A new blog to read, a useful service on hold

My friend Evgeny Morozov has ascended to the Pantheon of bloggers writing for Foreign Policy’s excellent website. Foreign Policy’s Passport blog is my first read every morning, and the site features some of the most knowledgeable bloggers on international affairs, including Dan Drezner, Marc Lynch, and several other folks you absolutely, positively should be reading.

Evgeny’s new blog is titled net.effect, and it focuses on the intersection of the internet, media, free speech, politics and security in a globalized world. I’m thrilled to see Evgeny blogging again – he’s lately been focused on explaining breaking issues in cybersecurity, digital nationalism and online warfare in publications like Newsweek and the International Herald Tribune. But his mind is so hungry, and his gift for contextualizing is so great, blogging is the natural medium for him. I’ve long looked to Evgeny to explain Russia’s role on the internet to me – I’m thrilled that he’s now taking on the challenge of reporting from everywhere from Sri Lanka to Egypt.

I am sad about one thing. My favorite of Evgeny’s projects – Polymeme – is on hiatus as of the beginning of this month. Polymeme is an amazing service – using a combination of human and algorithmic intelligence, the site looks at media that’s being discussed by smart bloggers, and identifies the pieces in online media that are sparking the most discussion. Evgeny explains that the social media space is changing so quickly that it makes sense to think about how the project includes information sources like Facebook and Twitter. Fair enough. But there’s an incredible value to isolating the stories that are sparking discussion online – I really hope Polymeme will continue in some form, and I’m tempted to put together a movement to keep the current project going while Evgeny and friends figure out new directions.

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