Thursday, September 28, 2006

C/Net News publishes Media 2.0 and a Web 2.0 Blog

c/net publishes daily reports on Media 2.0 including information about Social Networking applications. It also publishes a Web 2.

A recent article on September 26, profiled "Wallop," another social networking site that will compete with Friendster and Another similar site is

In the article Karl Jacob, Wallop's chief executive, said in a statement. "It’s about the trend of self-expression moving online."

My own review of these and similar social networking sites seems to indicate that individuals are encouraged to express their interests in popular culture, but not much emphasis is placed on interest in natural resources, the environment or other important activist issues. For example, global warming is a multifaceted issue that has the potential to dramatically change the lives of the many millions of people participating in the Social Networks mentioned above. Searches on the Internet reveal many discussion groups, blogs and web sites that do have a lot of participants on natural resource issues. I am interested in knowing more about how, or if, individuals include these interests in their social network profiles.

Our own efforts with Mountain Visions to work with natural resource projects to develop interactive web sites with community networking centers does include the invitation for people to participate in the projects. Some of these people may also decide to include their personal natural resource interests into one of the major social networking sites mentioned above. For example, we are creating projects now using Wiki and other applications. I will write more about these in the near future.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Only 1500 Comments on Idaho's Roadless Plan

After President Bush rescinded the Clinton 2001 Roadless mandate governing 58 million acres of roadless land in America, he gave state Governors the opportunity to come up with their own plan. This action has been overturned by a U.S. Magistrate Judge, until a full environmental impact study is done.

Meanwhile, some states including California, New Mexico, Oregon and others have chosen to keep development out of roadless areas. But Idaho's Governor Kempthorne directed the County Commissioners to conduct public hearings to come up with a petition to create new plans to allow development in roadless areas in Idaho. Meanwhile Kempthorne has become the new Secretary of Interior and interim Governor Risch (who has just over a month left to serve) has just announced his own plan minimizing the allowable roadless areas from 9.3 million Idaho acres down to 3.1 million acres.

The Idaho Statesman today wrote an article about this plan and noted that 1500 Idaho Citizens had commented at the public hearings held in Idaho this past year. My reaction - only 1500 comments on an issue that affects everybody in this state, forever? How can politicians be so arrogant and dis serving of the public to act on so little public input? The people of Idaho and the U.S. deserve better.

When President Clinton was considering the Roadless Area Conservation Rule of 2001 it was supported by more Americans than any other similar rule in U.S. History. 1.6 million comments were made and more than 95 percent supported the Roadless Rules. Bush, Kempthorne, the County Commissioners, and Risch know these facts, but chose to insult the will of the American people by choosing their own form of public input.

I hope that some of the new Social Networking opportunities on the Internet will start to develop a public reaction to the decisions by politicians who create plans that affect everybody in Idaho and other states as well, when only 1500 people comment.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gary's new Video Blog (Vlog)

I have finally started my Video Blog (Vlog) with a few experimental posts. As I started this I realized, given some time, I could post links to several hundred video sequences I have done in the past.

This is just the beginning. I expect to post videos of current events as a higher priority.

The link to the gogrimm-vlog is here.

Note on September 17, I posted a High Definition video on my Vlog and a link to Mountain Visions pages where several other HDV videos can be viewed.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Sun Valley Sustainability Conference - Sept.27-30, 2006

In Sun Valley, Idaho on September 27-29, 2006, educational practical knowledge and expertise will be presented by high level speakers with global knowledge from across the country. The 2006 Sun Valley Sustainability Conference web site contains details and Registration information.

On the agenda are important topics such as "Global Warming," "Healthy Homes," "Sustainable Communities," "Solar Electricity," "Land Conservation," etc.,. In the morning of Saturday, September 30 there is a "free tour of green homes, gardens and businesses."

We may be able to attend sessions on Friday afternoon and the tour on Saturday. The topics covered at this conference should be of high interest to citizens of Idaho. Hopefully Social Networking projects can be developed to allow many more people to participate in discussions about these topics via the Internet.

Technorati registration

I am creating a link to my Blog with Technorati. I am also trying to figure out how to create more of a presence on the web for this Blog in order to get more participation. It appears this is a process that will take some time to do effectively.

Technorati Profile

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Boulder-White Cloud Wilderness Bill

I wanted to start uploading images with my posts when I can. This image is in the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains in Idaho. The prominent peak in the background is "Castle Peak." Katy Flanagan and I have shot and produced interactive 360 degree panoramas in this are and you can find them on our Mountain Visions Idaho > Interactive Virtual Tour pages.

The Idaho Conservation League has also published some of these panoramas on their "Seeing Wild Idaho" section. In addition they have published a "Special Update" for the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill just passed through the US House of Representatives.

I have been involved in Wilderness issues during all of my adult life. I have been frustrated by the "Public Input process" primarily organized by Federal Agencies. During the 1970's we tried to initiate citizen input "networking meetings, conferences and newsletters with limited success. Examples include conferences that gained national interest on topics such as "Wilderness Use Ethics" and "Wilderness and Individual Freedom" I have hard copy documentation for the Wilderness Use Ethics conference but cannot find reference to it on the Internet at this time.

Today, Social Networking applications that are available on the Internet should dramatically increase citizen opportunities to be involved in Wilderness and other public land and natural resource issues. I believe that the Idaho Conservation League, The Wilderness Society and other environmental organizations should be learning how to use these new tools and incorporating them into their web sites.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fwiki - A New Web application can supplement web sites

Today, September 11, 2006, PRWeb released a newswire describing FWiki as "A revolutionary new web application is now available for Internet users."

I believe that one or many "Wiki" type projects could be developed with the Interactive Multimedia and Community Networking projects Mountain Visions is now developing. These include the "Jamaica Protected Area Trust", "Idaho Weed Awareness" and "River Menders." Past projects we are still involved in might also begin to develop new Wikis, Blogs, and discussion groups as the tools become easier to use. Additional projects include the "Interactive Watersheds" project that involved 5 major watersheds across the country, "Ridge to Rivers Trail System," "The Floodwood, Choices for a Working Forest," "Seeing Wild Idaho," and many others. (See Mountain Visions web site).

The PRWeb article notes that "The power of the application is that it can be used by bloggers and site owners to enhance their blog or web site and even create a page that drives traffic to an existing site."

Look for more information about our experiment with different Wiki features and programs in the near future.

Web 2.0 - Detailed description by Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly has been instrumental in clarifying the Web 2.0 phenomenon. Many web sites refer to him and to the Web 2.0 conferences his company "O'Reilly Media" has co-sponsored since 2004.

I looked a his description again today and decided the link should be prominently placed on my Blog for people to read. It is very informative and will help gain an understanding of the broad changes that Web 2.0 is initiating throughout the public Internet.

You may also be interested in knowing about the upcoming Web 2.0 conference on November 7-9, 2006, in San Francisco. It is "sold out" but "top notch presenters, leaders and experts" will be there. One topic of discussion will be "Defining Web 3.0: What's Next?"

Saturday, September 09, 2006

CivicEvolution - Wiki like program for civic projects

I read a short article published September 8, 2006 in CNET Web 2.0 Blog describing a new type of Wiki. "CivicEvolution, still in development, is designed for political committees, nonprofits, and small collectives like neighborhood groups and teams. Fundamentally it's a wiki, but unlike most first-generation wikis, it offers a great deal of structure."

The CivicEvolution web site (Beta) notes that the program "provides online tools and resources to help groups achieve their goals through deliberation and collaboration." Several "Example Projects" are provided including a "Private discussion group," "Brainstorming," "Study an issue," "Focus Group," and "Create a Proposal."

In a Beta stage "CivicEvolution is now accepting new pilot projects." I tried to fill out the form provided but it was not working today. Instead I sent an e-mail to get more information about how to start a project. This looks like an excellent program for Social Networking projects. I will try to write more as I learn about it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Broadband should be faster and cheaper

In addition to articles about broadband being relatively slow in America, I also read that in some other countries it is significantly cheaper and available to more of the population.

An article written on September 5, by Matt Lake, CNET Reviews, in an article titled, "Who's investing in broadband?" notes that in "England, for example, has almost universally available DSL at 2.3Mbps to 8Mbps for the equivalent of $28.45 per month, taxes included. How does your service stack up to that?"

He also provides information about how "the billions of dollars in the Universal Service Fund (USF) could have helped." And, he concludes, "As far as I can see, it was incredibly poor management of the USF (a problem with government) and short-sightedness on the part of the broadband providers (a problem among corporations). The result is that we, the consumers, are stuck with spottily available broadband at underpowered data rates." He ends the article with a comment that the DSL providers and FCC should "Quit bickering; start serving"

Quite obvious to all citizens of this country is the fact that Corporations are successful at lobbying for favors that will provide the greatest profit to them. We citizens have to get better at lobbying for actions that will provide the greatest public service at the best cost to us as individuals and social groups. I hope the new Social Networking opportunities will stimulate more of us to organize our efforts to communicate with our elected representatives on these issues.

Why is America 16th in the World in Broadband?

On the Internet I periodically see articles that state that America has slower broadband service, even 100 times slower, than than some other countries around the world. These often allude to what a group called Teletruth, an Alliance for Customers' Telecommunications Rights, is calling "one of the largest scandals in American history,and it's never been told, but it impacts every aspect of the future of telecommunications and broadband in America from municipalities laying fiber or building Wi-fi networks, the issues surrounding "Net Neutrality", "VOIP", "cable services", the cost of local phone service, the new digital divide, and even America's economic growth."

They have published an Ebook called the "$200 Billion Broadband Scandal." A short summary is provided in this press release. And, they filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission on October 27th, 2005.

This issue seems critically important for those of already using the Internet and one that should have already provided the impetus for a lot of "Social Networking" citizen discussion opportunities. I would like to find links to any of these we can find.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Social Networking for Climate Change Threats

What Social networks exist related to the possibilities of climate change threats in the near future? Everything in our social, economic, political and environmental ecosystems will change dramatically if climate change happens faster than expected. As a high priority I will try to locate sources of good information to post here. Meanwhile here are some of my thoughts today.

The current U.S. administration does not provide citizens with adequate information regarding these threats even though people like Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth) and many others are trying to alert us to potential problems. This is one of the most important topics for citizens around the earth to start building "Social Networking" concepts to try to learn and educate our friends and neighbors, and also to create much stronger communication networks with our community, state, and federal elected officials.

Below is an article about a scientific study that definitely confirms "recent carbon dioxide has come from fossil fuel sources and must be due to human activity."

"A CLIMATE change timebomb may be just 10 years away from detonating, according to the latest global warming evidence." An article with this statement was published in The, today, by John Von Radowitz. Titled "Ice cores hold threat of climate timebomb."

At the same time we need more information to be shared on all kinds of topics, including climate change, some in the U.S. government are alluding to the problems that the free use of the Internet may cause for national security.

Should we be alarmed about the future of our opportunities to use the Internet to organize groups for social activism? Who is talking about this on the Internet?

In the New York Times on September 5, David Sanger and John O'Neil wrote an article titled "Political Season Opens with Focus on Security". In the article they note that The White House Report, titled "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism" In the last sentence of this article they state 'The report notes the "increasingly sophisticated use of the Internet and the media" that has allowed terrorists to recruit and communicate.'

Net Neutrality & Social Networking

The current dialogue and future congressional action on the issue of "Net Neutrality" may affect the functionality of Social Networking and Web 2. applications in the future. At stake is the possibility that public access to web sites and applications may be dramatically altered in the future compared to the past up to now. Please study this issue and let your views be known to your elected representatives now.

Proponents of Net Neutrality and good descriptions of their views include, Save The, and It'sOurNet. Google Help Center also has a "Guide to Net Neutrality for Google Users."

Critics of Net Neutrality, including an article published in Knowledge@Wharton titled "Getting a Fix on Network Neutrality" argue that legislation is not necessary yet, because it is uncertain what the future will be regarding this issue. Even though major corporations like AT&T, Verizon, etc., argue that they need to be able to charge a "toll" for the required development of future Internet resources, and this toll will be a fair charge, some people are uncertain about the true outcomes of an upcoming congressional vote which could go against the concept of Net Neutrality.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Wiki applications and sites gain in popularity

Wiki applications that allow anyone to create a wiki site are growing in number and many new wiki web sites are being produced. I will try to add information here to Internet articles and information I find as often as I can.

My primary interest is learning how citizens and organizations can use Social Networking tools and Web 2. applications like the Wiki concept to start discussions and communicate their concerns about natural resource and ecosystem issues that affect them every day, to leaders and government officials who make decisions about these issues that affect the long range future.

One important issue will be how the companies who provide the "Social Networking" services will survive economically. Probably most individual and community web site projects may not have a profit motive. Below is an article that explains a few "for profit" "Wiki" projects and also alludes to the fast growing popularity of the Wiki concept.

CNET published an article by Stefnie Olsen on June 12, 2006 titled, "Social networks poised to shape the Net's future." She quotes "Safa Rashtchy, managing director and senior analyst at investment firm Piper Jaffery."..." 'This is going to get big, folks,' he said"

The New York Times today (September 4, 2006) published an article by Robert Levine titled, "New Web Sites Seeking Profit in Wiki Model."

Several examples are provided, including, "a how-to guide to everything," Wikia, started by Jimmy Wales, who founded Wikipedia and is "a collection of communities with websites you can edit," and, a domain name recently purchased by an entrepreneur for $2.86 million.

Levine also notes that, "The Gartner Group has predicted that half of all companies will use them internally in some fashion by 2009."

Friday, September 01, 2006

Update on public mosquito spray information

On August 31, 2006, Jennifer Miller,Idaho's representative of the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, wrote an op-ed to the Idaho Statesman titled: "After spraying, questions of safety, efficacy, alternatives remain."

The same day the Statesman also published an article titled: "Officials: Spraying killed 90-95% of mosquitoes."

Ms. Miller noted that "The Abatement District's mosquito monitoring results indicated levels were already dropping, raising questions about the need for the scale of action."

She also cited two additional issues.

"• Inconsistent recommendations from local and state officials on how to protect ourselves from the spray."

"• Lack of public participation for a program that would subject thousands of residents to involuntary pesticide exposure."

This last issue brings up the question of how the public can become more involved in government action plans, before they are implemented. Is it the government's responsibility to provide well publicized opportunities for input on issues related to health welfare and safety? Or is it the responsibility of each citizen, or groups of citizens to watchdog issues of concern and alert their friends and neighbors or the whole community in time for meaningful public dialogue?

I believe that both the government and citizens must become much more proactive in understanding and developing new ways to involve the public in the decision making process. The Internet and new Social Networking tools are available to help with this process, but we all have to learn how to use these tools more efficiently before they can make a difference in our personal lives and in the local, regional and global communities we belong to.