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Wisdom of the EcoPeace Crowd

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Emily Markides is a professor in the Peace Studies program at the University of Maine, and over the weekend she had an open house for her up and coming EcoPeace Community on Ayers Island in Orono, ME.

Markides' vision for the EcoPeace Community called ESTIA is based upon a pretty libertarian approach to peace -- by creating sustainable communities on the local level that are in harmony with nature and use renewable energy, then it will create less of a demand on foreign natural resources and make it easier for nations in harmony with each other. Instead of waiting for "Peace" to be mandated by the government, people are taking global issues on themselves by creating sustainable local communities.

kentbye's picture is the New AP

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I've been getting a lot of great insights from -- It's almost like a community weblog that tracks the attention stream of the pioneering technologists. This site essentially documents the collective consciousness of the tech savvy geeks and nerds. It's a way of tracking the buzz of innovation before it hits the mainstream media. is a social bookmarking site where people keep interesting URL's in a filing cabinets of card catalog-like keywords -- aka tags. It's a metadata brain dump filled with subjective context.

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Blog Philosophy -- Roadblocks of Overintellectualizing

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I went through my first big blogging dryspell throughout the month of April. I have been writing all of these really long and intellectually dense blog entries in the name of planning out the theories for a new paradigm of journalism.

The lesson? People want to see a proof of concept -- Theory is too abstract and -- well, theoretical. I've had a ton of people say to me, "You know, I try to read you blog, but it's just too confusing. I don't know what you're talking about."

I would usually discard these criticisms by saying, "Well, I'm trying to reach a specialized audience of the movers and shakers of the New Media movement." And then when I actually got to talk face-to-face with a lot of these technologists at SXSW I realized that they understand me when I talk to them face-to-face, but that they still aren't gleaning some of the major ideas from my writing.

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Networking at SXSW Interactive

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I was able to get the word out about The Echo Chamber to a lot of people who have "social capital" in the blogosphere. My primary audience was the panelist participants, but I also found myself in many engaging conversations with people in the hallways and parties.

I was able to met a lot of great people out at SxSW, and I'm still digesting all of the different panels and post-conference Activist Technology discussion that I was invited to attend. It was a day-long gathering of activist digerati designed to build community and bridge the gap between Activists and Technologists.

I took a ton of written notes throughout the week, and I am trying to figure out the most efficient and quickest way to manage this knowledge for myself -- as well as disseminate it if possible. I'm hoping to go over my notes, make some audio recordings, and then some do some blog posts about it.

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Pitching The Echo Chamber at SxSW

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I must have pitched The Echo Chamber Project over 50 times over the last week at the SxSW Interactive Conference. I learned something new each time that I talked to someone about it because either new questions were asked or I adapted how I was speaking based upon the verbal and non-verbal feedback that I was receiving from them.

It is A LOT easier to pitch my project to people face-to-face, and by the end of the week I was able to convey the scope and relevance of my project relatively quickly and to many different people.

Here's the latest version of my pitch, and I'm sure that it'll continue to evolve over time:

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Attending SXSW Interactive Conference

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I've decided at the last moment to make the trip out to the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TX. I've attended the film and interactive conference back in 2001, but this time I'm going to be focusing exclusively on connecting and learning with the Interactive participants.

I think that we're near a tipping point with the citizen journalism movement, and I want to come out and see what insights I can gain and provide to others.

Below is the pitch that I've been sending out to various conference participants. It's essentially three different pitches with increasing levels of detail. My hope would be that if they are interested in the hook, then they'll read the other two pitches.

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Overview of Leonard's Integral Communications Thesis

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I thought that I would pass along and give a brief overview of Adam Leonard's Master's Level Thesis called "Integral Communication." Leonard builds off of Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy to provide a framework for integrating the seven major branches of communication theories.

From my perspective, Wilber's ideas are providing the theoretical glue for tying so many different concepts together and helping catalyze my learning curve.

The taxonomy of Values and Worldviews listed in Appendices A, B, C & D is an interesting perspective from Don Beck's Spiral Dynamics integral.

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Wilber's Integral Theory for Connecting Qualitative with Quantitative

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Rebecca MacKinnon agreed to pass along some of my ideas about a New Media Ecosystem, and commented to me that it was a bit difficult to quickly digest and convey to people. I sent her back the following e-mail that gives a little more context to the issue, and hopefully clarifies it a little bit -- But there is no easy solution for a complete paradigm shift in how we understand and comprehensively explain reality.

These ideas are dense which is exactly why they haven't been implemented yet -- We need to pool together the collective knowledge of our society in order to integrate all of the different viewpoints into one comprehensive system that takes into account all of the different ontologies. I propose that this system is Ken Wilber's Integral Philosophy, and I sent Rebecca the following e-mail trying to give a little bit more context.

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The Anatomy of Hitting the New Media Radar

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Today I got two links from some of the leaders of the New Media movement -- Rebecca MacKinnon & David Weinberger. Here's how it happened. Last week, I had a chance to bounce some of my ideas about citizen journalism with Rebecca MacKinnon at the Online Social Networking conference. We went back and forth, and I got her attention. I wanted to follow up with her this past Wednesday, but she got swamped with other things including a conference at the Nieman Foudnation called "Whose News?"

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Applying Integral Philosophy to Communications and Taxonomy Generation

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I had contacted Ken Wilber's Integral Institute a while ago asking if there had been any scholars who have tried to integrate Wilber's Integral Philosophy with the field of communications or journalism.

I had written a few preliminary articles on the concept of "Integral Journalism." But before I took this concept too far, I wanted to find other scholars who have already synthesized Wilber's philosophy with communications theories. I don't have the time or the resources to do this type of thing by myself -- especially if I couldn't receive any support from Wilber or his Integral Institute.

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