The 140 journalists, bloggers, academics, nonprofits, and media executives who attended the Media Re:public forum at USC Annenberg March 27 and 28 have returned home, but their work goes on. Discussions about the engagement of “the people formerly known as the audience” with the work of professional journalists, the transformation of the profession of journalism to a high-tech profession, and which new web-authoring tools are most conducive to resisting the commodification of freedom will continue thanks to a remarkable new collaboration tool, forum organizers announced today.
Originally uploaded by dsearls
The ThoughtCloud group visualization software will allow participants to communicate with their fellow Media Re:publicans without regard for time zones, language, or volition. The Beta version of the open source ThoughtCloud application, developed by the Berkman Center in collaboration with dozens anonymous developers who volunteered their time while sitting at their desks at the world’s Internet giants, was installed wirelessly in the brains of all participants sitting in the auditorium with assistance from USC Annenberg technicians.
Using a dynamic list of keywords, the software scrapes participants’ brains for any thoughts related to participatory media, blogs, democracy, credibility, public media, advertising, social media and American Idol. Small electrical shocks will gently notify participants whose thoughts drift away from these topics for more than 48 consecutive hours. Preliminary results of this “mind-blowing” collaboration will be released at the May 15-16 Berkman @ 10 conference in Cambridge.