Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
4:30 - 6:00 pm
1 Bennett Street
Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Featured guest: Shava Nerad
We are delighted to be back after our summer hiatus, and grateful to Shava Nerad for stepping up to be the first featured guest of the season. This will be a return engagement for her; in 2007, she joined us to talk about how tools for online anonymity can facilitate civic engagement.
The topic on September 20th is "What's in a name? Google+ and the #nymwars."
Here's how Shava describes the issue:
Google recently raised the hopes of many online privacy and social media watchers with the launch of the beta of Google+, their social network and answer to Facebook. Praised as a match to the collegiality and depth of early 1980s Usenet by old Internet hands, and embraced by many Internet natives, Google+ ran into one major snag with a good many of the early adopters who'd hoped to see one of their favorite Internet companies show a "do no evil" social network could leave Facebook in the dust.Here's a little bit about Shava:
Google+ insisted on every user register under their name on their wallet ID. That wasn't exactly their stated policy, but that did end up being their policy as it was enforced. Within a week, the EFF and a small crew of the oldest and youngest of the articulate bloggers on G+ were speaking out for the "nyms," the people who wished to use pseudonyms on Google+. Some wanted privacy, some wanted to be known by the names they were known on other services. Some needed to segregate their blogging identity from their professional life for various reasons. Women and others were concerned about stalkers.
Come to the Ethos Roundtable to hear how online and on the streets and in the press, the nymwars have played out -- and why Google has seemingly abandoned their long vaunted motto of "Don't be evil" and may be shedding young engineers over the issue of pseudonymity on their most recent social media effort on the rocks.
Shava Nerad will be celebrating thirty years of professional life on the Internet in 2012. In 1982, she was chief software engineer at DEC, working on prototype applications for IVIS (the Interactive Video Information System), the first commercial multimedia authoring system, integrating color graphics, video, and audio for educational software and marketing applications, pre-PC. She's devoted most of her career to public interest Internet, technology, and society issues.Here are some links that Shava recommends to those attending this session:
Recently Shava is probably best known for her work as the founding executive director of the Tor Project), the anonymity software that acts as the "caller ID blocking" for IP addresses on the Internet, used to protect journalists, democracy activists, and many others -- notably many of the major players in the Arab Spring revolutions.
Shava recently recovered from a years-long illness that took her away from full time work, and has been building up her networks on G+ while writing her book and advocating for the nymwars issues.
She's currently working on a book on online/offline organizing and leadership for digital/Internet natives called "How to Save the World in Your Spare Time" and is actively seeking consulting in nonprofit consulting, grant writing, social media, speech writing, blogging, and ghosting.
My Name Is Me: Supporting your freedom to choose the name you use on social networks and other online servicesAfter the conclusion of our Ethos Roundtable session, we will stroll down the hall to enjoy the good company, charming venue, and free food at the 501 Tech Club, which is generously underwritten by TechFoundation. The 501 Tech Club is the monthly gathering of technology professionals who work with nonprofit organizations.
My Name Is Me resources
Real Names: Google+, Government & The Identity Ecosystem
Your name and Google+ Profiles
All Ethos Roundtable attendees are welcome at the Boston 501 Tech Club, and vice versa.
Please remember that there's never any need to make a reservation to attend Ethos Roundtable events. Just come if you can, and feel free to invite others! However, if you're planning to attend the Boston 501 Tech Club event at 6:00 pm, we ask that you send an email to Kathleen Sherwin of TechFoundation (ksherwin AT techfoundation DOT org). Since TechFoundation is providing the free food, it's both courteous and prudent to let her know how much to order.
See you on the 20th!