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.
Human beings are by nature social creatures - we link
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.
OMN - dont be shy
The idea behind the OMN is that it #reboot 's the tools and structures to empower people to make a difference. If you are still crap and motivated to hang onto the driftwood of #treditionalmedia or the delusions of #fakenews then these #reboot 'ed tools will wither evern if we struggle for a year or two to get them into place.
Ie. Am asking for some commitment to build and use them. This will take a diversity of skills so everyone can play a role. Don't be shy.
Rebooting the open web
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...