Open letter to 4 alt/grasssroots media groups about the openweb
DRAFT (please comment)
Building up alt/grassroots media would be nice to get a reply :)
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.
Stalled roll out of OMN
How to move on with alt/grassroots media producers linking to each other? Currently the shamelessly do not do this, even though they have repeatedly stated they do over the last 5 years.
1) Keep private messaging them on steps they can take, this works to an extent, as 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 :)
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 action just words so far.
5) Name them as groups who do not link/share in public, this might be needed for some of the groups.
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 #fail a last stage.
Its a shame that this escalation is needed - linking is a clear path to success on the web – the right-wing blogs/producers do this, its a blank faced #fail that the left/progressive do not now and generally never have.
“Make the world you wont to see” LINKING is a strong path to this.
Looking for helpful/happy people to crowed source the active conversation to make this happen.
Lets start with these groups.
Grassroots media - Building affinity
In the last few posts I have looked at a failed organising strategy realmedia gathering, outlined a positive way out of this failer, the focused unconfrunce. But for wider understanding I think the content so far is lacking some background, lets look at an old post http://hamishcampbell.com/en/home/-/blogs/the-21st-centery here I outline how we ACTURLY organise alternatives rather than how we pretend/think/do, this is important for a good outcome.
Grassroots as it's very nature is small, we grow from this smallness like grass, savannah and wide plans, we have loots of entwined grass's making up the whole. From this distributed and federated ecosystem we compete with the monolithic traditional corporate media.
The link above highlights the ways we organise, only 3 have rarely good outcomes:
Open affinity group
Opaque affinity group
Invisible affinity group
The top is the best, the bottom for its limitations still works, the top is the hardiest to hold in place, the middle the longest lived, the bottom the easy fast/transitory root to social change.
With this understanding in mind, how are the all important affinity groups formed?
The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination http://www.labofii.net/ spend most of their time forming such groups
Good squats form them, most successful direct action grows them like weeds.
The can come from workshops like LOII which lead to direct action, or from repeated direct actions. They can come from long term working relationships, affinity springs from people interacting around and in places of action, try to do something together and you will know who you have affinity with.
How would we use this knowledge to kick start the (re)growth of alt-media?
* We don’t organises speaker events with top down platform speakers – this is deadening.
* We don’t organise passive workshops were knowledge is thought one to many.
You seed events, with questions and processes then grow DIY
What we do do is get people to do practical things together were ever possible, most useful outcome happen from chopping vegetables in the kitchen than at a big hall event.
We have go rounds at the beginning, middle and end of every workshop were feasible. This is to bring confidence, but most impotently to allow each other to hear each's voice/sense and sensibility repeatedly over the weekend.
The practical workshops are were the afererty is formed into connections then networks.
Cross fertilisation is needed for grassroots growth this like pixie dust can be liberally sprinkled by thouse who have an art (hart) for it over the weekend.
The weekend will plant seeds, some will grow some will fall on fallow ground, the ones that sprout should be watered with publiserty, conections and funding.
The event should be rinesed and repeted in different areas/diffrent groupings and lifestyes etc.
The whole organic network is then held together by a the 4 open on the web. Do not fall into the trap of failbook at this point.
This is the first time I have seen tredtional media talking about this http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/01/26/why-do-managers-hate-agile/
Real Media gathering, how not to re-boot grassroots media
Firstly I don’t have any ill will to the people I know organising this event and would love it to succeed in being a part of the kindling to (re)light the fire of alt-media.
But we have 3 main problem groupings/failures blocking grassroots media (culture) from re-booting
Lets look at how they manifest as negative (can do a positive post on this subject, just ask or look back on my blog)
They all manifest in the upcoming Real Media Gathering, lets use this as an example and look at each in turn.
NGO thinking is a malaise that is filling the vacuum left by the catastrophic failings of Alt-geeks and activist spiky/fluffy debate separation. What is NGO thinking? Well in short its the way you HAVE to think to have a continuing payied careerer in a NGO. It in body’s bureaucracy, (respecting) hierarchy, endemic narrow liberal thinking or at the most radical rigid utopian process – leading to deadening bureaucracy.
Geek culture is dealt with here
Activist culture at its worst is bound by life style, the things you do tobe an activist, that looking/sounding/acting like the change is more important than being the change. Some of the people involve understand this, they are just to lost to take a way out of this malaise. This can manifest as a diversion between spiky/ fluffy and a ritualistic on/off spiting contest between these two mindsets. Change is often lost in this.
How do these manifest in the upcoming real media gathering/movement.
The headline main day of the event is made-up of top-down speakers repeating all the things people already know. For a grassroots gathering this is clearly problematic, think about it for a minute ;) This is how a NGO would organise a “grassroots” event.
Geek culture, the is a tech project going on in parallel with the gathering – its happening in darkness with no knowledge, input or interest. The outcome is likely a black box designed by geeks, now we know for a fact that this NEVER ends well. This is how geek's like to work, just trust us.
Activist grassroots culture is high on the banner header image but no existence in the headline speakers and a shadow in the workshops. They do have a little documented day after for this. No sparks and no rocking the boat, this comes full cirecal to NGO thinking were we started.
The have been a serease of these “NGO” re-booting activism conferences and gatherings over the last few years. I helped to organise some of them for my sins.
Much of the content of the event is fine, the workshops have content, what it lacks is any spark to light the needed media fire. Rubbing the damp sticks of NGO together isn’t going to do it, we need to break out of this malaise, and it's easy to do.