The Techdirt Insight Community In Two Minutes

from the with-apologies-to-Larry-Lessig-and-Bob-Dylan dept

Two weeks ago, when we moved the Techdirt Insight Community into public beta, we also took part in a fun event called the Plug & Play Expo, which involved 32 startups explaining what their business was in two minutes. Six of those startups are then selected to do a second round presentation (including us!). I had a little fun with the presentation, combining the “Lessig Method” with a little bit of Bob Dylan (without the talent of either) after discovering we weren’t allowed to use Powerpoint. A bunch of folks have asked us for a copy of the video. Unfortunately, in the original cut of the video, it’s tough to see the handheld slides, so we redid the video superimposing the actual slides on the screen behind me so that people watching the video can read them. We also figured it’s a good, quick way for people to understand what we’re doing with the Techdirt Insight Community:

If the Techdirt Insight Community sounds interesting to you either as a company or as an expert come on over and join up.

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Comments on “The Techdirt Insight Community In Two Minutes”

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ReallyEvilCanine (profile) says:

Insight Community

Though it might not seem so at first sight, I at least scratch the surface of a number of technical issues in my blog but I’m limited in what I can go into since the nature of my blog requires I keep it anonymous (and therefore vague) unless someone asks a technical question in the comments.

My background is varied and includes computer sciences, the music industry, gastronomy sector, engineering and economics. I do technical writing and now assist management with a few programs, some of which I may blog about presently if I can figure out how to keep the patina of anonymity intact.

Tarky7 (profile) says:

Patina of Anonymity

I love that phrase, it’s a new one to me. Having spent the last couple of years consulting with a couple of companies surfing the tide of information to define the legal edge of what is possible online, I have started to give up on this notion.

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you brings into focus the belief of the notion of anonymity: anyone with any brains understands that absolute anonymity is very difficult to achieve if at all even possible. Yet, there is something about staring into the Internet on a computer screen which seduces the masked voyeur in all of us.

I was at a masked party (a disco party at that) a couple of months ago which opened my eyes to this aspect of human nature. The party was a blast, cause everyone seemed to be freed from the usual constraints of behavior. It was fun, relaxed, the communication had been unlocked.

I don’t know where I am going with this…I was making a point. Nice presentation, luv the Dylan thing.

ReallyEvilCanine (profile) says:


I came up with the phrase as I was typing that comment. Glad you like it. I have no misconceptions that I’m posting my blog with any true anonymity. I’ve told some of my cow-orkers about the blog, others have stumbled across it and knew almost immediately who the author was. Others needed to think about it for a couple seconds. I think “patina” sums up the reality of Net anonymity.

If you work for $MegaCorp and read the blog you know who I am. A brief slip only a couple days ago may have told my manager (about whom I have complained) more than enough to find me, out me, and end both my blog and my monthly bank account top-off. We shall see.

IPs, server logs, host logs and caches are only the start. Linguistic nuances make it easy to spot dupe accounts on places like kuro5hin. I expect that within five years we’ll have the ability to programatically match up authors based on only 500-1000 words of example text. Even my joke accounts on some sites would probably be outed.

Nevertheless there’s still some semblance of anonymity still available and I’ll take it for all it’s worth. Luckily USENET can barely haunt me since someone spoofing me was caught so I at least have plausible deniability in that regard.

As to meatspace “anonymity”, we have it here in Germany in spades, though much of it comes from excessive participants (porn, for example) as well as a more laissez faire attitude overall.

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