The Freedom of the Press Center and Digital Identity


I have a problem when an organization, a person or a company uses its Facebook page as its main digital identity device. First of all when I write an entity’s URL like this

this tells that this is not me, actually, it’s Facebook.

The “natural” way of thing would be, of course, or or, or whatever.

I would have to pay some very little amount of money (yearly) to maintain an identity constructed this way, but it would be transparent payment, made in cash  and not in privacy currency.

The case I found today of an important organization in Puerto Rico, namely the Freedom of the Press Center is serious. A Google search returns 5 results and the Center’s page is the fourth one (it ought to be the first).
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But the second mistake is that the returned page is one on Facebook:

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And the URL is the worst:

Talking about digital identity? This site’s information is old. Like couple of years old. It makes me wonder whether it is still alive.

But, wait.

here’s more. Seen that tiny Webaddress on the right?
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THAT’S IT!!! Well, that would be it… if it worked.

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It’s a powerful metaphor realizing that the Freedom of the Press Center is Not Found.

A quick search on the Wayback machine produces a non-nil page for October 25, 2016. Then, nada. RIP.

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The lesson I’m learning here is this:

  • People have no idea what an URL or Web address is. That’s why I teach it.
  • People prefer the lazy, easy solution of hosting one’s identity within a commercial enterprise to taking care of it through a personal, dedicated website. The amount of work, in the end, is practically the same.
  • People do not understand the dangers of putting oneself (and all one’s data) in the hands of an advertisement enterprise.

Now, Puerto Rico is so damaged and rushing towards a totalitarian regime, that we do need an effective Center for the Freedom of the Press with a strong identity. And we need people to acquire the knowledge and skills that are vital to a sane and safe digital life on the Web.

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Another Puerto Rico Connection

The Puerto Rico Connection **the podcast** has just started up and we already have a few  coincidences from the White House and the media. From Saturday Night Live these two segments show Washington’s renovated interest for Puerto Rico.

Kate McKinnon acting out as Kellyanne Conway is notoriously hilarious, but this segment  is real fun.

Then, this one, with Baldwin-Trump pronouncing the name of the country. I don’t need to say more. Enjoy.

Since the full McKinnon episode is so enjoyable, here it is unabridged.


Now, wait for the second episode of the Puerto Rico Connection–the podcast, because it will be worth the while.

[Featured image–Flickr photo: Connections by deargdoom57. CC-licensed BY]

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The podcast is here: The Puerto Rico Connection

Yes, the Puerto Rico Connection is out! The first episode of the podcast Alan Levine and I were concocting and cooking on the camping-gas grill is out and alive.

Actually, Alan did almost all the work, a little in Strawberry, a little on a plane, and the rest from Melbourne. What more proof of globalization do you want?

Alan moreover got this amazing idea of doing the first episode asynchronously, given I was (notice the *past*) with no electricity and my connection was spotty at best. And I loved the baton-passing scheme. Then Alan mounted up the various audio files, incorporated (lawyers beware!) a little soundtrack at the beginning and ending titles from The French Connection movie–like he said, no connection at all except for the inspiring title!

I think it came out a pretty decent first episode, which I had to wait until today to publish on my own Skate because I was so so busy in the weekend to assess my students’ work.

Here is the first episode, hosted on TapeWrite, a tool Alan suggested–and I liked immediately. You’ll see why: If you like the idea of an open Web where media can be openly embedded within Web pages, well, that’s it. TapeWrite makes it easy to enrich an audiofile with some media that one can place at specific moments in time. Alan even got the cover image of a book I was talking about!


We had been thinking about an edtech podcast for a while, and the occasion to begin arose pretty wildly, given the situation we have been living here, with classes under tents and no equipment to be used. This prompted faculty to revise and redo our teaching plans for the rest of the semester, with the objective in mind to have students recover asap and not simply finish their semester but actually to make the best of it–if possible.

So in a way we incorporated this issue into the podcast, plus media, books, films, etc. We have a second episode on our minds, and we don’t know yet if it will be synchronous or not. But I’d love to record one live while Alan is in Australia and interview Parisa Mehran, the author of the first postcard to arrive here, which carried the powerful message:

a woman who has to prove her humanity every day.

We want to talk humanity, by Jove!

A propos, Alan, where the heck has your own card been forwarded? Yours was the very first card being sent through the mail… and we still haven’t got it.

Anyway, today we got this very nice one: Thanks @mdfunes!!

Let’s move to the next episode, then!

[Logo image by Alan Levine. Featured image photo by Amaris, #inf115 student]

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Oh so many postcards for #care4sagrado!!

More postcards arrived at my desk during the past week, and I am just like a kid… so happy to get mail!! Curiously, getting emails has not got a similar effect 😉 –well, perhaps in the late eighties it did.

So, we already shared them on Twitter via selfies from #inf115 students, and both them and I were proud and grateful to get them.

Here they are. Again, folks, thank you so much. It’s a testimony of globalization’s good arm.


IMG_6231From Scotland’s Sarah Honeychurch (@NomadWarMachine). I love Scotland, Sarah: First, my best English teacher was a Scot; and I had a wonderful time in Scotland when my wife Hilda was pregnant of our first daughter, Chiara. In the magical woods with the big bag!



This one from Giulia Forsythe from Niagara, Canada (@giuliaforsythe). Thanks Giulia, nice getting this from you! Giulia did all the drawing-doodle-summaries for our first TEDx, back in 2013.



Another from Canada! Did I say my family and I love Canada and have traveled the long roads in BC and Nova Scotia, Québec and New Brunswick? Great places and great, nice people.



This last is from an unknown sender (a postal worker nonetheless) and was mailed from Memphis, Tennessee.

Thanks all, y paz! Pero, ¡basta con la paciencia! / Enough with patience, though!

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More Mail from el Puente de #PuertoRico

Perhaps the media don’t talk any longer about the situation in Puerto Rico, hit by storm Maria, five weeks ago. The same five weeks we have been living without electricity, spotty cell and Internet access.

But you know what, we have made a good use of the little electricity we got and we overcame many obstacles, such as teaching and demoing Web services through students’ laptop and hand-held devices. And until now it worked pretty well. Many students of mine say the do prefer the course this way!

Of course, receiving postcards from you guys is the highlight of any day. The second batch of postcards (yes, they were two!) came in yesterday. And here they are. They were immediately tweeted and selfied by two students of #inf115, who appreciate the spirit.

Thanks to Pumpkin Yang (@pumpkiny) and Karen Fasimpaur (kfasimpaur)!!

The Fantastic Flower Garden -- Denver, CO. From Pumpkin Yang @pumpkiny

The Fantastic Flower Garden — Denver, CO. From Pumpkin Yang @pumpkiny


From @pumpiny

#care4sagrado from @pumpiny

#care4sagrado from @KFasimpaur Karen Fasimpaur

Portal, AZ – from @KFasimpaur Karen Fasimpaur

#care4sagrado from @KFasimpaur Karen Fasimpaur

#care4sagrado from @KFasimpaur

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