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 facebook .

Lets look at some #dotcons from the perspective of the #4opens - Facebook

 

https://facebook.com/

Open data – A small YES and many many NO's the is a obscured link were you can download a lot of data that facebook holds about you it's a SMALL YES. But all the interlinking and meta data that is used is hidden and for sale to the higist bidders, a BIG NO.

Open source – NO open licences for the data, its privatised. Some of the backed projects are opensource but not in a really socially useful way – the big project is CLOSED SOURCE.

Open “industrial” standardsthey use um and pervert um to CLOSED

Open process – this is very much CLOSED

So 1/4 of a open for data and 1/4 of a open for source that make 1/2 a open.

Bronze 2 opens
Silver 3 opens
Gold 4 opens

Facebook is not a 4opens project.

 

FAQ - why use open websites

We need to get activist to actually use alternative net infrastructure.

FAQ

Q. Its to complex to use this geek software.

A. So was Facebook when it started, almost nobody understood what twitter was for for ages – all new experiences are hard. Its actually ONLY a question of motivation then familiarisation through repartition.

Q. Activist internet site are ugly – if they just look nicer people might actually use them.

A. After bad UI is put to one side (and this can be an issue) the is a direct correlation between full user functionality and bad looking sites – you can make site look nicer by dis-empowering the user or by shaping and controlling there interactions – but freedom always looks messy just look at Facebook its one of the more messy sites out there – it overcomes this issue by good UI and familiarity – people get used to “functionality - ugliness” after they use the software every day.

Q. My activist site has no way for the “user” to be part of the site beyond limited commenting.

A. Yes activist sites are generally in the stone age of hierarchical control freakery, use sites that are web02 not web01 the actually are some projects out their. Complain to admins if the is no peer -to- peer production on an activist site, then actually use the peer production tools they set-up such as wikis and forums.

Q. Why not just use Facebook groups/ fashionable web2 site, every one is on there anyway.

A. This way leads to the death of the open internet/society LINK

Q. Can i trust activist sites with my privacy.

A. On corporate site's that most activist use, such as Facebook you can only hide from your friends not from your enermys. This is generally true for the open web in general and is something we need to understand. If you have a secret take the activist to the garden and whisper it in there ear, do not rely on any fig leafs of corporate privacy settings or promise of activist client server encryption LINK

What is the Open Media Network?

It's about human co-operation working with machine aggregation tools.

It's a stupidly simple social project using largly existing basic web technologies.

- RSS in and out via tag (with de-duping and field-matching).

This is it for the technical side of the project.

Then there is the social side: open licences, open data, open source, open process.

* open licences generally means creative commons for content and GPL for software.

* open data means that all the core data of the projects can be exported into other node databases. This can be done via the basic RSS in and out or with an export option to a basic XML file.

* open source: that all the core software of the project is free to be edited and be changed.

* open process means that the organising of the network is done in public wikis and using public tools. Activity streams makes projects transparent to user involvement.

The idea of the OMN is to re-build the vitality of the open web. The problem it hopes to overcome is HUGE.

* Applications like Facebook and Twitter have closed off the majority of people's online interactions and privatised/controled them for private gain and social control.

* openweb tools have withered from lack of use and resources.

There is currently little possibilty of an alternative to the polished world of google, facebook, twitter, amazon or e-bay etc. Many people are now talking about these issues, but the solutions they come up with are single sources, not networks. How do we make visible the value of cooperation?

The technical side is relatively easy. It's the social side that is the biggest barrier to revitalising the open web. The problem with all the failed pre-open networks is complexity and their proprietorial nature, This together with a failure of social cohesion (co-operation) has lead to an almost complete meltdown in the radical media space.

Why is the OMN different?

This is in no way a new project. Its innovation is purely in an understanding of the limitations of past projects. Over the last 10 years there have been many projects that have attempted the same thing.

Why will this work now?

It is built with existing standards - nothing is new or untested. It has an understanding of the failure of the social side of such networks. And aims to overcome this: 

* the geek problem of "improving" projects and thus running the risk of breaking the simplicity is overcome by insisting that nodes support all of the open RSS standards to be part of the network. Thus if an improvement is useful it will spread and if it is not it will fade without breaking the underlying fallback tecnologies. The idea is that the network will be resistent to the failure of improvements and open to the sucess of innovation - while being robust if this for some reason fails.

* The social problem - the network is built by trust, thus will scale organically with no overarching control or hierarchy to block innovation or accress. There are no hardcoded APIs that limit and shape user involvement and data flow.

* too big and distributed to fail - opendata and node redundancy will help the network to be robust and resistent to the failure of large nodes. Also, the trust nature of the network will keep nodes honest and reliable without a central controlling athority. One part's decline is actually an opportunity for another part's growth.

* the issue of state repression. The network is a part of the open web using only open web standards. This makes it part of a project that is currently too big to fail. As long as the open web is needed by state actors and corporations the technology of the OMN cannot be shut down without shutting down the open web. If one node is shut down its job is simply taken up by another. Data duplication means that little, if anything, is lost.

* Too much concern with security limiting open process is a real danger. The unspoken question is: open process for whom? - currently we use facebook which is open procees for governments and corporations and fundamentally a closed process for the rest of us. Without open process, the trust which the network relies on is very limited. thus the growth of the network will be stunted, and it will likely wither. Open process will not appeal to everybody. But as it is fundamental, people unhappy with it should not get involved.

For the more tech-motivated, here is an old write-tup:

http://springofcode.org/organise/-/wiki/Main/Open+Media+Network

and here http://springofcode.org/organise/-/wiki/Main/Open+Media+Network+proposal

 

Were is value online

Its interesting to think for a moment about how widely posts on the #openweb and #failbook are seen. On #failbook an average post on my time line might be seen/read by 10 people and a dog, a good shared post a few hundred people. On my blog an average post would be a few hundred people and a good post 10,000's of people maybe more. its easy to forget that #failbook is a #dotcon in real terms not just in idealogical arguments. The value is on the #openweb - how have people forgotten this?

EC "Cos convenience and the software works"

Yep thats why am pushing the #OMN so the is a space to do something about this.

Why do I call Facebook a #dotcon

Our current online tools (for example Facebook) were built out from the worst parts of human nature. The challenge facing us is can we build out tools from the best part of human nature (an example would be the OMN) I think this is a nice challenge to have.

Why do I call Facebook a #dotcon

Its interesting to think about what shapes the small part of the social flow you see on #failbook and see how other agenda’s dominate what you see as a personal experience.

1) The financial bottom line of the corporation "Facebook"

2) The ego of the CEO and heads of engineering and marketing at Facebook.

3) The agenda’s of the investors in Facebook – this includes front company’s for the intelligence services of the US and many very rich people.

4) The agenda of the advertisers that pay Facebooks bills. The agenda’s that all the above do not wont to push – this is semantically hidden by "we cant sell adverts next to your content". That is “this is not social engineering”.

5) Anything published outside Facebook silo/portal is pushed down and things published inside Facebooks walls are pushed up. An example of this is that Youtube videos are not always embedded any-more and that #failbook videos are and auto play.

6) The people you friend on Facebook. But this is not unmediated the people who are a better fit to the first 5 points will be pushed more visible than thoughts who do not, who will be pushed down out of view.

7) Your likes and interactions will help the algorithm choice from the "advert friendly content" in your wider feed and push these posts into your news feed.

8) Facebook is clever evil, the algorithm is elastic, you can push it and it will bend. Of course evil cleaver wants you to do this because it learns how you push and how to push you back to shape the above first 5 points.

9) Clever Evil 2 that Facebook will also push though content that it cannot necessary monetize but has the intent to addict you to taking the phone out of your pocket to check every spare moment.

10) Its not only about cats and family photos it about reshaping the world so that Trump and Brexet can happen and we are powerless to do anything about this. All we can do is empower the enemy by feeding it knowledge on how to empower Trumps and Brixets. Shake and repeat, shake and repeat, shake and repeat, shake and repeat.

 

Alt-media

Where is alt-media and what are the issues in geek culture that stop it from having much effect.

There is no active working alt-tech and the open web that would be shaped by this open alt-tech is withering under the #dotcon push to enclose.

* 98.9% of alt-tech projects are obviously pointless.

* 1% are potentially useful but are killed by NGO/foundation funding agendas.

* .01% are useful but suffer/starve from a lack of geek focus abd funding.

There are some content projects in alt-media, but they have no working alt-tech to build out. All alt media relies on the #dotcons (Facebook, twitter etc) as distribution. Their websites are generally little more than branded portals, much like yahoo 10-15 years ago. The is minimal inter-operating between the different projects and almost no linking.

For the content producers a positive “alt-media” outcome is to play a role in old (legacey) media or move into the short lived dotcon news orgs. This is a complete failure in open web terms. In this we are fucked, and there is currently no path out within the existing projects.

Outside the existing projects, the solution to this is simple: the tech needs rebooting at a basic level. This is not a complex thing, being mostly social technology using existing open standards.

LINK OMN

Booting up the Open Media Network (OMN)

The open web is being locked out of the closed web – with share this options replacing web-links and Facebook replacing most peoples blogs. If this continues the “open web” will wither and become dysfunctional and the closed web will grow to become the web for the majority of people. With this change the largest most successful experiment in social change by communication will die.

This is the movement we are supposed to have the LifeRay platform and linking project ready to surf http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/25/opinion/rushkoff-why-im-quitting-facebook/index.html to quote from the article:  

"The promotional leverage that Facebook affords me is not worth the price. Besides, how can I ask you to like me, when I myself must refuse to like you or anything else? I have always appreciated that agreeing to become publicly linked to me and my work online involves trust. It is a trust I value, but -- as it is dependent on the good graces of Facebook -- it is a trust I can live up to only by unfriending this particularly anti-social social network. Maybe in doing so I'll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It's just one website, and it comes with a price."

As part of building the OMN we have 4parts that already exist:
* newsflash (embeds)
* link database (embeds}
* video player (embeds)
* funding site (networking) 

And we have the new functionality in LR6.1 and social office to build new tools with. OK - is the a possibility on moving on this?

UPDATE:
- The funding site has some images, needs the text re-wrighting http://fund.openworlds.info/

- The video embed pages are all in place on the channal pages such as http://headmix.visionon.tv/embed

 

Activist social media suicide and its prevention

Organising on Facebook is suicide for the internet and the future of our society. We need to do different and we need to do this now, luckily this isn’t actuality a very hard thing to do.

The most simple/basic thing to do is to have a organising website hosted on a independent/activist server – you can ask such people as OMN for an social office organising site or network23 for a basic blog. Then to reach into (but not be controlled by) the closed walls of Facebook you can post links to your content FROM YOUR SITE to Facebook. With this you can kinda have the best of both worlds.

The second part is more ambitious and geek centred, read this link for some ideas on building tools LINK

Its important not to get engrossed in the geek/activist paranoia about security – the is non on the open web, it was designed that way and its why it has been so successful at tacking over the world in the way it has. If you wont to do anything secret or possibly illegal – do not do it on ANY activist or corporate website, that’s what physical meet-ups are for.

The is a potential small exception to this statement, will talk about Per-Per encrypted connections in an other post – BUT this is not a thing to use for 99% of activist communication so not relevant here.

At a minimum all future campaigns should be using the atavist hosting and post links to inside the walled corporate internet. I can help, leave a comment here on this activist hosted site. Or try this site out for organising

The Activists - FUCKED UP USE of corporate social media

It consistently amazed me how activists walked into the trap of corporate social networking. I can understand NGO groups narrowness of focus, its were the funding is. I can understand traditional media's embracing of Facebook, Twitter and the closed ecosystem of app stores as its a perceived as a “safe” place to run from the crumbling business markets they are part of.

Lets look at each in turn:

Corporate social networking is perfect for the less radical charity's as the company's running theses networks wont to be seen to be social responsible and charity’s are the perfect place to be seen to care with out the risk of upsetting sponsors, advertisers and investors.

The more progressive parts of the traditional media, such as the FT have realised the trap they leapt into when building inside Facebook, Twitter etal. And are now back to prioritising building on the open web using HTML5. The less progressive side are now negotiating from a weak postion with these new powerful gatekeepers.

10 years ago Activist media was a worldwide phenomenon, inventing and leading many of the technology and techniques that are now mainstream. But two things happened, firstly they got bogged down in “activist process” and on the other the “lifestyle of geek” open-source culture. These together slowed innovation to a stop, the functionality and reach of such new networks as Facebook and Twitter rendered this moribund activist media less relevant to new generations of activists such as the climatecamp media team. Leaving space for the NGO focus embracing of corporate social media on one hand and the manipulation of traditional media on the other as the main ongoing successful strategy.

Were are we now? I was at the party to cover the celebrate of the death of Margaret Thatcher recently in Trafalgar sq. The were hundreds of cameras both video and stills probably as many people filming and documenting as there party goers or police. But almost no radical media made it online, the was a smattering of wonabe mainstream media such as Vice and Demotix. What interested me was running into all the retired activist and the ones that now work for NGO's it struck me that the is no continuity, no new radical media, it had almost completely ended. Few small exception’s to this are ourselves (visionontv) and ONN who are both small fish.

As I sead at the time, we as activist's fucked up in two ways: in wholesale embracing of corporate social media and in the narrowing of activist tec into geek lifestyle. Can we learn from this? Its time to reinvent grassroots bottom up media – its not to late. 

Kicking apart the illusion that social media is a friend to radical voices

This post is to highlight and make visible that using social media to promote radical voices is marginally affective at best and simplay dose not work at worst. This good quality and fun lively video http://youtu.be/yr7RoAmtQP0 has been pushed hard by 3 people for a day mainly on facebook

* Promoted on visionontv youtube account (2,571 subscribers)

* More than 50 shares on Facebook (small selection of shares here)

* 23 hours online (137 views)

* 2 days (178 views)

* 5 days (230 views)

* 1 week (271 views)

As this should make clear, social media has relevance algorithms based on advertising revenue of the hosting company and secondly user interest. What we post on facebook is LARGLY not see by other people. And the harder you push content the smaller your reach due to SPAM algorithms, so your content is lost if you don’t push it and in the end if you do push it. Social media is increasingly a lose/lose game for radical voices.

We need our own media http://visionon.tv/mission

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