Power Politics of the "undead left"
I have found memories of fighting the Power Politics of the "undead left" during the London Social Forum many years ago - lots of knotted strings of organic garlic around the top "taking the power table" to highlight the uncomfortable "undead left´s" grasping for power.
Then the ad hock crew taking away the top table altogether during the lunch break and arranging all the chairs in a circle. Their faces were a delight, coming back after lunch and it kinda/might have worked... but the splits of "not thought of here" took over and the undead were permissioned to take back the space at the next meeting.
The ESF movement faded and now is a shadow - no alt was built.
The use of cultural myths and traditions will mediate and disempower "power politics" but it's a chicken and an egg to get these embedded in groups that are already ensnared in "power politics".
The rainbow gatherings used to work this way till they were "disrupted" by the digital shift and capture by the #dotcons now the gatherings themselves are broken due in part by being organized through #failbook
The #OMN could fail from the same issue. The myths and traditions are in place PGA and #4opens. But the project does not have deep roots to weather the inrush of success. And on the other hand will likely not last the slow growth needed for the roots to dig deep.
Humm doing this expo project is unsettling.
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.
Foundations of alt/grassroots projects
All projects am working on at the moment are based on:
1. A very clear rejection of capitalism, imperialism and feudalism; all trade agreements, institutions and governments that promote destructive globalisation.
2. We reject all forms and systems of domination and discrimination including, but not limited to, patriarchy, racism and religious fundamentalism of all creeds.
We embrace the full dignity of all human beings.
3. A confrontational attitude, since we do not think that lobbying can have a major impact in such biased and undemocratic organisations, in which transnational capital is the only real policy-maker;
4. A call to direct action and civil disobedience, support for social movements' struggles, advocating forms of resistance which maximize respect for life and oppressed peoples' rights, as well as the construction of local alternatives to global capitalism.
5. An organisational philosophy based on decentralisation and autonomy.
1. Open data – is the basic part of the project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_data with out this open it cannot work.
2. Open source – as in “free software” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software this keeps development healthy by increasing interconnectedness and bringing in serendipity. The Open licences are the “lock” that keep the first two in place, what we have ain’t perfect but they expand the area of “trust” that the project needs to work, creative commons would be the start here.
3. Open “industrial” standards – this is a little understand but core open, its what the open internet and WWW are built from. Here is an outline https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard
4. Open process – this is the most “nebulous” part, examples of the work flow would be wikis and activity streams. The project is built on linking trust networks so open process is the “glue” that binds the links together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process
LINK for projects
Outline of the OMN
Comments please and could do with some help to turn it into a coherent doc for outreach.
Many people ask what is the Open Media Network (OMN)
For activists it might be useful to see it as a rebooting of a “indymedia” project from were it should have been 5 years ago when it died.
A #4opens bounded network motivated by the PGA hallmarks.
At a basic level, Publish once and your article appears in many places linking back to your site/blog.
Link to um (LINK)
Its Many websites and a few aggregaters sharing a common open “data soup” built with people to people (trust) based tagging.
From this human community/data network many “new” radical powerful things can grow.
Its builds KISS from the legacy web (RSS) and moves us into the per2per semantic web (GNU social)
Licensing – #4opens
What is ethical aggregation?
Its networking other peoples content in a respectful way to build a network wide anufe to start to compete with the failing #dotcons
* Sections/sidebars of OMN links should be prominently displayed on each members site, preferably on every page if small.
* There should be no no-follow tags on valid links to member sites.
* The content is read (by link) on the original host site, comments are made on the original host site.
* This behaviour can be different for apps were the full content could be read in app. This should be agreed by both partys (can have a opt out tag for this as with many other parts of the network)
* The original source (RSS feed site) is always shown under the content title as a live link
* (Optional) the tags should be visible under the full article
* For apps no adverts should be placed next to CC non commercial full content (with out agreement), fine to have ads on a page next to links.
* A OMN badge is (optional) next to the link section and/or on the site about page – this can LINK to the OMN aggregate that the site gets its data flow from OR to the OMN project site.
If you haven’t realized yet the aggregating hubs/nodes are the new “indymedia” sites
* These can be by subject, country, region or city etc.
* Much of the “centralizing” parts of the IMC network are no longer needed as this is inherently a “open” project, rather than a centralizing project. Sites that would like to see them selves as IMC can of course follow these “unneeded” parts if they desire – this will lead to a “natural” grouping of IMC focused sites with in the “open data soup”.
* Existing indymedia sites can continue “outside” the network as their content can be brought in via RSS if sites are interested in it. Just to repeat nobody has to do anything.
* Posting is generally via individual site/blogs, but can be through existent portal/silos like indymedia or existing group sites such as https://www.opendemocracy.net if users prefer to publish on them.
The function of “nodes” will organically grow
* Publishing sites are the source of content these will likely just input a RSS feed up to the next level.
* Aggregating site, these are subjects, locality etc they will take in feeds from publishing sites and output (trusted) quality feeds to the next level.
* News/link portals will be regional, national, big subject sites, these will mostly get their trusted feeds from aggregating (middle) sites and a few trusted publishing sites.
As you can see from this publishing is the hardiest job as you need to create the content, second is aggregation as the is much work quality controlling and adding semantic data (tags) to the flow of content.
The easeast to setup and run are the “top” sites to add value to these will be more of a challenge. One way could be to create articles of linking overviews covering stores from the flows – this content can of course be feed back into the lower sites.
Every thing links to everything else.
What do these “nodes” do to be part of the OMN?
* They host flows of content based on tags from other OMN sites on subject that interest them.
* This content is brought in vier RSS from external sites and by atompub from OMN sites.
* They can tag/retag this flow of objects to direct it to other nodes/site sidebars.
* Other sites can get taged based flows (with embed codes if needed) from there chosen “nodes”
* (Optionally) they can archive this content if they like.
This will seem stupid to many geeks, lets use simple text “twitter” tags to do the categorization of data objects in the OMN flow.
* @ before a tag means a person, that is, a RSS object with an enclosure that is a file contenting a open “contact” format file.
* # before tag is means a bookmark link to a site, the title will be the link.
(optional) Need a “symbol” for video, audio, photo etc.
These objects are tagged just like any other object and are stored/flow through the network just like text articles.
(optional) Can try having a different publish pages for each format that automatically add these tags?
It would be normal to create a new format to for each part of the OMN and geeks/fashernistas have done this over many times over the last 10 years.
Its KISS "stupid" for good, empowering, "normal" people to work on and create new products/services/connections in a "data common soup"
Geek talk - The future of OMN content flows
Move to mobile is key for real growth of atl/grassroots media. This is relatively easy as the will be a “open data pool” of semantically enriched content to dip into for quality new, video and audio content flow for building apps. But content is not king in this case, what has real power is the ability to publish direct from mobiles photos, video, audio and text direct to a node of the OMN (this could also be your source, blog/site/portal) in this we empower a move away from “journalism” on the #dotcons and back onto the “openweb”.
Get people (CMS's) to publish in "markup" (as well at html/corporate silos formats) so that content can be loaded/displayed natively on aggregating sites/apps in the formating of the aggregate site/app and display cross site comments – all from the original host. In this we are not only sharing links we are sharing content and discussion across the OMN.
There is nothing original in this all the #dotcons are doing this already and the are many open standards (mark-up being one) that allow this. The originality is in the “just doing it” and the KISS implementation of this push.
I don’t see this as radical, though I see the outcome as revolutionary.
The 4 opens
Open data – is the basic part of the project https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_data with out this open it cannot work.
Open source – as in “free software” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software this keeps development healthy by increasing interconnectedness and bringing in serendipity. The Open licences are the “lock” that keep the first two in place, what we have ain’t perfect but they expand the area of “trust” that the project needs to work, creative commons would be the start here.
Open “industrial” standards – this is a little understand but core open, its what the open internet and WWW are built from. Here is an outline https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard
Open process – this is the most “nebulous” part, examples of the work flow would be wikis and activity streams. The project is built on linking trust networks so open process is the “glue” that binds the links together. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Process
Open standards and the OMN
This list started out on the mastodon wiki. This code would be a good place to start for a full OMN nodeCMS.
Keep it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle in open space projects complexity and hierarchy are direct failures
The Witches Cauldron - open activist archive
The Witches Cauldron
The open activist archive is a data “commons” based on the #4opens and motivated by the #PGA hallmarks.
We are aiming to create a data soup of metadata enriched digital items hosted on redundant federated network of hosts/servers around the world. The project will start by hosting the majority of the content from the expo on http://archive.org
Anyone can be part of this federated network which will be built out using the tools of the Open Media Network #OMN and #KISS to facilitate DIY is at the core of the project. In this as a general statement we REJECT arrogant “expert’s” and “better” technological solutions that move us away from this core #KISS and #DIY ethos. Simple and human scale or we #FAIL should be in our minds as new people flock to the growing project.
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.
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
I think we are at a moment were the world is up for "grabs"
* 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
Draft funding app for OMN
needs more work, comment please
1) Tell us about the world as you see it.
The world is ruining headlong into out of control climate change. Our fragile society, just in time distribution etc. bodes not well for a humain outcome
Our political class is morally bankrupt and incapable of dealing with these crises.
As a person interested in technology and its impact on society, a hope of the early 21st century is/was the open internet, the transformation to peer to peer relationships. This has/is being enclosed by the #dotcon such as facebook, youtube, instagram, uber etc. Their silo'ed data and invisible algorithm controls what we know and do.
The 20th centery was a had a strong noble streek trying to make the human condition a better thing. In the 21st we have less idealisam and mouch more need for this.
The enclosed world reinforces the bad status que. The open world, while being two sided in outcome at least rebalances this.
Over my life I have seen real peer to peer groups that have sustained and renewed them selves for months, years, decades. We can and need to do better useing these examples.
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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.
2) What change do you want to make in the world?
I would like to play a role in seeding a diversity of functioning peer to peer alternatives as both a practical and a exemplar to inspire and inform a more positive sustainable world. Its too big a mission to save the world but planting and nurturing seeds is a start.
I have been working over the years to build and sustain alt/grassroots media in the UK and the wider world.
There is a wide spread feeling that the #dotcon are bad for us as individuals, making us sad and isolated, and the wider society. Its nearly mainstream that people want a way out.
Alt/grassroots media used to play a larger role in the world, now it is small and isolated over run by loons and conspiracy. I wont to work in a world I know very well to #reboot it as a working networked 4opens exemplar.
Alt media are a small exmaplr that did and can agen have a large impact.
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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
3) What do you believe has prevented this change to date?
Nothing am going to say is original, and little am proposing is original.
There is a long forgotten trail of siled/protel alternatives to the #dotcon and simuler failed alt/grasstroots media projects. I have lived through and been at the centres of this churning of siloed thinking. A number of recurring themes come to mind:
Basically alt/grassroot media projects are/have been isolated islands with limited sense of history and continuity. Alt/grassrots media does not link to each other in this they are stuck as late 20th century silos.
As an extra issue that am not going to address the are no/few business models to sustain projects based on the #4opens. I dont propse a sulution to this, but opening up a space will brining fresh minds to this isssue.
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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. Many alt media projects aspire to be #dotcon
4) What are you going to do to get there?
in the short term - Get list of existing grassroots/alt media sites to prominently link to each other on their front pages.
Longer term, building on this new found affinity and effectiveness build out KISS exemplary digital tools to peer to peer facilitate this first stage. LINK OMN
In this roll out #4opens will “inoculate” new generations to the endemic scourge of geek problem, fashernista thinking etc.
I know all the players in alt media space current and passed.
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is where ALL the value is on the open web. Without links content has NO VALUE.
5) What challenges or uncertainties do you expect to face?
Nobody will be interested in this because they do not understand openweb ideas, I don’t think this is a big hurdle just getting funding will likely be anufe to take a step over this, fashernistas love funding and "new" toys.
Old media thinking has been a block on opeweb tech for news for a long time, but this blocking is whering due to the fading of the strength of old media and the incrocing strength of the #dotcon
If they are they will say its been done before. The is a strong smell of defeat in much of the alt/grassroots – its all been a big fuckup for the last 10 years or so.
People just want to use corporate tools. It took them a long time to understand that this was a problem but they have a fear now of #dotcon
The #dotcon will push their own “solution” to the very problems they embody. In this we may not overcome the geek and fashionista problem. This is a hard one.
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A subculture that is wraparound right in many outcomes and helped to strangle the original successful alt/grassroots media projects.
6) What part does openness play in your idea?
it has been interesting to read your website :) a nice feeling to come out from the wilderness... as a sayed before the is nothing original in the basic tech that needs developing. It would be nice to get some funding that wasent pushing me into being a branded portal...
open source (free software)
open process (the hardiest one)
In a small seedling way, the wider, OMN plays a role in booting up a plot of KISS semantic web.
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A wider subculture that churns the growth of alt/grassroots so little can grow beyond seedlings.
need to outline the KISS OMN project think the is a link...
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The liberals that use bureaucratic funding to push out the geek and NGO agendas over alt/grassroots projects.
yes, but no if this is a problem (LOOK at small print)
other - we have a pot of match funding from the visionontv project that wants the OMN tech to roll out a alt/grassroots node (part of a wider network) CHECK SMALL PRINT
10) Who are your current or potential key partners?*
list of alt media groups, list of alt-tech orgs
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Is 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 A/B testing is a shadow of this.
not for profit
home rivers of European, have a base in London
life bout milda most work can be done online
update the CV
make a video
To escape our silo thinking
“A river that needs crossing political and tech culture - On the political side, the is arrogance and ignorance, on the Geek side the is naivety and over- complexity”
What am highlighting here, Geeks think this is to simple to think about, the politicos have no understanding of this. Both are happy with silos as it gives them “total control” of there tiny things. These isolated siloed islands are no match for the continents that the dotcons control. The issue here is that nobody cares for the big thing that all these tiny things grow from, this big thing “the open internet” is withered from neglect. The shrinking “open internet” is further perverted by political legislation and Dotcon grasping/enclosing it becomes a ghost of its old self.
Thinking to escape this sad and bad fate.
The web is made of links:
* Articles are just data objects
* Data flows
* Feeds are living links to move data object flows
* The link is were the value is (google learned this a long time ago)
* Synchronisation and redundancy of data is key to resilience and remembering the past links (value)
This is hard for the politicos to hear, but, content is just something to link to.
This simple thinking is held safe by the 4 opens.
The is a small resurgence of alt-media projects (such as LINKS ) but each of them is a silo and will likely flower and fade.
Some thoughts on the OMN idea
You would have to be very out of touch not to see that echo chambers are inherent to #failbook and historically less on #twitter though they have changed over to a algorithmic time line you have to opt out of. The OMN is only moderated by humans. It has a built in "market" that rewards trust thus actively builds out human networks. Groups that link will grow, thoughs who do not will slide back as others move forward.
Arrogance & Ignorance and how to get past this blocking is the issue. You don't overcome A&I that's not an option. But getting round it is well possible. The OMN is built on the human condition of trust and serendipity. Both hard human sells, but both the only values we have if your not up for shooting people dead to get your way.
Echo chamber is just a #fashernesta word for feeding prejudice in this it's the same as buying a tabloid in the old days or listing to R4 and only shouting at the radio when you disagree. The OMN opens - echo chamber closes. Of course we understand that "open" is not a solution, but it is better than closed...
Its easy to misses the point about "open data" you don't have any control of the machine network that the #dotcon work with. And if you understand the issues with geeks you will likely never have power over complex digital tools. The way out of this is in the #4opens this "forces" the geeks lose of the power they desire and need to be motivated. In this you have a riddle which is not solved by logic - maybe solved by emotion? The OMN cannot be built with logic, It might be able to be built by emotion. I think this is likely the root of many missing understandings? You can't stop the geeks/fashernista desire to fuckup but the is hope of mediating it with the #4opens that's about it.
The are issue's with algorithmic options in general “who guards the guardians” the #4opens are a safety feature that the #dotcon will remove. You would have to be very deluded to believe that #failbook works in a society sense no matter what individuals say, you should know this.
The Q. Is how to get a KISS project past alt apathy, geek complexity and fashernista... well just fashernista... #fashernesta = "stupid individualism" if your reading my older posts.
The data, it's a soup, the sites are just spoons that dip. You get to choose by linking were the value is. Every one can have a spoon if they like (but talent will out, some spoons will have more value than others) so it's #4opens to linking and content. A silo is a single site like #failbook and the sites listed in this post. On the web the value is in linking content is just something to link to.
Silos host/horde content, if they don't link they have limited value.
Open Media Network
The Open Media Network is a project to play a small role in revitalising the open web. It uses the tried and tested technology of RSS, taking it out of a basic personalised mash-up of feeds into an open metadata social network. Its initial focus will be around alternative media, enabling projects to grow and cross-fertilise independently of the social media corporate giants.
The #dotcom silos are completely dominant in terms of people's identity, for publishing and for networking etc. At social events you once gave your phone number, then your email address, and now you friend on facebook.
By contrast, the open web has plateaued or is already in decline, depending on your point of view. To fix the issues of why the open web is failing we first need to look at why it succeeded:
- KISS throughout
- no identity checking
- no security
The internet/web was a KISS trust-based network that took over the world we have been living in for the last 30 years, and it was no accident that identity checking and security were missing from the original internet/web.
To reboot the open web will take many overlapping streams of open projects. Here we are proposing a KISS project to that end.
Let's look at a small, once healthy stream. Alt/grassroots media used to play a large role in the world. Now all that remains is a few sprigs of green in a polluted/dry river bed. In its heyday the global #indymedia (link broken) network rivalled the BBC and CNN in its scope and coverage on the big days of action and international summits. Now all that is left are some strongly branded small projects (http://novaramedia.com), that grew from #dotcom social media and are only networked within them, and a handful of big legacy projects (http://www.democracynow.org).
The problem we face is a pre-web problem, that of silos. That is each project is a small pool in a empty/dry river and there are very few links or shared data from one to the other (link to 3 projects). The currency of the web is the "valid link"to build networks. Alt-media's growth is severely limited by this lack.
Open Media Network
The OMN is one project to fix this problem.
It is a project of the 4 opens. It is a human-based project at its core, as opposed to an algorithmic project.
Quite simply we want alt-media sites to link to each other and share content, to become a healthy network rather than isolated drying-out silos.
The outcomes needed for it to work are easy to achieve, and they have a large possibility to grow/empower projects as a network.
RSS aggregating news portals are not new, which is a major part of their strength for the realizing of the Open Medium Network. Taking this tried and tested tech into an open metadata social network is new. Another thing which will be new to some of the media side of the project is the 4 opens.
Each participant in the OMN will embed at least one news river in their sidebar.
The plan is to build synching aggregating portals / hubs (based on existing CMSs) that feed those sidebar rivers.
Human networking based on trust is key.
Aggregators choose to link RSS feeds into their hubs.
Users choose the tags for the link streams from the hubs into their side bars.
To facilitate trust, basic security is built in.
- flows can be on auto or moderation
- there would be a feed-based roll-back for when spam gets through the trust network.
User embeds, either native or JS, are boolean tag based and have metadata editing rights based on trust (hosting hub gives them this), with 3 levels: auto/moderation/rollback.
NOTES for Developers:
This project uses technology to build a human network. There's a sense in which the simplicity is as important as the code. The project can grow to work in many different ways but the base has to be KISS.
NOTES for journalists and media makers:
You retain complete control of what appears on your site. As the trust network builds, it will become higher quality and faster to administer.
From simple springs big rivers grow to feed the sea.
In my 30-year experience, I have seen too many alt-media projects grow, flower and fade away, without aggregating or archiving themselves into a state of permanence.
This project can play a crucial role in solving this, as hubs will not only be able to moderate the flows of news, they could achieve it, with no extra work, in a massively redundant distributed way.
It can also form the basis of identity. People are just a tagged data object that can be sorted into “flows”. This opens up social networking to creative thinking.
Sites link to each other both though trust, the human side, and through links, the machine side. Both are a good opportunity for the open web to compete with the closed silos.
The networks of hub sites become portals in their own right, driving traffic to the root news orgs/blogs that feed them.
The Open Media Network is a KISS hybrid client server/peer2peer project to play a small role in revitalising the open web. It uses the tried and tested technology of RSS. Its initial focus will be around alternative media, enabling projects to grow and cross-fertilise alongside the social media corporate giants.
For the full background to the project see this http://hamishcampbell.com/en/home/-/blogs/open-media-netwo-1?
Stage one (6-12 months) basic linking and embedding programming, basic beta roll-out – the outlandish funding.
Stage two (6-12 months) is synchronising and meta-data editing, then expanding roll-out.
When we have basic working code, set up a number of exemplar hubs to beta test the project in the real world and push out embeds to existing real world alt-media sites.
This project is largely social technology. The tech part is configuration and repurposing existing CMS's and their plug-in architectures.
Pre-programming - there is a need to look at the existing code/plug-in base and spec out a number of roots to working aggregating CMS to seed development.
List the parts that need scripting/programming/configuring.
Work out the basic meta-data format (RSS/atom)
Dave Winer's CMS
These no exclusivly act as “seeds” for the aggregating hubs. They already have some of the basic functionality needed. Take this list to open source programming projects such as LINK etc.
As an open project built peer2peer, the core is to get a lot of people at different levels of expertise working on each bit and run them all in parallel. There is no right answer and no signal point of use/failure.
visionOntv project can offer to match the funding coming from outlandish.
I take this comment from a famous programmer as a complement "feels dated in the language and tech" that’s the point ;)
Briefly describe what support in addition to funding you would require to make your project a reality. This could include people with other skills, or office or event space.
The funding is nice to keep focus, but the core help is the links and knowledge network that outlandish provides. The content and media side we can handel. The running of aggregation we have been doing for over 20 years, over many generations of failing alt-tech. At the moment we only have youtube play lists and embeds, this is a crap situation, not to say embarrassing state of alt-media.
The spring (OMN) - The river of news project
Am not going to say anything you probably do not know in this application so will keep it short.
The project has been inspired by the technical work and ideas of Dave Winer (http://scripting.com) and the practical media work and open web projects of Hamish Campbell (http://visionon.tv and http://hamishcampbell.com)
The aim of the project is to play a small part in overcoming the mind space gap that is highlighted on the side of my blog:
“A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, the is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side the is naivety and over- complexity”
Its a no-brainer to say that the open web is failing as more of our mind share is taken up by closed networks such as #failbook and propitiatory “eco systems” such as apple, google, Amazon, Microsoft etc.
If we are to play a meaningful role is saving the commons we all build on we need a raft of projects and more impotently basic infrastructure to help re-boot the open web to push these encloses back. We need to cross the river talked about above, this is much harder than it looks, if you haven’t tried it you probably wont appreciate the difficulty involved.
Rivers, streams and springs and useful metaphors for understanding how we look at “news”.
* The springs are our blogs, our company pages etc.
* The streams are aggregaters based on subjects, our twitter streams and #failbook walls badly for-fill this role
* The rivers are currently our old mainstream media and increasingly the enclosing areas of #failbook and #dotcons.
I have a open standards based project to play a role in building up “news” outside of the #silos and will still work inside the silos so the is little to lose.
What would an open media network (OMN) look like?
Lets do some grounded/blue sky thinking ;)
The internet has been (unbelievably) successful because its libertarian/anacist open/trust peer to peer network with very light centre and governances. How do we (re)build an grassroots-media to flourish in the 21st century remains of this open web?
What would an open media network (OMN) look like?
Ps. this actually already exists in part in the visionOntv project.
Peer to peer is the long term goal, but the whole internet is now largely based on client server and alt-geeks love control, so let's take a half first step from this spot.
We need to activate the already existing client/server federated scalable human aggregation content network.
* Based on RSS (98% implemented)
* Based on current CMS's (90% implemented)
* Second tier embed option for legacy sites (80% implemented)
* Constructed with the 4 opens.
1) Content producers are all the current sites – they have to put out a RSS feed of content (98% do all ready)
2) Second level - subject/region/ideology aggregation are run by small groups and individuals. These can be based on current CMS's with RSS aggregation modules (50% implemented)
3) Top site takes feeds from the subject aggregation. Same CMS as second sites.
Producers/subject (1,2) can take embeds for (3) etc. to help to bootstrap the network tech.
Thus the content is published at the bottom and make its way up to wide distribution on the top sites.
Important to realise that NOBODY is in control of the network and it is completely open to setting up nodes at different levels. It is governed by the 4 opens and a light bit of agreed "set-in-stone" process.
In this set-up we have a horizontal media where everyone is in charge of their publishing, and the different communities organically create their own content flow. Some sites will be highly linked and aggregated and some will be ignored, the whole network will organically split into streams and tributaries of data/content flows. These can and will become communities. If one fails it will be replaced organically with another, the best will rise and the worst will fall, they will criss-cross and settle into a multitude of flows.
The whole network will be based on duplicated synchronised meta-data – the source will reside at the publishing site. Davie Winar has done work on how this is achieved (we can implement some caching into the network to deal with scaling issues when needed).
SPAM is dealt with by trust, as each site makes a decision to trust the sites it links to, If you let spam into your network, people will drop YOU. A data roll-back can be implemented for removing SPAM flows that get though this trust network.
The friction (delay/server load) of the RSS object aggregation is actually a feature driving content consumption to close to the bottom. Each server can have traffic light flags for load, add too many feeds and it goes into the red, drop feeds and it goes orange to healthy green. This accelerates the diversity of aggregation sites – if you don’t wont to be an aggregate you just take embeds from a site you trust.
The top sites are easy to create but slower/hard to add value to, this drives the creation of second(2) sites to build out the wider network.
The successful top sites will grow to compete with the failing traditional media. The health of the network will be at the second level sites that feed the top sites. The content will come from the bottom, rejuvenating blogging and community websites. The closed dotcom's such as Facebook and Twitter lock them selves out of content production by not supporting RSS – they become declining dumb pipes for OMN distribution.
As the OMN takes off we can create peer to peer encrypted object flows to move this away from the client server paradigm to make the network more robust against disruption by states and corporations.
The outcome is a distributed data internet of flows. Like the internet itself, it will simply flow round damage/censorship and is open to all.
Hope you found this useful