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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Is the OMN tech complex?
There is a hard-to-understand idea that the technology behind the OMN (open media network) is complex. At a base level it is not, it's the same tech that has been written 1000s of times in the past and uses nearly 20 year old technology.
What is complex is the ideas and social understandings behind the ideas of using this “stupidly simple” technology in the OMN.
Firstly it's needed to understand that Alt-media and the open web in general is F**cked. Once past this point it becomes easer. Secondly a understanding of the forces that F**cked it are both on their side: the #dotcons, Facebook, uber, Amazon etc and on our-side, our encryptionist geeks, NGO social media gurus, process vampires etc.
We don’t currently have power to affect their side, so let's look at our side, in the sense of understanding the OMN. It's based on the 4 opens and none of our guys like this combination for different reasons. It's based on KISS - our geeks don’t like building on the old and our politicos are pushing the fashionista of the vapours avant-garde, so both reject the “old” foundation ideas/tech of the OMN.
The idea is very simple - that we get alt-media groups and sites to be part of a network so they become bigger than their parts. And a very basic issue is solved, they link to each other, which currently the isolated silos do not consistently do. The link is the currency of the web, in this we all become richer and have wider outreach on the “openweb”.
The “innovation” of the OMN is the use of RSS articles as a database exchange format. We thus create a redundant distributed network of databases holding and displaying (linking) to our collective history. Why RSS? Without it we have to get agreement and write custom code for every site that wants to join. With RSS, it's copy/paste and go on 98% of existing sites on the open web. The first is self limiting and impossible to grow, the second just works. There is no complexity at all at this basic level and no need for site agreements etc.
Trouble-shooting this rollout there are issues, but nothing that can't be solved by tweaking and bodging. The next stage is a little more complex, synchronising these databases and keeping articles up-to-date and exchanging tagged metadata so that the “curating of the flows works”. This will need thinking and programming for real, but nothing that throwing some bandwidth and processing power can't solve in an “inefficient way” - again KISS.
Build it first, scale it second. We are running this out in the small world of alt-media, so geeks keep it KISS. There is a philosophical and design issue that will cause bottlenecks, the CMS's we will be using are designed as portals/silos not data rivers/media flow sites. Some creative thought can help here. And there is the opening for innovation and new CMS's at a later time.
To conclude the blocks on building out the OMN are within our own geeks and politicos and have to be overcome. That is the tech is relatively easy, the social side is complex, Ideas for this? My idea is to form a wide;y skilled affinity group and go for it, lead by example. Other paths, ideas, welcome.
A presentation of the idea of the Open Media Network and where it currently is
A presentation of the idea of the Open Media Network and where it currently is
The OMN is owned by nobody and run by nobody. It is merely a set of "stupidly simple" open standards, open databases and working practices.
We are building some hubs to flesh the network out.
How can you get involved? What is there at the moment? Let's highlight some of the applications you can currently use:
http://link.openworlds.info is an open database of links to radical projects. These can be added as an embed on websites to create the interlinking that is so important to the open internet’s health. This will be federated.
http://news.openworlds.info is a newsflash service to widen our networks outside facebook. It is building into an open data and open access federated network. You can grab an embed for your site sidebar.
http://visionon.tv Auto updating quality controlled video embeds with playlists (eg http://globalviews.visionon.tv/embed), drawing from a huge database of radical video. This is a working federated network.
http://blog.openworlds.info This is the first stage of an open blogging network.
http://fund.openworlds.info Open funding network – is a place for media activists to get small amounts of cash for their projects and equipment.
All of these applications actively need development work.
Please have a look at these links for more information and background on the network.
Here's an entertaining piece of polemic on the problem we face.
Here is an outline of possible OMN solutions
Why ethical aggregation and conversation?
It's all based on an ongoing understanding of the political history of the internet
A bit of humour