23 Everett St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

I'll be doing a session on Distributed Microblogging for this week's Berkman Blog Thursday meeting, June 5, 2008.

Please take note. June 5 is also Harvard Commencement Day. It will be very difficult to find parking in and around Harvard Square. Plan to take the T or find some other means of transport that doesn't require you to park! :)

If someone has the gear to live-cast or record this session, that would be great! Qik.com, or bambuser.com or whatever?

Twitter is a very popular so-called microblogging service. It allows you post short (140 characters max) messages that answer the question "What are you doing?". These messages are broadcast to the other Twitter members that are "following" you, ie. have subscribed to your updates. And likewise, you receive all the messages from all the people you have chosen to follow. One particularly popular feature of Twitter is its ability to send and receives updates from mobile phones, Instant Messenger as well as Twitter's web site and purpose-built UI programs like Twhirl.

But Twitter is also a proprietary "walled garden", albeit open to anyone who wants to sign up. And it's notoriously unreliable. In this talk we'll discuss attempts in the developer community to decentralize and distribute Twitter using an open protocol to address the issues inherent to centralize, walled implementations. I am hoping this will lead to a wider discussion of open distributed systems and ways to preserve the social community benefits of a centralized system.

Official Website: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/contact

Added by joec0914 on June 3, 2008



Will this session be recorded? I would love to attend, but am in Raleigh, NC.

Kind regards,


Not sure until we get there if someone will have the gear to record or live-cast it. If that does happen, I'll Twitter the deets so you can watch. I'm @joec0914 on Twitter. Well, assuming Twitter's not down... :)


The room is equipped to live stream video but you need to make sure a Berkman person is there who knows what button to push. You can't count on the right person to be there unless you made specific arrangements with Erica George. The Harvard commencement really effects the Berkman Institute since a lot of their interns are Harvard undergrads... usually seniors and juniors.

The only guarantee for broadcast is to bribe Steve Garfield to show up with his N95.


I'm seeing if I can get video stuff set up, but it's been ages since I last ran one myself so I hesitate to make any promises (the system's been changed since I was last trained).