Ebook: OWNI.eu’s best-of

Le 27 décembre 2010

Here are the very best articles that have been published on OWNI.eu, OWNI's English-speaking twin sister /-)

“The Future is here, it is just not evenly distributed” – these famous words from William Gibson somewhat encapsulate the driving philosophy of digital media and of Owni in particular. We aim to scout out new cutting-edge ideas that find themselves buried underground (a phantomatic abode where alternative thinking broods indiscriminately) and ‘bring them to the masses’, so to speak. These masses have a particular identity: they’re European and they’re keen to communicate with each other.

Owni.eu is of course a young creature, launched in October, shortly before our sister site, Owni.fr, was awarded with an Online News Association prize for excellence in journalism. Despite its young age, Owni.eu has an ambitious aim: to be the first Europe-wide website focusing on digital culture, cyberactivism, journalism and politics. We feel our particular historical context is a fertile ground for the growth of an engaged pan-European civil society – but where that will take us, we are yet to find out. It’s one reason our name ‘Owni’ is play on the French word for UFO – ‘ovni’. From the depths of our flying saucer we tend to be animated by a techno-utopian spirit, and we are more often than not optimistic about such future.

Of course the protagonist throughout these pages is innovation, but most of all the way our society and its mindset is adapting to such developments. One of the main characters of 2010 is WikiLeaks and its push for a new era of open governments and transparency. Owni.eu hosted the best opinion pieces on the release of the Embassy Logs – known through Twitter as #cablegate – and we finally selected one for this year’s ebook: Jeff Jarvis’s ‘Big Brother’s little brother’.

‘Why the internet did not win the Nobel peace prize’ is a critical look at Wired’s campaign to award the internet with a prize usually collected by men and women who have sustained a life-long fight for social progress and civil rights. The ideology behind that campaign, our editorial team felt, was ignorant of a key facet of techno-utopia; as Kevin Kelly put it, humans are the sex organs of technology. Technology is neutral and humans should take responsibility and credit for whatever they do with it.

The missing manual for the future by Tish Shute is a long and thorough account of the main initiatives and ideas of 2010 and its driving forces – ‘the four cylinder engine of innovation’ – as told by one of the main technology publishers, O’Reilly.

In the spirit of cyberactivism we have included two pieces which take part in longstanding polemics on the subjects of censorship and discrimination, two themes you’ll be sure to find explored even further on our site in 2011.
‘Blacklisting and Sexting; parental control as a political tool’ surveys the ramifications of practices such as parental control, as opposed to a more long-term education on the risks and perils of the web.

Last but not least, ‘Why we need to reframe the women-in-tech debate’ is a popular and controversial article that first appeared on Mashable, which gave rise to a constructive debate on gender equality within the tech industry, a theme which we aim to expand within the European arena in the coming year.

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