Ode To Ethan
The other day I referenced Jan Chipchase's blog as "almost certainly my favorite." This is patently false. I am a big fat liar when I get excited. (Chipchase is probably tied for second with a few other exceptionally cool writers.)
The blogger at the top of my feedreader is, really this time, absolutely, Ethan Zuckerman. I got into his blog when I was getting my journalism degree and I stumbled across "Global Attention Profiles," basically maps of media blindspots. He was doing all of this research that combined media analysis with mapping with data scraping. Very cool.
When I was reading about that project in 2003 or 2004 I was totally turned on by the idea of writing scripts to create DIY datasets; I had no idea how to program at the time, but
the stuff I have done with perl scrapers my whole new career in programming is directly attributable to Ethan's inspiration 2 years prior.
So I kept reading his blog, and it got me into all freaking KINDS of stuff, among them (this is just the stuff that I directly attributed to him, by name, and took the time to write a blog post about):
- The Katrina Peoplefinder Project Absolutely. Incredible. Project.
- Cell Phones in the Developing World
- Geekcorps (Zuckerman was a founder)
- Hack Your on "Cantenna" for Bandwidth in Mali
- Open Source in the Developing World
- The Last Mile Wikipedia
- The Chinese Blogosphere
- The World Summit on the Information Society (This guy has incredible liveblogging prowess)
- Progressive Podcasting
- The One Laptop Per Child Initiative
- The "Dissident" Blogger Handbook (Or how to blog really anonymously)
- Conflict Diamonds
Ethan writes (at length, with incredible detail, humor and rich references) about the developing world at http://www.ethanzuckerman.com/blog/. As evidenced by the number of links above, I AM JUST A LAME HACK RIPPING THIS GUY OFF AS BEST I CAN. And I'm ok with that. He's just that cool.