialogue and Deliberation in order to mediate disputes between conflicting parties.
* Use the deliberative process to "Democratize" the process of narrative content development.

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Activist Technology M16 Meeting after SxSW

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I was invited to a gathering of Activists & Technologists on March 16th at the Ventana del Soul Internet Cafe in Austin after the last day of the SXSW Interactive Conference.


[inline:DSCN4195.jpg=Post-SXSW Activist Technolgy Gathering]

There seemed to some potential overlap with what I intend to do with The Echo Chamber Project and with what others are planning on doing with the same CivicSpace/Drupal platform.

I'm in the process of going over my lessons learned and planning my next steps for this project. I'm starting to solidify where I want to be in a year from now and what I need in order to get there. Hopefully I'll be able to form some symbiotic relationships with some of the participants of this Activist Technology group.

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A Message to High School Students

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My high school picked me as an alumni of the month for Feburary, and they are setting up a display case where they want me to send some awards and other things about me. But instead of doing this, I've decided to write an open letter directly to the students -- It's very influenced by the types of things that I've been reading for my open-source documentary, including Dan Gillmor's We The Media

TO THE STUDENTS OF BEECH GROVE HIGH SCHOOL:

My name is Kent Bye and I'm working on a documentary about the media.

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New Methods of Creating Meaning

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The concept of Integral Filmmaking combined with the principles of Open Source could introduce new methods for how meaning is created.

Traditionally, the Mainstream Media or documentary filmmakers had the most power in determining what meaning was created through their editing judgments.

But combining the Internet, Blogging and documentary filmmaking mediums could allow the audience to create their own meaning from information instead of relying upon the "objective" mainstream media, partisan press or closed-source documentary films.

The Open Source tactics of the The Echo Chamber documentary and website could create up to four distinct phases of meaning creation that could provide a unique economic competitive advantage.

EXISTING PROCESS OF MEANING CREATION
INFLUENCE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS
INTEGRAL PROCESS OF MEANING CREATION
FOUR PHASES OF MEANING CREATION

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Integral Journalism -- A New Paradigm

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There have been acknowledged failures of the mainstream media leading up to the war in Iraq.

My Echo Chamber Hypothesis proposes that the "He Said/She Said" objectivity constraints of journalistic production broke down after there was a consensus within the political leadership in Congress to authorize military intervention in Iraq.

After October 2002, the media served as an uncritical Echo Chamber to the Executive Branch's countdown towards war.

* How can this dichotomous objectivity constraint be overcome without resorting to a partisan press?
* Is there a new paradigm of journalistic production that can more comprehensively cover the complex issues of the day?

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What The Echo Chamber Can Provide

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Addressing the market demand in the previous post, here is what I tentatively see as what The Echo Chamber can provide to the market:

* The Echo Chamber explores the sociology of the media and brings a deeper understanding to the media's role of creating meaning and shaping the cultural consciousness.
* Provides an opportunity to investigate the media bias culture wars in the context of the build-up to the war in Iraq.
* Can be used as an outreach tool for individuals to bridge the polarized culture gap -- Grievances with the mainstream media provides a common ground for conservatives and liberals to come together and have further political discussions that bring a deeper understanding to each other's perspectives.

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