Sunday, August 27, 2006

Emergency Mosquito spray program/ Boise, Idaho

The Ada County Mosquito Abatement plan, which includes the city of Boise instituted an emergency aerial mosquito spray program last week to try to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus. (See Ada County News Release page)

When the plan was announced some local people became concerned about the brand chemical "Dibrom Concentrate" being used. Even though county officials claim it is a "safe" chemical, convenient Google searches can find evidence that there are some concerns to be considered. Some of these were noted in the Local newspaper, The Idaho Statesman. As a precaution, people who had concerns were told they could close their windows, turn off their air conditioners, harvest the garden fruits and vegetables, and cover outdoor furniture. Organic food producing farms were excluded from the spray pattern.

New West
, a network of online communities devoted to information aout the Rocky Mountain West, published an article on 8-20-06 by Nathaniel Hoffman with more information about how the decision to spray was made. "Aerial Mosquito Spraying in Boise - Practical or Political?"

The spraying program was supposed to start about Monday August 21 at 9: PM and continue for several hours. Spraying a second night would complete the project. The problem that occurred is that the wind came up for a few nights during the week which caused a cancellation until the next night.

Regarding Social Networking: I could not find a way to find out about 9:PM whether the spraying was going to be done, or not, because of wind conditions. Ada County did not have a phone number or an updated web site entry, nor did the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. I watched some of the local TV stations and radio and did not find any information either.

On a very basic level it would have been more comfortable to be able to open the windows on these hot evenings when the spraying was cancelled. On a more comprehensive level, clearly citizens should have more information about chemicals being used in their community and the opportunity to voice their opinion regarding the use of controversial chemicals and practices. It is also important that people have access to instant information about issues that might affect their health and welfare. New Internet technology exists and citizens have a right to demand that it be used more effectively.

I decided to write my concerns to the Idaho Outdoors Yahoo Discussion Group and offered to start an offline discussion about the various issues related to how citizens find out last minute details about a local Emergency programs. A few people have responded already and I will try to write reports here on what happens in the future.

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
has already started one listserve (wnvnospray) to discuss the issues related to this emergency spray project.

Online personal reputation concepts

I am interested in how people participate in Social Network projects by noting their "real names" or "pseudonyms" or "anonymous" identities.

10/25/06, on MeatballWiki I found a good discussion about why people should Use Real Names.

When contributing to a Wiki project, for example, if a person does not use a "real name" how can other readers develop a level of trust that this contributor has a reputation that can be verified.

The Wikipedia has a page titled "Motivations for contributing to online communities" that is helpful in understanding this issue.
, under the archives for the topic "The Evolution of Reputation" lists a series of online articles discussing this issue.

Harold Rheingold's book "The Virtual Community" is online and contains a detailed history of how the Internet and online virtual communities developed.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Carmel River Restoration Wiki started

Our long time associate and friend Harrison Hilbert, has taken recurring photographs of the Carmel River Restoration in California over a 30 year period. Katy Flanagan and I helped him digitize 35 mm slides and prints and created a multimedia slide show presentation showing the progressive changes. People associated with the Carmel River have asked "H" to send his digital images for potential printing on posters and/or posting on the internet.

In the late 1960s and 70s we were all heavily involved in the development of Common Adventure Bulletin Board Social Networking concepts associated with colleges and communities before the age of the personal computer or the Internet. We decided to experiment with a the new wiki services available today to make the photos and stories of his knowledge of the river available and to encourage others to do the same.

Two days ago we started to create a new Wikispaces project. It is still under construction but you can now view the Carmel River Restoration Wiki project.

Comments are welcome.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Google Earth Community and Social Networking

The Google Earth Community is an amazing example of Social Networking. Google Earth users from all around the world have submitted KMZ files to special places that anyone can visit using the free Google Earth Browser.

Moving around the geography of the world is really exciting for users. Being able to share points of interest adds to the interactive possibilities. Going further by adding pictures, web sites or other kinds of information opens up the opportunities for people to understand the possibilities of creating and publishing interesting content about places they care about.

In the Environment and Conservation section, on July 23, 2006 I created one experimentl KMZ file for locations in Jamaica were we have taken fifty five 360 degree panoramas. In the near future I plan to update this project. At this time 18 of these locations are linked to web pages where people can see full screen panorama views. The Google Earth Community pages change with new entries every day so I will not link to the KMZ file. However, On the Mountain Visions "What's New" web page you can download this file. (Jamaica360PanoramaTour3.KMZ) Look for the entry date 7/24/06.

I also purchased the license to use Google Earth Pro with the Movie Maker, GIS, and Printing programs. I have now created several experimental QuickTime movies that do not require the Google Earth Browser. These can be found on the Mountain Visions Digital Video/Terrain Animations page.

Comments are welcome.

Web 2 Applications & Social Networking

Information about the very interesting concept of Social Networking and community building is exploding on the Internet.

The organization of personal blogs, community wikis, and dicussion groups has been enabled by what is being called Web 2. Applications. On Matt Mackenzie's blog he comments that "Web 2.0 is about community building."

These applications can perform the same function as an old analogue or cork "Bulletin Board" where individuals can post a notice about a trip, idea, or community project and invite others to join in a "Common Adventure" to attempt to organize and actualize a proposed project.

I am doing research on how these expanding Web 2. opportunities can be used by people who are visiting the web sites Mountain Visions is producing. This Blog is my attempt to produce ideas and links to relevant articles about Social Networking, Web 2. and Wikis.

In August, 2002 I wrote a short blogspot outline of my thoughts about the "Common Adventure on the Internet."

In 2003 I started one "Common Adventure Blog" and I will either expand this or create a new one, possibly as an adjunct to this Gary O. Grimm blog.

In 2004 I presented a topic titled "InterActive InterNetworking for Ecological Commons" at the PlaNetwork Interactive Conference in San Francisco.

I also plan to start experimental Wiki groups for new web site projects Mountain Visions is producing, including those "under construction" for the Jamaica Protected Areas, Idaho Weed Awareness and River Menders. I may also start experimental wiki projects for the 5 Interactive Watersheds projects, we produced between 2000 and 2003. All of these web interactive web sites contain 360 degree panorama Virtual Tours to help people learn about the natural resource issues and Community or "Social" Networking sections to invite web users to participate in the projects.

Comments are welcome.