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links for 2006-08-20


  1. Three important laws characterize the nature of communications technology. Sarnoff’s Law says that the value of a broadcast network is proportional to the number of potential receivers.

  2. Metcalf’s Law states that the value of a point-to-point network, such as the phone system, is proportional to the square of the number of endpoints. The third law, Reed’s Law, states that the value of group forming networks, or GFNs, is increases exponentially with the number of participants. eBay is such a network, allowing buyers and sellers to form groups around specific interests.

  3. This formula leaves little room for you to be involved except as a consumer of broadcast ads. Yet, if the last 50 years can be called the era of broadcast democracy, fans of the Internet should rightly be asking “when will the era of connected democracy begin?” How does the eBay experience inform our views about democracy?

  4. The Howard Dean campaign may be the first example of how the Web can be used to change the nature of politics.

  5. In stark contrast to the standard formula of the last 50 years, Dean’s campaign has been using simple, Internet-based tools to mobilize volunteers for everything from letter writing to raising funds. Most campaigns don’t want volunteers because they’re difficult to manage, but the Dean campaign has figured out how to use principles of decentralization familiar to any open source developer to let volunteers act. This is a huge leap of faith because it requires letting go of the central command and control structures that are the hallmark of modern campaigns.

  6. The Dean campaign uses the standard email and mailing lists technologies, but they also use weblogs and services like, an online service for organizing off-line meetings of volunteers. Dean’s “Blog for America” project is run on a platform called DeanSpace, an open source blogging tool developed in PHP by over 180 volunteers for the Dean campaign. RSS is widely used for events and content change notification.

  7. Tag Tag

    Uh oh, Warren, looks like you’ve got a spambot infestation.

    Just a quick general question: Was anyone seriously WAITING those 15 years for Seka to do another sex scene? What is she now, 70? That’s a pretty specialized niche.

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