Undergroud news

On my way down to Palo Alto this morning, I opened the New York Times to see the headline article “A Hundred Cellphones Bloom, and Chinese Take to the Streets”. I open the business section, three more headline articles appear there about mobile phones and telecommunications. A sign of the times.

The Chinese article is a very interesting one about the Chinese anti-Japanese protests. As protestors raged into the streets of China, Chinese authorities banned almost all state media coverage. It hardly mattered though. Instead, underground conversations via email, text, and IM online offered the perfect medium for protestors to keep organizing. “The underground noise grew so loud that last Friday the Chinese government moved to silence it by banning the use of text messages or emails to organize protests.”

The messaging underground sparks many ideas in my head about collaborative communication vehicles and real-time broadcast of events and political movements. What if there was a central repository of all those text messages, IM’s, or emails. A new source of live coverage would exist, without even trying to.

As well what if people could view and interact with that channel while on their mobiles or on their desktops. An organizational tool, as well as a broadcast tool. A group communication tool.

The collective repository could also be used as grassroot news aggregation. Perhaps something a kin with “real news” from the eyes of the participants instead of the commentators. Live commenting, emotion, and clips… not after the fact analysis.


3 thoughts on “Undergroud news

  1. mobile jones

    Do you have a demo of catepillar? Please email me, as I may have an opportunity that would interest you.

    mojo at nospam mobilejones dot com

    ignore the “nospam” part

  2. Dave S


    I found your post “Underground news” by searching for “collaborative communication” on technorati.com.

    I’m working on a project at http://consensusseekers.com in which readers are encouraged to compare the several replies to any message and decide for themselves which is the best, which is second best, etc. The system itself them uses this information to identify the best reply to each post. If this kind of collaborative communication seems useful to you, please check it out.

    Dave Scotese

  3. Kate

    Hi Anita! You’ve got to check out Now Public. This is what they are doing: you can send in photos, videos, audio, and written reports, from camera phones, by uploading from your computer, or by calling in to a 1 800 number. The media files are tagged and made searchable in real time – becomes a grassroots news aggregation thing. It’s really wild.


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