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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Entries with tag grassroots .

Fashernisat

I have been talking about the fashernisatas for the last few years, its an idea/group that I have been struggling to work with my whole time in the alt/grassroots. So what is a #fahernista?  
A group of individuals who value/push there own individual advancement over the needs of the croup and community, generally they do not realise or see that they are doing this. This has the end affect of diluting and killing off possible alternatives and selling “grassroots” to NGO's and corporatist agenda’s.  #fashernista takeing over projects in hand with the geek problem's has lead to endless dead-ends in all alt/grassroots tech. Most recently this has manifested in encrypt everything, bitcoin/blockchain ect. this is a dead end.

The #OMN linking project is basic tech that I have been working on for more than 10 years, in past times the has been more interesting tech/social problems in alt/grassroots media to work on so linking has taken a back seat as its basic stuff. At this stage we only have the basics left. Lets take a first step linking alt/grassroots producers, and build tools to push this into a  #rebooted open web to start the needed move out of the #dotcon ghetto's. Lets try as hard as we can to avoid #fahernisa take over of this basic #reboot. #fahernista will set-up parallel projects, raise parallel funding, push these into the traditional media and dominate the #dotcon conversation. Non of this inevitable pointless #fahernista noise should distract from the basics, as it will just flash bang and fad into nothing. Keep the basics going, linking, building. In the long term the rest is noise, distraction, for the conspiracy minded its our very own “false flag”.

Hummm... how to spot drift into the #fahernisat agenda?

The is a strong anti-dote in the #4opens

 

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

 

The OMN an easy project for everyone

The OMN an easy project for everyone

Producer groups have to put in minimal effort only puting a linking sidebar on their site and providing a RSS feed into the network.

These can be:

* Tag based content list “you might be interested in this”

* Tag based site link list “blog roll”

* Tag based video player embed “good films”

Optional: a site can add a badge to say its a member of the network.

What do they get out of it?

Google juice from the wide links back to their website and their content.

Clicks and content audience for all sites of the network rather than just their own.

More commenting from cross site conversations in their CMS comment system

On social media (the #dotcons)

They get a wider sharing of their content to work its way round the FB algorithm restrictions.

More “likes” on their #failbook pages to help boost the 3% organic reach.

Well a warm fashernista feeling of being part of something whole/bigger.

A geeky feeling of doing something real geeky.

We join together to push the “undercurrents” up and into the “mainstream”.

Badging the OMN

Is based on the #4opens to get a badge a site has to embed at least one linking embed somewhere (relatively) prominent on their site to become a member of the network. The Badge will link to the OMN project page, maybe this could have a list of OMN sites, as well as hosting the basic project docs.

Gold – 4opens

Silver – 3opens

Bronze - 2opens

We need some one to design these “badges” its up to site owners if/were they use them.

The OMN is a project of the 4opens and the PGA hallmarks.

 

 

Where next for grassroots/alt-media?

It's common knowledge that grassroots media is well F**ed and that #failbook and #twitter are the problem not the solution. Where can we go from here? To reboot alt-media (and play a role in rebooting the open web) we need to create an affinity group to cross the geek/political divide that has demolished our once flowing/healthy alt-media networks.

For a moment let's look at broad-brush history, The 20th century alt-media was one of offline social movements, where modern (21st century) alt-media is a product of online social networks - the web. Take a moment to think about our years of failed encryption geek projects on the one hand, and, the constant churning of disappearing media silos on the other. The last 10 years have been a wasteland for both the geek and political.

The original internet/web suceeded because it was a stupidly open design, it had no built-in agenda to the network. Lets compare this ”new” for a moment to the pre-internet, the old wired telephone networks had all the smarts at the exchanges and the phones were dumb, it was a centralised hierarchical network. Where the internet had the smarts at the ends, the computers, and the network itself was dumb – a horizontal network.

This turning on the head of 20th century thinking is important to move out of our current lon- running malaise in alt-media. Am arguing the divide between politicos and geeks is feeding a failed fixation on 20th century thinking in that they both want to build systems (both technical and social) where the smarts are at the centre. In contrast we know that in the 21st century it is more powerful to build “empty” networks that connect the smarts at the edges. The word “empty” here gets a lot of negative responses :) This is the touching of the core problem. Take a moment to re-read and think positive thoughts ;)

An “empty” network is a general-purpose network that connects general purpose computers to general purpose people and community. Yes, the tech we need, like the internet/open web has an agenda but it is not sectarian as #failbook and other #dotcoms are, as are our own much smaller alt-media silos. Instead its “open” and “simple” based on “industrial” standards and open working social ideals. This is obvious, but it needs saying, The “dumb net” is completely ignorant of what the user wants to do – just data in and data out. It's up to the user to decide what the data is. Only “universal languages”, that is data standards, have flow. There is a ridiculous power for change in this obviousness.

It's not hard to re-boot to escape these 10 years of failure, actually it's simple. Though it's not going to happen without a good affinity group who cross the geek/political divide. Message me if you think you have the smarts, skills, tolerance and humility.

hamish@visionon.tv

 

 

 

Draw a line in the sand

None of the current alt/grassroots media projects link to each other. Message them and ask why and refuse to support them till they do #thecanary #Reelnews #RealMedia #Novaramedia is basic KISS of lefty/radical/progressive thinking.

What's the solution?

The minimum outcome a prominent small sidebar box front screen linking to other alt/grassroots project on each active project. it's a KISS no brainer and a line in the sand for lefty/radical/grassroots.

This can be done manually or as part of a bigger network project such as OMN

 

Media Fund

This is coming on. Its looking like its becoming a link portal. This is half a step, links, but it's still a portal. Flow as focues of value is not directly expressed yet, lets see how it grows

An alt media revolution?

The #OMN is not a revolutionary project. Its largely a #rebooting of the past and trying to get to a place we “could have been” if we had not collectively fucked up at the second #dotcon boom (in 2010ish?). The outcome are varied, big and small, but in the “big picture” we have a semantically rich big data soup covering the alt/grassroots and alt-frendly mainstream that takes part. From this new fresh "open commons” we build real linking revolutionary projects. Though by then I am likely to have sailed away so you guys get to build that bit.

Why do all alt/grassroots events have the same speakers

I start to understand why all alt/grassroots events have the same speakers. Looking about you send out invites to everyone who has done it before. To reach out to new people would be taking a risk, would be hard work to hand hold them though the process. The lack of time and resources leaves little focus than to just repeat the past. This is a hard realization and incite into poverty.

Am starting to feel slightly ashamed of not knowing this before. ideas please, we do need to fix this.

 

 

Not a #conspiracey rather a #fuckup we are only human.

 

 

Paul Light 

"To be honest you should be commended for putting it all together in the first place. No one else is doing it and it's essential. Every form of direct action is worthy and amazing given the world we live in."

 

 

John Hoggett 

"1 a bit of mentoring goes a long way
2 offer expenses and look for some funding - either grant funding or crowdfunded
3 offer speaker training events"

 

 

Your idea would work if we had the time and the funding, time is relative but funding for alt/left is tiny and hard to get. Almost all left'ish funding is dispelled in #NGO and #fashernista pointlessness. Ideas for diverting some of this waste might be a start? Actually it is a good time to try this, who is up for it?

 

Media - why do names matter

Grassroots media

Media made and distributed from the lower part of society, made DIY for, from, too, the grassroots. And at its best outreaching beyond.

Alt- media

Media made from an ideologically different perspective to the mainstream (invisible) ideology. And hopefully, though often not, made in a way that can speak outside this narrow idelogical view.

Indymedia

Project that embodied both grassroots and alt-media pushed on a wave of open web. It was VERY successful in its time before being killed by internal ossification of process and the encriptionsts pointlessness. Might be time for a reboot of this project, but maybe something has to lead the way before this can happen.

Radical media

Is a term that is sometimes picked up by the NGO's and dogmatic control freaks, it tends to be empty and the trademark is owned by a advertising company.

DIY culture

Describes many projects growing out of the UK direct actions movements of the 1990's to the end of the century. A lot of alt/grassroots media projects grow from this spring of energy.

In summery

grassroots and alt media are different things though they often overlap in a good way. Indymeda is a project that embody them both but is ossified and needs a reboot to be relevant agen. Radical media needs a scare warning as the history is not good, DIY culture simmers in many small forms, maybe media could bring it back to the centre to make a difference that’s needed in the world?

 

Problem on the left “the is no alternative”

In grassroots movements

Social media tarts

Capturing the grassroots and building a career in NGO land for them selves from activists movements/agenda’s. They are fine as far as they go, every campaign needs some, but they tend to be competent anufe to unbalance movements towards the “soft”. For them to be useful the need to be a healthy alt to keep this from happening.

Alt-media primadonas

Individualism the issue of churning projects with falling outcomes is all that exists, some projects are a bit more together than most if they networked the could be a real start of a alt-media.

In the mainstream

Good will Liberals

Their support for dangerously naive lost course of the soft centre left makes them unbalancing “friends” with out a healthy alt movements will fall over to the “soft”

The Liberal Democrat Party

Its selling out is now obvious. It played the “bad role” of shifting focus away from a real left when needed. Many good will liberals lapped this up till they got a good sound kicking in the teeth during the “alliance years”

The labour party

Is a real left alternative, but it has hard coded DNA in its libryem rules and regulations to foul this out come. And the left in the party has a core “nasty” left who have a long blood soaked wrecking history. The influx of naive “soft” liberalism will be moulded by the bureaucracy on one hand and dispoled by control freaky on the other, this is not a stable mixture for a good outcome. This could be over come by real soughed community but I cant see one.

The Green Party

Has the same issues internally as the labour party, though the top is more soughted. They have a real loon issue to deal with at the grassroots.

The nationalists of all flavourers

Are looking like the ONLY hope of a differences as they push a open loon issue of a sense of belonging agenst the over-wash of globalisation. Not a good outcome but better than the rightwing war happy, poor kicking loons who are the Torys.

The EU

A disaster in and a bigger disaster out…

What would alt/grassroots/21centery left look like?

If anyone is interested I would wright a outline of what a few strands of a real alt/grassroots/left network project would look like :)

Hamish sailing away on a lifeboat, this is not a metaphor

 

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