Supporting freedom of speech

May 13, 2009 | Leave a comment

BarCamp Transparency UK 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.

Announcing two new projects

April 30, 2009 | 5 comments

Gardens?I’ve been off the radar for the past two weeks, taking some time out to develop some ideas (as well as take a week’s holiday in Rome, which is a beautiful city that I highly recommend visiting).

Now, though, I’m back to work, and firing full steam ahead on two new projects:


OutMap is an accessible, powerful take on geographic information systems (GIS).

Let’s say you want to create a map of all the free wifi hotspots in the world: you create an OutMap space, and then invite people to contribute either directly, or via a service like Twitter or Flickr. It’s also sophisticated enough to be used for scientific data gathering, and we’ve got a scientific advisor on board who will ensure the service is relevant and useful to those users.

An initial version will be released in June, and you can sign up on the website to receive an invitation once the beta program starts (as well as to be notified when the site is available for general registration).

Ben Werdmuller Consulting

I now provide Web consulting services. As well as an inside knowledge of the Web, social media and the industry, I’ve got the technical, business and organizational knowledge necessary to turn a project idea into a reality. I’m excited about working with companies and organizations who want to be at the cutting edge of the user-generated Web.

I’ll be talking more about where I’m headed over the year; some of you who were at BarCamp Oxford will note that there’s another, third project I’m conspicuously not mentioning here. More on that later on.