• December 2012
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov   Jan »
  • Pages

  • Marginalia

  • Accumulations

  • Advertisements

Echo Ditto And The Strange New Web


In Portuguese, I call them «admirável internautas novas».

Strange new Web, that hath such people — and robots — in’t.

I have done a considerable amount of spidering of the social Web — seeded initially with a  list of  ONGs, government agencies, private-sector companies, social networks and blog farms that I knew or expected to demonstrate mutual ties or tight neighbourly relations. I then reseeded recursively.

My hypotheis was that I would be able to locate, using graph analysis in Pajek, these strategic actors.

Take Blue State Digital, for example, and its Rovean counterparts.

Or the Cato Institute and Atlas Network, specializing in the incubation of “think tanks in a box” for international distribution. Or take what is perhaps the most influential media strategy firm in the world, the ever-discrete Innovation Media Consulting, incubated at the University of Navarra.

These points are most densely connected and thoroughly embedded in social media — their SEO is showing, in other words. They shine like suns but have the complexity of galaxies.

One such moon of Saturn recently discovered:

This hyperconnected, tending to the liberal, digital strategy site came up during an exploratory crawl of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund — recently deactivated and targeted by me for a measure of ridicule.


It offers a state of the art toolkit for the Drupal for Democracy school of Web activism, including its 130+ clients — listed and profiled, every one.

The interesting task here is to keep on trying to develop a stylistic sense that can differentiate between different development styles and configurations — the way that the Brazilian  Conversa Afiada mimics the Huffington Post — BIG FAT SMARMY HEADLINE IN A FUNKY FONT — and is mimicked by other Brazilian bloggers in turn.


In the context of this particular crawl, EchoDitto serves as a partial bridge between the Open Gov Partnership and the Niemeyer-designed central square of the  Brazilian federal e-government.


The project’s ties are  presumably explicable by the fact that Brazil was an original signatory to the project. which, however, does not yet amount to much more than a nice, clear Drupal installation waiting for content to populate it.

I am handy enough myself with Drupal that I could probably configure the site the same way. It feels like a Potemkin village.

Brazilian e-government entities used to be — still are, in many instances — some sort of Zope-Plone dynamic data design.


In sum, the link analysis — robotized and run through Pajek — shows us what we would expect to see by reading about the Open Gov Partnership: It receives link love from the Brazilian e-government and provides link love to its impressive strategic social media factory.