A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views

 

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We need projects like the Media Fund as part of a #openweb echo-syteam

We need projects like the Media Fund as part of a #openweb echo-syteam. But they need to get a bit upto date to be relevant, currently they are years in the past in their thinking – this is a #fashernista problem that is made worst by funding agenda’s being many more years in the past.

With the fast moving tech agenda in hand with the #geekproblem we have had more than 10 years of fuckups in this area. We cannot afford many more.

"The Media Fund What is the level of awareness among Facebook users that the platform is shifting ever more towards the favour of bigger corporations?

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/23/facebook-non-promoted-posts-news-feed-new-trial-publishers?CMP=twt_a-media_b-gdnmedia

We need to get honest on this guys like the Media Fund used to run workshops on how to use Facebook for campaigning. While the alt media disintegrated left behind. Now the #openweb is getting close to disintegration while you have been talking about the problem of the mainstream media for the last few years. Yes #failbook was/is a problem especially when #fashernesta activists were pushing it as the solution.

The real current issue is now the openweb tools not year old news about #failbook

Please try to do the right thing

The 4 opens

 

The #4opens:

Are a simple way to judge the value of a "alt/grassroots" tech project.

Open data – is the basic part of a project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_data with out this open they cannot work.

Open source – as in “free software” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software this keeps development healthy by increasing interconnectedness and bringing in serendipity. The Open licences are the “lock” that keep the first two in place, what we have ain’t perfect but they do expand the area of “trust” that a project needs to work, creative commons is a start here.

Open “industrial” standards – this is a little understand but core open, its what the open internet and WWW are built from. Here is an outline https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard

Open process – this is the most “nebulous” part, examples of the work flow would be wikis and activity streams. Projects are built on linking trust networks so open process is the “glue” that binds the links together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process

Why do alt/grassroots media fail

Stupid individualism and the visionOntv CJ video templates.

Our templates for video journalism are designed to simplify and empower normal people to make coherent video news pieces using the tools they already have. They are successful at this if people fallow the template's – it says this at the end of most of them. The issue that creates failure is a standard one for the possibility of an alternative “stupid individualism”.

Our shared western society is based on a hegemonic false senses of individualism, were the reality is largely faceless bland conformity thinly covered by a surface of lifestyle fashion. This is the bases of consumer capitalism our “wealth” is built on. The current world view atomises any possibility of building an alternative and shows up as a block in most attempts to build one. The disparity of wealth on the surface and poverty of the underlying human condition (some more hippy types would call this “spirit”) is striking to many thinking and feeling people.

Our templates boil down more than 30 years of experience of awarded wining fast turn around video journalism to a A4 cartoon sheet. The instructions are clear and complete, if you fallow these, after a few attempts you will likely have mastered the bases of audio visual story telling and from this point of basic mastery opens a whole world of creativity and real genuine “individualism” of the less stupid kind.

Over the last 10-20 years of teaching few actually get this far and we know this because we have trained thousands of citizen journalist over hundreds of workshops at both undercurrents and visionOntv. Why? I would put into view my old friend/foe “stupid individualism” as the explanation (though would admit the are technical challenges as well).

The impotence of the template is more in what it doesn’t say. The is much more information in the omissions, this is how it fits on a A4 with pictures. It distils what does work and explains this. And leves out much that people do by default that dues not work.

Simply, people do not fallow the template, often they do not even pick them up and read them, they then go onto do what THEY think is video making, they do all the bits that the template purposely omits and very few of the bits in them, the result is almost always a dis empowering mess. This is the same outcome with all groups we work with.

We live in an individualist society, were we are all “empowered individuals”. The problem is evident in that this is our empowerment is an almost all an illusion, we are all dis-empowered individuals with egos let lose on dispoling mode. We think we are empowered because everything around us that works is on bureaucratic auto pilot, we don’t actually have to create anything original and lack the base skills to so when the rare option comes round.

Our templates are such a rear opportunity, if you can take your mind out of dispoleing mode and fallow the instructions – the first step and a rare hopeful sign for us as trainers is a budding CJ actually checking the steps on the paper template as they go though the filming.

This is a example of “stupid individualism” a block on many parts of building an alternative.

Some background http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_fetishism

DRAFT

Some questions came out of the last grassroots media gathering about OMN

 

 

Questions and draft answers

in terms of what I don't understand it is what do sites specifically have to do?

* At a basic level very little.

- output an RSS feed of their articles/videos/podcasts (most sites do this already)

- grab a sidebar embed code (or CMS plug-in) then configure it with interest tags

- modify/refine their tag embed as needed, if more involved re-tag content items

- there are more complex roles, running an aggregator, for instance. This is an open distributed global job.

 

* And what help does this network provide.

- publish once and appear on 100's of sites

- much higher viewing numbers by pushing content in front of interested audiences

- posts going “viral” outside of Failbook and Twitter

- co-operative categorisation of meta-data is a side affect of the OMN

- HUGE linking of alternative media

- HUGE redundant/distributed backup of all grassroots media OUTSIDE the transient corporate “cloud”. Our history will be much better “archived” than the dotcoms.

- looking into the future: the grassroots builds and helps to define the “semantic web” - that is web03 in dotcom thinking.

- be part of the future not just a trailing edge transitory past.

 

* I recognise the plan is to open up the internet (i am still unsure what a portal is btw) so people aren't just going through facebook, google and twitter to find streams of information.

- The internet is inherently P2P. Each computer is the equal of every other. In theory your iphone is the same as far as the internet is concerned to the whole of google. it is core radically horizontal.

- This has been reshaped into a client- server internet were you are a small you – big them. This needs describing better.

* I gather from what is written that there is some sort of categorisation that is going on and mutual promotion in this plan for an open Media network and that some people's sites (the aggregators like ourselves) would key to that promotion and categorisation, but I can't really work out how that works, how the media provider benefits, what the media provider has to do, and what does the average punter get and what would it look for them.

- It's a folksonomy based on open tagging. The original publisher can tag their content, aggregators can re-tag content, end users with embeds/plugins can retag.

- this taging is synched across the OMN thus feed flows will update in (semi) real time.

- the embeds (plugins) and feeds tagging are based on boolean logic, thus you can have + and – and AND etc

- there is a social side to the project (the 4 opens). With tagging there is an etiqette - it's socially acceptable to add tags to re-direct flows rather than remove tags (though mis-tagging can of course be changed). This side needs talking about more.

* I am afraid it sounds like a really good plan, based on evidence and solutions to existing to problems, but it is too vague specifics for me to understand what it is.

- There is a huge hole in the technical knowledge of the media producers. There are social norms against the 4 opens. This project flows against mainstream geek culture.

* Everyone is going to ask

* what do I have to do? how does it help me?

- This is so obvious to me that maybe some one else needs to write this.

 

* What will it look like?

- on the surfice very little will change, but grassroots media will have the potential to surpass the dotcoms and failing traditional media much like the original indymedia project did in its early days when its page views matched the BBC on big days of action.

* how will it help others?

- Traditional media is practically dead as open media, and grassroots media is hopelessly individualistic, short lived  and disconnected to replace this faild traditional media. The social media dotcoms are about social control for private profit – then socal control for political control.

The idealogical swing

In the 19th century we had a fight between the conservatives vs fundamentalist liberalism fighting/feeding inhuman industrial growth which lead to a human backlash in the 20th century of social democracy – that is a mediated democracy to push humanan growth (progressive liberalism). The late 20th century neo-libreal (fundamentalist liberals) pushed us back into a 19th century world view which has brought with it the balenceing ideas of conservatism of trump and brixet.

 

The idea is to do it different. Socialism and ecolagisam spring to mind. If we can bring the progressive liberals back it can open the space for these other world views. If conservatism takes over then we have the revaluation of “communism” as a balance as Neo-liberalism is a inhuman deadend that we should not be repeat.

 

The conservatives (trump) and the radicals are both pissing on liberals for good resions. Though it might turn out that a renewed progressive liberalism (Corben etc.) might be the best path. Pee in moderation can be a good fertiliser :)

 

For a view of neo-liberal dealing with a political created ecological disaster this podcast is a good direct reminder http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/podcast-directory/famine/

Building alt/grassroots media networks to challenge the traditional media

Our current groups doing alt/grassroots media are to limited in there idea of what media could/should be. The is either a naivety or a dishonesty to all the current grassroots/alt media. They act and think they can be “big media” with out controlling the distribution of there content in any real way. This is in no way unusual the mainstream media is continually making this very same mistake. All of them rely on the the #dotcons which nowadays is largely the Facebook algorithm for the there content distribution.

 

Our current grassroots/alt media have web sites so already have one foot in the openweb, but non of their sites prominently link in any meaningful way to each other. They do podcasts so anther foot in the open web, but all their effort for outreach is inside the #silos such as Apple itunes etc. it's hard to directly blame them, though we should and will, for this sorry state.

 

So why are we here? On the one hand we have the #fashernista embrace of the #dotcons which most of the current crew built there careers inside. On the other we have the suicidal embrace of #encryptionists complexity and parallel “standardisation” into a pointless/shrinking in to nothingness alt-tech ghetto were our alt-geeks are.

 

With these issues in mind I have been outreaching to these groups for the last year, and building real working openweb linking tech as part of the #OMN project. This currently is not been getting far past their naivety/self interest/career focused thinking. Fair anufe if that is as far as there imagination/aspiration goes, but this is a clear problem for working alt/progressive/left media that urgently needs to be addressed. I will keep outreaching, if you wont to help with this outreach get in touch.

 

 

They link to meany alt-media crews at the end of each story which is nice, but no links on front page yet.

 

They have no links on the front page to alt media crews. They used to have a linking page inside there site, now I cannot find it? If anyone can find links can they send me a URL please. They are looking like going backwords to a more tredtional 20th centery view of what media is?

 

 

They have no links on the front page to other alt-media crews and I cannot find any links inside their site. They have source links in there story's which is not much of a step. This is a clear a failer in alt/grassroots media turms. 

Stalled roll out of OMN

How to move on with alt/grassroots media producers linking to each other? Currently the shamelessly do not do this, even though they have repeatedly stated they do over the last 5 years.

1) Keep private messaging them on steps they can take, this works to an extent, as asked them to add more tags to their posts and they “broke” the User Interface on the #OMN software we are using by adding lots more – which is a good problem to have :)

2) Publicly talk to them as a alt/grassroots media group in blog post and their social media – this currently has little affect.

3) Talk to them in public as producer groups – this has had a limited affect with some of the groups, will try this more.

4) Public talk to them as individual's, this will generally get a private response and little action just words so far.

5) Name them as groups who do not link/share in public, this might be needed for some of the groups.

6) Name them as individuals within the producer groups and push for linking directly to them in public, name and point to the individual that this is a clear #fail a last stage.

Its a shame that this escalation is needed - linking is a clear path to success on the web – the right-wing blogs/producers do this, its a blank faced #fail that the left/progressive do not now and generally never have.

“Make the world you wont to see” LINKING is a strong path to this.

Looking for helpful/happy people to crowed source the active conversation to make this happen.

Lets start with these groups.

NovaraMedia

The Canary

Reel Media

Real News

 

The left - Stop the rot and start the composting.

Its not the people we should be angry at for the current Brixet/Trump mess, it is the small/tiny number of people who pushed neo-liberal polices through for the last 30 years, probably a few thousand.

 

The people rebelled, yes, they could have rebelled to the left or the right, they rebelled to the right as the right were more competent in the face of the lefts divisions and general uselessness. Be angry with these few and make friends with the majority who decide our future.

 

And the left stop this divided uselessness, we need a left reboot, keep it KISS currently few “ideas” on the left are worth much. A good first step for the left is for groups to link to each other and share media and events, work out KISS “liberal” diversity of tactics and co-operate.

 

Stop the rot and start the composting.

 

Looking at the tech and organising of UK alt/grassroots media

How meany sites link to anuther alt/grassroots media sits. from this list of 38 UK sites only 2 link to anuther site.

Many people find it hard to understand the underlining understandings that push projects based on flow and linking such as OMN and openweb. Here is a short list of activish projects.

Silo

Is a place for holding/hoarding closed data – this is used by the #dotcons to extract funding form “free users” when mainstream/alt silo projects finish, as 99.9% do, the data varnishes and is lost, and in this the effectiveness of any alt building is diminished. Silos do not use open licensing for content re-use. Just about every alt/grassroots media project is a silo. It's about capturing data. Its obvious that this is a unthought through issue of "churning"

Portal

Is an idea that you can be the big one, all the small fashionista websites aspire to be the big one and by doing this they are working to the logic of the #dotcon and working against the logic of the openweb. They are building a project to lock there users into their project. Portal and silo are overlapping (but different) ideas for building web projects. In the mainstream, Apple is a prime example of this working. In the alt/grassroots almost all alt/grassroots media projects are portals. It's about capturing users, just as silos are about capturing data. For a left wing group this looks much like "recreating the Soviet Union" the one party to rule the state.

Dotcons

Are for-profit data silos in the old days working as portals, more recently they are building out siloed networks as a pseudo networked portal. Its both sad and bad that many alt media projects unthinkingly aspire to be #dotcons

Link

Is where ALL the value is on the open web. Without links content has NO VALUE. This is a obvious statement, its hard to understand the the lack of understanding around this simple thing.

RSS

Is a grassroots web standard that is still at the base of many of the dotcon world but is being pushed into the background of the openweb by building silos/portals in the grassroots/alt. RSS is like an open LINK with added data,  thus adds value to the web. Its a powerful open tool that we still have. An API is like a geek control freak super power of RSS - the problem is in the complexity/control freak bit...

Geek

A subculture that is control/obscurity and more recently technical solutions to trust (wraparound right) this has always been a closing force on open projects.  This helped to strangle the original successful alt/grassroots media projects and is pushing for the shrinking of the open web.

Fashionista

The unthinking desire for new/innovation/conformity. A wider subculture that churns the growth of alt/grassroots so little can grow beyond seedlings.

NGO

Are greedy dispoling of resources both human and money. The liberals that use bureaucratic funding to push out the geek/fashernista agendas over alt/grassroots projects. These are uneasy friends and clear (invisible) enemys.

Network

Is both a technical thing of wires and frequency and  an understanding of mutual aid and of “diversity of strategy”. It's native to the openweb and should be at the base of any alt/grassroots media project. In the closed #dotcon the widespread use of A/B testing is a pail controlled shadow of this.

4opens

wikipedia is an example of this. It's basic stuff open source project stuff. LINK


 

Looking at the tech and organising of UK alt/grassroots media. Do sites link to other alt-media projects? Do they support/display openweb standards (RSS)

First DRAFT (please message me with corrections/info)

the canary

http://www.thecanary.co/

Has a RSS feed, regular updates, copyright group silo, it has no outside linking

Reelnews

http://reelnews.co.uk/

UPDATE: site back online, no visible RSS but can find a hidden one. Its likely copyright and a silo.

(Their website is hacked/down so posted the #failbook link used to have RSS and regular updates. Anyone know what's happening? Update they hope the site is back online soon.)

Real Media

http://realmedia.press/

UPDATE: website back online copyright, no visible RSS feed but you can find ones. Its a a bit of an aggregater but has been suffering from poor spam control. Its pretty much a portal/silo – but could be more.

(They used to have an interesting website for the tec used, but it ended up being just a silo, they look like they are rebooting? Maybe a another silo? we shall see.)

Update they are rebooting as a linking site, lets hope its not a silo.

Novaramedia

http://novaramedia.com/

Has regular good content, RSS, they are a product of the #dotcon social media wave and good at it. Copyright/CC is not stated. The site is a silo with no outside linking

Counterfire

http://www.counterfire.org/

No RSS feed, starting to look a bit “old left” regular updates, no copyright/CC notice. A silo with no external links

The Bristol Cable - Bristol

https://thebristolcable.org/

No visible RSS feed, it kinda probably tries to obey the 4 opens maybe. It's a WP blog site in this it's a media silo with no external links.

Port Talbot Magnet

http://www.porttalbotmagnet.com/

no visible RSS feed, it mostly fails the 4 opens due to copyright, data and organising. It's a WP blog site, in this it's a media silo with few if any external links.


 

New Internationalist - based in Oxford

https://newint.org/

Has RSS feeds, it kinda passes the 4 opens using a CC licence for its content.  It links to the visionOntv project.


 

The Ferret - Scotland, based in Edinburgh

https://theferret.scot/

Looks like the old media transitioning to the new media. No visible RSS feed or copyright/CC notice. Is trying to be “open process” looks like a WP site.


 

Strike! - based in London

http://strikemag.org/

looks like a archive of a print mag? Has a RSS feed :)


 

Positive News - based in London

http://positive.news/

Dated looking site, hard to read, no RSS feed and a copyright notice. A silo.

Slaney Street - Birmingham

http://www.slaneystreet.com/

Did not load

Manchester Mule - Manchester

http://manchestermule.com/

 Has RSS feed but last article end of 2015 so not an active site. Probably for fills the 4 opens.

Co-operative News - based in Manchester

http://www.thenews.coop/

Nasty looking site and no RSS, copyrighted, its a silo

Ethical Consumer

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/

No RSS, copyrightish, old looking site.

Marlborough News Online

http://www.marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk/

no RSS, copyright

West Highland Free Press

http://www.whfp.com/

no RSS, copyright, its a silo.

Star and Cresent - based in Portsmouth

http://www.starandcrescent.org.uk/

No RSS, no copyright notice? Its a silo.


 

Morning Star - based in London

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/

Has a RSS feed but its empty, copyright, silo.


 

Cambria Publishing Co-operative

http://www.cambriapublishing.org.uk/

publishes paper books?

Zed Books - London

https://www.zedbooks.net/

paper books and online reading lists, no RSS I can see.

Sheffield Live!

http://web.sheffieldlive.org/

copyright, has a RSS feed, looks bureaucratic open.

Blake House - based in London

http://blake.house/

no RSS, fashionable calling card website with out content, probably copyright?

Media Co-op

http://mediaco-op.net/

Calling card website with out content, no RSS, likely copyright.

Ignite Creative - based in Oxford

http://ignitecreative.co.uk/

Calling card website with out content, no RSS, copyright.

Shedlight Productions - based in Southampton

http://www.shedlightproductions.co.uk/

calling card website with out content, no RSS, copyright.

Steel City Film and Media Co-op - based in Sheffield

https://www.facebook.com/SteelCityFAM

its a #failbook page, maybe open?

Trafford Media & Communications - based in Manchester

(mostly a printer, but also do film production)

http://www.traffordmc.org.uk/

 calling card, no site.


 

The Community Channel

Community Channel

The granddaddy of NGO media, no RSS feed, likely copyright silo.

Jammu Kashmir TV

http://www.jammukashmir.tv/

it has content, silo?

Open Audio

http://openaudio.co.uk/

Has a working RSS feed

Inform My Opinion

https://audioboom.com/channel/informmyopinion

Has working RSS feed but it fails in my pod catcher, its a page on a #dotcon?

Mydylarama

http://mydylarama.org.uk/

has RSS feed, copyright, silo?

AMP Worcs

http://www.ampworcs.co.uk/

calling card.

A Television

http://www.afro-media.org/

Half finished calling card site.

Salfordstar

http://salfordstar.com/

Hastings independent press

No RSS, no copyright/CC notice, a silo with no external links.

http://www.hastingsindependentpress.co.uk/

Copyright, no RSS feed, has some old school widgets which might show external links. Its a local news silo.

Corporatewatch

https://corporatewatch.org/

Has RSS feed and CC licence, no external links on front page, its a silo but better than most.

bellacaledonia

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/

Has a RSS feed, its a silo but the is hope for it.

voxpoliticalonline

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/

its a blog in the old school sense, has RSS

evolvepolitics

http://evolvepolitics.com/

its a silo with no RSS and no external links


 

A lot of the original links came from https://www.facebook.com/jdaviescoates

 

Building a alt/grassrots media network

The OMN rollout is a 10 step process


  1. Rollout a single node to link alt media and share content to 100 sites.

  2. More

  3. More

  4. More

  5. Rollout full social taging flows and start the offline backup, start to move away from the dotcons.

  6. More

  7. More

  8. More

  9. More

  10. The openweb grows into the semantic web, the dotcons become history.

 

Time scale


* This could take a year with support and full on effort

* 2 years with interest and some geek commitment

* 5 years with active BLOCKING and geek’s turning away and doing something “better”.

* It will FAIL if the alt/grassroots groups don't links to each other and each tries/pushes to be the “one” ie if we strive for the same dotcon working in alt/grassroots media.


“Be the change you want to see”
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