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Web-Based Social Media and the Public Interest

"The Future of the Forum: Internet Communities and the Public Interest," a symposium organized by the Berkeley Center for New Media will be held on December 5 at the University of California, Berkeley, at which pioneers of social media will address the rapid evolution of public forums.

Participants will explore how Internet communities such as Facebook and Twitter are reconfiguring common conceptions of the public interest and civic responsibility. They will also discuss whether Internet affinity groups are fragmenting the public into increasingly narrower niches, or helping forge alliances among strangers who are radically different from each other in the "real world."

Speakers will include:

  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
  • Jim Buckmaster, CEO of craigslist
  • Mitchell Kapor, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Dick Costolo, chief operating officer of Twitter Inc.
  • Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn Corp.
  • Judith Donath, fellow, Harvard Berkman Center
  • Seth Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of SocialMedia Networks
  • Lars Rasmussen, co-developer of Google Wave
  • Jane McGonigal, director of game research & development at Institute for the Future
  • Marc Davis, Senior Researcher, Yahoo!, and more.

The Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) is hosting the event with support from craigslist and The Institute for the Future. BCNM is a research center that seeks to critically analyze and help shape developments in new media from cross-disciplinary and global perspectives with an emphasis on humanities and the public interest.

Registration is now open and discounts are available with advance purchase through November 23.

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