Building alt/grassroots media networks to challenge and widen the traditional media

Our current groups doing alt/grassroots media are too limited in there idea of what media could/should be in this the is either a naivety or a dishonesty . The most successful act and think they can be “big media” with out controlling the distribution of there content in any meaningful way. This is of course not unusual, the mainstream media is continually making this 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 almost all the current crew built there careers inside. A capitalist main-streaming.

On the other we have the suicidal embrace of #encryptionists complexity and parallel “standardisation” into a pointless/shrinking to nothingness alt-tech ghetto were our alt-geeks are and desire to stay. A liberal/libertarian main-streaming.

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 past the crews 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.

So our current alt/grassroots media are irrelevant to rebooting a healthy society from a technical/social point of view. The is some good content but no realistic path for this media to be seen or spread in a way that can be affective for social change.

One simple and practical path to change this is a basic. To move on with alt/grassroots media producers linking to each other on the #openweb Currently they pointlessly do not do this, even though they have repeatedly stated they do over the last few years.

What action have I been taking over the last 10 years:

1) Keep private messaging them on steps they can take, this works to an extent, as last year I 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. A small step.

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/no action just words so far.

5) Name and shame them as groups who do not link/share with other groups in public, this might be needed for some of the groups, but this is a negative.

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 negative #fail a last stage.

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

“Make the world you wont to see” LINKING is the bases of the #openweb and a strong path to #rebooting the grassroots internet itself. Looking for helpful/happy people to crowed source the active conversation to make this happen, maybe we need a “new” alt-media content #reboot to pull the current ones onto a sustainable path, lead by example.

For this to be relevant we need working open media tech, the best example of this is mastodon/activertypub. The #OMN project uses this and is simple #4opens based on linking, its a “first step”.

Offering a real alternative to the dotcon world

Published Date 10/17/17 4:59 PM

This is a quite #reboot of the #openweb going on. This #4open project has nearly 1 million users https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastodon_(software) It’s one of the use it or lose it moments for life outside failbook. It would be a bad time for progressive funders to start to prop up the #dotcon world if we don’t try to change direction this sad outcome is invertible.

A funding application to setup/bootup both a “NGO” and a “Activism” instance of Mastodon. Each could have different “terms of service” but would both talk to each other and the wider OStatus networks. Its time and not a #dotcon and works #OMN

Would need a crew of 3 people part time for 6 months roll out then 6 month sustaining after this year the project should be self sustaining due to low running costs. Can use patron and occasional donation drives.

Crew
Hamish – lead fixer and Activist outreach
Sys admin – to set-up the servers and keep them running
NGO Outreach – to outreach to NGO’s and get them to buy into the #openweb project.

Funding
5-7K funding for the first year. From Lush and Edgefund
This would mostly be part time wages with some server and outreach costs. A monthly donation would go to the development https://www.patreon.com/mastodon

The project would be organised on Github as a #4opens project as a part of a open media network.

Don t trust the fashernista

Published Date 9/25/17 4:24 PM

Thinking about Uber and the dysfunction of Facebook.

Its time to #reboot many part’s of the #openweb With the “visibility” of the failing of #dotcon such as #failbook privacy/obscured agronomic control of you, #uber and the race to the bottom culture.

The will be a plausible “class” of people who come up with convincing sounding solutions, these #fashernista are not part of any solution and are a clear and historical core to our failers in the past.

I understand its hard to see the differences of tech projects what is worth supporting and what not. We have issues from two different directions that have to at least a little understood to have a hope of supporting projects that have the possibility to be part of a real LINKING alt.

* #fashernista thinking/working

* the #geekprobelm

These are opposite side to the same coin.

“A river that needs crossing – On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over complexity”

A good first step solution to both is the #4opens

They will dis-empower the worst of the #fashernista thinking by shining light on their actions and mediate to a better outcome the “closing push” of the #geekproblem by keeping the LINKING in place.

Simple and sweet a first step solution in a hash tag 😉

Open letter to 4 alt grasssroots media groups about the openweb

Published Date 6/27/17 5:15 PM

DRAFT (please comment)

Building up alt/grassroots media would be nice to get a reply 🙂

NovaraMedia

The Canary

Reel Media

Real News

Hi guys,

Good to get a reply about this project from you.

OMN is a network of Open Media Sites. Its a push to #reboot the openweb that most “value” you currently use has been built upon in the last 20 years. Your careers were built on the destruction of the digital commons its time to pay this back. The cost to your career is light and the openweb can and should be run in parallel to your current use of the #dotcon distribution.

The currency (value) of the web is the link without linking content (no matter how good) has little/no value online and will likely not be seen offline.

Left wing and progressive sites DO NOT LINK and share content with each other. This leads them to have little or no value outside the bubble/echo chambers. And we are surprised and depressed when we keep looseing, there is nothing surprising about this, but there is something depressing about it.

Why is the OMN different to all the other activist tech failed projects.

The top 5:

1) It’s based on the #4opens, meaning it doesn’t have the buy-in (sell out) issue of NGO’s and dotcons and can spread as wildly as the original world wide web (www) if people start to use/build it out.

2) It’s KISS, that is simple and standards based, so open to be built-out in unseen directions and open to wide creativity. It galvanises and empowers openweb projects.

3) It’s not under the control of one group and is a “universal/standard based so can build and link many niches to link and thus build a real alternative.

4) It solidifies a morality of co-operation and trust rather than fear and compation. Its left wing rather than right wing. All current projects are products of right wing thinking in structure and expectations.

5) It gives the tech/grassroots #fashionista’s something useful to do and promote at their events. Its hard to express the pointlessness of all the current alt-tech.

——————————————

reply from one of the alt-media/grassroots groups

Aren’t “existing” doing this anyway, linking all media groups together? Afraid I’m not techie enough to understand what OMN is, how it’s different, or any of the points you’ve made, but I’m happy to go along with what everyone else decides if it can be explained in plain English!

—————————-

We have done some “user story’s” https://github.com/Openmedianetwork/OMN/wiki/user-storys hope this helps get away from the tech 🙂

This is a part list of current working roll-out https://github.com/tomspost/OMN/wiki your content already appears as links on all these sites as you post it.

All current successful projects are networks or in the case of the #dotcon social networks (closed) sudo networks.

Currently the OMN is the only bud of a network we have in place in the alt/progressive.

What dues the OMN mean for the your org

Nothing has to change in what you do if you don’t want to do more.

To be part of the network you add a easy OMN sidebar/section/page to your existing site with the content flow you are interested in from any OMN site. You control what appears on your site.

At the moment the is just the one/first that covers the best of grassroots media from a UK and a bit of globle news focus so use that one http://omn.openworlds.info:8080

That’s it, you can do more if you like but don’t have to.

What this means is that your site will link and share content with other grassroots/alt media sites on there sidebar/section/pages.

Your content as you publish it on your site will appear (you do not have to do anything for this to work) on many other OMN sidebars/sections/pages on other sites and blogs.

It will play a role in “aggregating” the viewership of alt-media, everyone gains from this.

—————————–

What we are talking about is building expanding distribution outside Facebook/twitter. You can, and should continue to use Facebook etc. what the OMN dues is start to build independent and horizontal alternative that run/expands in parallel, its working now and easy to use.

Am more than happy to help set-up the embeds in your website, will likely take 20 min.

——————————————

Just in case you are worried about security of your site all scripting is striped from the articles and links and the embed is a standard plug-in that comes from the dotcon markets that 1000’s of people have been using for years with out any issues.

Its mature and safe tech that just works.

——————————————-

Ps. if this outreach duse not work its looking like time for a bit of a kicking…. phwww….. crap.

Fashernisat

Published Date 4/18/17 11:53 AM

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

Draft user storys

More OMN user stores

Tabs Troughton Richard Hering John Hoggett Thomas Barlow can you guys have a go at writing versions of these that are readable by normal people – then I can geek up the originals so they outreach to both worlds. if you wont to #reboot the media this is one way to play a role.

Here I look at wider uses than just alt/grassroots media.

Lucy has an old inactive blog about horses, since #failbook came along almost all activity has moved to a page on this #dotcon but fewer people are seeing her photos/posts and she is annoyed by the nagging adverts asking her to pay for distribution. She likes going to evening classes and sees one on blogging after her art class. Signing up she learns about this new thing the Open Media Network, during a practical part of the class the tutor gets the students to help each other add a “blog role” sidebar to their sites using OMN tools adding a few tags she soon has a list of local horsey sites and blogs linking off a sidebar widget. From this class she finds a group of new proto-blogers to help each other out, they have regular social meetings in her kitchen and after a few months they setup a local news site/noid linking all there blogs together.

Jim is a librarian who has always been interested in counter culture. He has spent the last 10 years collecting all the leaflets and pamphlet he can find on road protesting, climate change, GMO’s ect. One day he goes to his favorite activist news site and finds it offline. Asking around he find that the has been a problem with the server and nobody knows how to reboot it as the volunteer sys admin left 9 months ago. Because of “security” the is no working backup and the only redundant files are on an encrypted harddrive that nobody remembers the password for. All the work and connections of hundreds of people have been lost as well as the archive of media and articles going back 10 years. He had been to a public meeting about the OMN a few months ago and had been interested in how it could be used to create DIY backups of articles flowing through it. Setting up a noid/site is still complex so he has to get some atavist geek friends to help, after a few days its up and running and actively crating a data base of all articles flowing through the network with the tags he choices. In this if any site goes down he, like anyone, can have the full text backup. As text is small he can hold millions of articles on a cheap server and manages to set-up himself a RSS reading app to copy this taged flow to his local computer just in case he has server issues like his now defunct favorite activist website. From this experience he becomes an expert on open data flows.

Jasper is a fashernista geek looking to make a iphone app, he see news as a growth area, as a programmer he has no knowledge or skill producing news content so he is looking for existing sources he can find and use. Being a talent programmer he quickly knocks together a “cover flow” interface with a tag highlighting linking structure. He fills his app with content from a mainstream OMN aggregater noid and highlights the tags in the text to give a interface on this data flow. As his app is tool which data freely flows through he can sell it for $2.99 on the apple store. After a number of good reviews he sells 100,000 installs which allows him to give up his day job in the local council tax office.

Tabs wrights an opinion news blog with hart-warming storeys covering powerful social issues. Currently she has few readers as her distribution is to friends on #failbook. She has known about the OMN since before it started booting up and her content was added ver RSS by one of the founding aggregaters. Since then she has seen her viewing figures more than double, encouraged by this she puts a sidebar widget displaying OMN content flow that interests her. With this in place a number of prominent sites feature her blog as she is now a part of the OMN, her viewing numbers go up by a factor of 10 and keep growing as the network expands.

Ana loves her cat pixi and wants to set-up a blog with photos and life stories she could set-up a tumbler blog like everyone else, but her friend told her about the OMN so she set-up a wordpress site and adds her RSS feed to the OMN aggregater Catlovers in this her posts are added to the OMN network. To make her blog more interesting and dynamic she adds two OMN widgets to the blog sidebar the first is a photo widget that she configures with tags “black and white” “cat” “fun” so that it has an updating image from the catlovers view of the OMN and the second is the latest articles headlines from this catlovers site view.

Janice has a family history website that she updates regularly. The is a group of history web sites that have setup a OMN aggregater to push out there content to a wider audience, Janice adds her RSS feed to this aggregater and the hits on her site jump immediately each time she publishes new content. She gets help to add a sidebar section on her site with a OMN flow based on the tags “family history” and “research” with this in place she become a member of the OMN and her site becomes more visible to people. She finds her self working with a group of interesting people.

Fabo has a bus in East London converted into a restaurant, he currently has a Facebook page but this only reaches a tiny number of people (3%) who like it. He is a member of London Hackspace were he goes to a workshop on booting up the OMN. Inspired by this he decides to set-up a (OMN) aggregating site covering events and food in East London, he gets a friend to do this for him using drupal and the OMN plug-ins. After spending an evening adding RSS feeds of all the restaurants and venues he can find. The next morning he has a website linking to content that regularly updates. He features his own content on this to promote his business, his site after a bit of design work becomes a place to find out what is happening in fashionable hackney.

Jeff has a band, he used to get contacts for gigs on myspace and more recently on facebook, but this had been drying up. He has a friend who is setting up a OMN aggregater in Manchester linking to the music seen. Jeff helps them out by becoming a volunteer tag moderator of the data flows, from the inside knowledge of these rich data flows he rebuilds personal connections that help to re-spark his music.

Feedback please.

Human beings are by nature social creatures we link

“The Ring slowly but inevitably corrupted its bearer, regardless of the bearer’s initial intent. For this reason the Wise, including Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel, refused to wield it themselves, but determined instead that it should be destroyed. The corrupting power of the ring was apparently stronger on individuals more inclined to evil and selfishness: it took almost immediate hold of the greedy Sméagol as soon as he saw it, and corrupted Boromir after a few months of near proximity, while its effects were only starting to be seen in the well-meaning Bilbo after his 60 years’ possession.”

On the #openweb the creation of blogging makes personal sites with in reach of a majority of people the balance between community and individual began to shift. Blogging was about empowering the individual, many geek/fashernista attempts to rebalance this failed, as each tended tobe an island, mirroring the individualism of the blogging network they were trying to link. Blogging declined into silo/portals with the growth of SEO and the resulting failer of linking that resulted from this.

In the openweb nothing stayed static, the first to secede in this bringing the social (community) back into this world were the first #dotcon ‘s and the most powerful grew from the worst parts of human nature:

“One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Ring

This is the shadow of the role of #failbook currently on the #openweb

How to recover from this “capturing of the commons”? One step would be to #reboot the last steps of the #openweb by fixing the balance between individualism in blogging and the community of the human condition. This is surprisingly simple to do, we need to fix the failer of geek/fashernista linking and thus #reboot blogging as a core to the #openweb. Almost everything we need to achieve this already exists, its a question of an affinity group kicking it into motion. Who is up for building links?

Let the web of trusted links grow (as this is ALL THE OPEN WEB is) and let the data (#4opens) flow over these links. From this trust building community comes back into both the online and offline worlds.

And if a Dark Lord (Mr Zuckerburg) and his minions (Mr Trump) offer you a shiny ring – don’t take it.

The Roman Empire is old hat

Comparing the US global role to the Roman Empire is an old hat. Today we are seeing the “declining” face of this comparison. Trump is selling off “offices” to the highest bidders and drawing power around him self and his family.

The White House will be filled with toads and hangers on, the “court” made up of greed distracted by “reality TV” display with power politics hiding its ugly face behind this show.

In the US the left is lost/divided/bickering with out any alt when/if Trump “dynasty” plan fails it is likely to be challenged by the next demagogue who will be more miltitent and corrupt.

In the UK the “open’ish” left wing Momentum (http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/) failed in its foundation to embody “openness” growing out of the shadows of the labor party left/right trench war. Ones a project is in motion it becomes hard, soon, impossible, to have openness at its core. The first lies, the first power politics used to shape outcomes, each is a step, that closes openness as an organizing option.

The undead left have nested and are now ripping at the core of the Momentum project tearing and dispoling to draw all power around their shadow selves. The “open’ish” crew are likely to flee leaving the innocent youth drown into the ones bright surfaces and shadowing interea shell of “Momentum”. This idalistic flow will be drained of blood and energy in till momentum, broken and dull, is used up and discarded.

The predatory undead left move on, every seeking, young blood to fill their dusty/empty veins. Dogmatism (magnetism) and manipulation of power (mysticism) bureaucracy to grab, gut and drain the possibility of the left.

Am actively working on two projects based on commons and open process, the first is self defined and drawing interest the #OMN with the #4opens at its core could stand up to the “closed” negative. The second the Activist Expo and Archive has been setup with the #4opens but they were not strongly embedded. As new people arrived the opens fell away, were pushed away, “closed” was a process that became normal.

It is now a challenge to bring #4opens back into place, ones “closed” has a foot hold and the pushing and pulling, grabbing and ripping starts it blocks open because in an open space “pushing and pulling, grabbing and ripping” can be seen, people are naked in their power plays. Shit stinks and nobody won’t to be seen covered in it.

Open has the power to keep the left from “ripping apart” what we do then is up to us. This would be a nice place to be.

I don’t have solutions for the USA. Unless Momentum has a squad of vampire slayers to pull the shade away and let the sun in, its future is likely to be drained into an empty husk. The #OMN if the first raft of tech works could be a part of the world we wont. The expo is in crises, shit is seeping in from the old cracks, the course we have: paper them over and carry on to NGO burn out little outcome/failer or lay a soled foundation of “open” to build a real left on.

If the left in the UK cannot #reboot into something useful we are facing our own “Trump” as the climate crisis hits home. The undead “left” vampires are a tiny number and powerless in face of sunlight (open). The OMN hopefully will embed the #4opens strongly unf from the #bootup that the commons can be sustained as it grows. The expo is tilting between “closed” and “open” the is an obvious need for mediation, am going to keep opening the “curtains” lets see what out come can be achieved.

The left failed is sad and bad, and will be fatal for million of people over the next century.

The world is open for change

* Old paths have visibley vanished
* People are up for doing things different
* Funders are up for funding different
* The new “commons” is infernat and as much as the #dotcons grab the is more.
* Socerty is being #reboot ‘ed (trump, brixet etc.)
* Our planet is likely to #reboot with out us (climate change)

We don’t have to be slaves, we do have to create a new path, am suggesting the #4opens as a way of mediating the path we have to take. Trump etal is suggesting the #4closed I think 4 is a nice number anyone think of what the #4closed are?

Am I being flipernt, nop, am not. I am being seruase, the one thing Trump made obvues was that if you repeat something anufe it comes into existences – try thinking about the #4opens then repeating it a lot – its a bit like casting a spell – words have power.

If you wont to “take” the world the #4opens is a way to do it ethically and it has power to get round meany of the current #blocks

Rebooting the open web

Published Date 9/20/16 2:42 PM

The OMN is based on a simple understanding that the last 10 years have been wasted on #dotcoms and #encryptionists delusions. In this NGO’s, activists and at-geeks have wasted the open webs potential to shift society to a more humain path.  

To move beyond this decaying circle we need to #reboot the basic infrastructure that has been allowed to decay. Early “web02” was based on open features that crossed website boundary’s in a way unthinkable today. A partial list of has been complied here https://medium.com/@anildash/the-lost-infrastructure-of-social-media-d2b95662ccd3#.rcs7irbas

The OMN project can be built out to overlap many of the projects listed, at its core it is Aggregation, linking and metadata. Its one of the steps for #reboot

Publishing – we have no problem with this though technically (though phones are becoming more of a isolation issue) the are lots of existing CMS and tools outside the #dontcons that can be used, many of them are kinda 4opens though most miss the KISS part.

Search – this is lost and hard to regain but the is space for a clever use of “adblocking” browser plug-ins replacing adverts with OMN content while obscuring the data mining that the #dotcons are cash powered by.

Comments – this is a hard one to solve but the problem is meditated by linking back to the source of articles. To OMN this part could be done with a a few open standards – but pushing this out would be hard. A back burner issue.

Responses – can use the existing “open standards” maybe choosing a KISS implementation to #reboot

Likes/Favourites – we build a back end version of this as core to the OMN, how to front end this is a interesting avant-garde project that we should implement in different “standard” ways after OMN boot up.

Updates – is core to what the OMN is.

Identity – try #rebooting a KISS implementation of the existing open standards use this in the OMN roll out, use it, but don’t push it hard as its going to be hard to overcome the #dotcom on this one.

Friends list – half core to the OMN, can attempt to #reboot this as part of the RSS “object” aggregation your identity is a object to be aggregated.

Following – is a core part of the RSS OMN project.

Syndication – this is the core of the project using existing tools based on RSS

API – a #reboot of Atom pub is a likely useful part of the OMN for the synchronisation of content.

Metadata – in the OMN this is a KISS fockonermy that a more systematic labelling rules can be built on. A KISS roll-out of the semantic web is what the OMN is about. Creative commons will be at its core.

Discovery and tagging – is what the OMN is and it allows easy uptake by alt-media producers, who dues not wont there content to be seen by more people and traffic driven to there sites.

Analytics – can be built up as the project expands, the current #dotcon tools will work fine on roll-out as its just the open web.

Advertising – is up to the individual sites (with reference to the CC licensing of content) the tools of the OMN could be used to roll out a #4opens advertising network if some one was interested. The creative use of “adblockers” has a roll here?

Aggregation – is what is core to the OMN the back end of this is no more than a “small number” of people. The output is as wide as the openweb allows and can be feed as links into the #dotcom

Time shifting & reading – can be added to the OMN tools using basic user RSS lists.

The Lessons – “there’s (almost) nothing new under the sun.” this is at its core a #reboot of existing projects/standerds rolled out as KISS as possible with in the small existing network of alt/grassrots media. From there…