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All posts by Heather Ford

Heather Ford is a South African social entrepreneur, researcher and writer who is fascinated by communities who get together to work, play and deliberate on the internet. She is currently enrolled as a Masters student at the UC Berkeley iSchool where she is researching collaboration and the governance of global online communities. She is a former Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board member and the former Executive Director of iCommons, an international organisation started by Creative Commons to connect the open education, access to knowledge, free software, open access publishing and free culture communities around the world. She was a co-founder of Creative Commons South Africa and of the South African non-profit, The African Commons Project as well as a community-building initiative called the GeekRetreat, bringing together 40 of South Africaís top web entrepreneurs to talk about how to make the local internet better. At night she dreams about writing books and finding time to draw.
  • Trust and the web: A sociologist’s guide

    Trust. The word gets bandied about a lot when talking about the web today. We want people to trust our systems. Companies are supposedly building “trusted computing” and “designing for trust”. But, as sociologist Coye Cheshire, Professor at the School of Information at UC Berkeley will tell you, trust is a thing that happens between people not things. When we talk about trust in systems, we’re actually often talking about the related concepts of reliability or credibility. Designing for trustworthiness Take trustworthiness, for example. Trustworthiness is a characteristic that we infer based on other characteristics. It’s an assessment of a person’s future...