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Escaping Internet bubbles
August 16, 2010, 9:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I came across a presentation by Mark Zuckermann, while randomly net-surfing, that talked about the fact that, while the Internet was supposed to bring us all closer towards a new age of universal understanding, in fact most people live in an Internet bubble, only accessing a narrow range of content that they and their friends are into. He reckons this is partly due to language barriers, and his response was to create an organization called ‘Global Voices’ that translates news reports and blogs into different languages. The global voices website is quite interesting and well-worth being part of anyone’s internet procrastination routine.

However watching this presentation made me realize that my Internet bubble-ization is even worse than Zuckermann suggests, since, being a lefty-type living in Britain, the only newspaper I read is the Guardian. Sigh. It’s not that I particularly love the Guardian, but I dislike all the other main papers even more, and I find the Guardian at least predictable and comforting. And fundamentally, when I read newspapers online it’s because I’m either taking a 3-minute mini-break from work (I know that some people uncharitably refer to this as “procrastinating”) or because I’m feeling tired and uninspired, and want to be unchallengingly entertained. These are not situations in which I’m likely to do the work of sifting through Google for exciting new content, and instead my zombie-like type the url of the Guardian, which I know by heart, into my browser’s location bar.

So, this situation should be rectified. There are plenty of good and interesting newspapers that are in English (the only language I speak well, sadly). Here is a list.

(It’s really neat to read the Al Jazeera reports on events in Europe and North America. Same news I’m used to, but completely different bias.)

Global voices

Al Jazeera

Deutsche Welle

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