I designed the following poster for BarCamp Transparency, this Sunday, July 26, at the University Club on Mansfield Road, Oxford. (It starts at 10am and tickets are free; visit the website to get yours.)
Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, saw it and had this to say:
[..] What’s so great about TRANSPARENCY, OPENNESS and ETHICS? I’m in favor of OPAQUENESS, DISHONESTY & AESTHETICS.
We aim to please:
OutMap is sponsoring BarCamp Transparency by donating a portion of my time to developing the website (for which I’d already provided the copy), as well as providing Twitter walls and projectors on the day. If you’re in the UK and interested in open government, cyber activism or social media ethics, I highly recommend you keep the 26th of July free for a trip to Oxford. Some very high profile people are attending, and the discussions promise to be amazing. And, hey, if that’s not enough for you, mention that you found out about the event from this blog and I’ll buy you a beer.
On a not-entirely-unrelated note, I want to make you aware of GlobalVoices Advocacy, which aims to create a global anti-censorship network of bloggers and online activists in the developing world. This is important work; one of the really exciting aspects of the web is the way information can spread and undermine oppressive legislation. It’s also dangerous, as blogging in places where freedom of speech is not protected can have severe consequences. They provide tutorials on blogging anonymously, as well as blogging effectively for a cause.
Zemanta, a blogging tool that suggests content to include as you type, is offering a small funding award to the charitable cause that gets the most posts as part of their ‘blogging for a cause’ promotion. It’s a good idea, and if you like what GlobalVoices Advocacy do, maybe you could write about them too – or any other good cause that you think is deserving.
I vote for Global Voices Advocacy because freedom of speech and the fight against censorship is one of the most important fronts in the fight for human rights around the world. This is a fight that we can all participate in, without having to go through governments, and GlobalVoices Advocacy is one organization that shows us how.
This blog post is part of Zemanta’s "Blogging For a Cause" campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.
One of the outcomes of BarCamp Oxford has been the organisation of a new BarCamp about transparency and ethics – a mix of social media, open government and cyber-activism.
It’s in its early planning stages, but it’ll take place sometime over the summer here in Oxford. If you’re interested, I suggest you take a look at the BarCamp Transparency wiki and throw your name into the ring. I was asked if I’d help organise, and while I can’t provide as much time as I’d like to due to prior commitments, I’ve volunteered to discuss openness in social media, provide web resources and help out with the event itself.
Transparency is hugely important, and becoming more so. As citizens we have more and more demands upon us to surrender our privacy and aspects of our civil liberties, but the government and politicians on all sides have been reluctant to provide more oversight into their activities. Meanwhile, social technologies have the power to enable us to find and share public information, organise ourselves into groups, and have more say in how our country is run.
This is a vital event that already sounds very promising indeed.