[NetBehaviour] Solutionism Re: An interview with Geert Lovink

aharon aha at aharonic.net
Sat Oct 3 12:05:38 CEST 2015


Very interesting quick mapping of possibilities, Rob + Patrick - Cheers!

Had some failed attempts linked with mailinglist and web oriented self
hosted "solutions"..

* Bridge between a mailinglist where each post becomes a blog-post that is
in turn being published on a twitter-like platform (old identica, can be
done nowadays with gnu-social).
Problem was plurality of possible triggers - via email, blog, identica -
made it fun but hard for people to follow content.

* Bridge between drupal and mailinglist. That was done via mailinglist and
drupal signup page. So when people registered in either, they were
registering in both.
The idea was that in this case, people could post to either list and/or a
drupal forum. These were interchangeable. So posts, replies etc were
published on both and people could use which ever tool.
That didn't catch up much for a few bugs and more importantly, people seem
a bit confused by the multiple platforms. Hard to tell whether a bugless
system would have caught up.

* A meta messaging system "MEM" where users could direct messages between
tools. e.g. Say Blooby fancied email and sent stuff, Zlooby could receive
the message as a txt or a blog post, or whatever they fancied at that
People could alter message retrieval as they fancied.
People could send stuff as they fancied.
The system itself MEM was centralised, but people's tools were as they
might want. All that needed was api registration.

(For me the interesting bit was that each activity was to create a string
that could be expressed in audio and lighting intensity/colour
instructions. Hence the networking was evolving visceral materials..)

Anyhow, MEM's funding went boom..

* A different approach entirely is that which we took in the recent
A network for a very specific community, developed with the community
members in bucfp.org ) The development through workshops that teased out
requirementts, offered possible solutions and through usage feedback, we
opted for temporary solutions to begin with. The idea is that this will
assist in initial usage and as the system is used more, we could alter it
later. (perhaps even via more similar workshops if needed..)

Not sure this is applicable here, because there is much broader
However it might be an idea to use the need for a change as an opening to
try various solutions live with the people involved? A sort of
evolutionary approach?

Indeed, I wonder how a change in the system might actually occur? A
changing day?

Apologies for too many questions possibly.. Hopefully some are apt.

Probably the gist of this is that it seems altering the communication
system and platforms can be a tricky process and it would be a shame to
lose people as a result.

Cheers and a fab weekend!


Any thoughts re a diaspora node..?

On Sat, October 3, 2015 07:09, Patrick Lichty wrote:
> Rob,
> I think that as usual, you¹re brilliant.  The metric tracking idea seems
> OK, maybe, but might be a bit of a red herring.
> All:
> I think that Furtherfield is at a pivotal moment similar to the
> institutionalization moment of Rhizome, where it asked; ³How can we have
> maximum imapact/reach, etc?²
> I know I¹m conflating a LOT of terms here, but I think my core argument
> is sound.  I realize that the impetus here is to bring FF goodness to
> larger groups and spread light in the jungle of other art communities.
> However,
> a few things to consider.
> So, what happened?  In my conversation with the execs there over time,
> There was an admission that the lists were forumized to facilitate
> institutional discourse, and Michael Connor even admitted to not focusing
> on community, and with the cutbacks, I¹ll be curious to see what Zach
> does.
> Secondly, regarding bridge-building - this relates to serving inter
> community needs. An extreme example is my conversation with Cao Fei during
>  the building of RMB City in Second Life.  She had no idea of the
> necessity for community engagement before our conversation; she just
> assumed that people would know who she was and flock to the servers.  What
> she didn¹t realize was that Sl and the Artworld are totally different
> birds.
> Furherfield is in a much better position in that the ³new media² (sic)
> community, as shown in my (hopefully) upcoming late review of ISEA that the
> Contemporary and the Tech Media artworlds are less divergent than
> ever, probably (urrrŠ) thanks to the postinternets.  ISEA 2015 showed that
>  the art historical traditions are concurrent at this time, and piercing
> the membrane might be relatively easy.
> Back to Rhizome.
> I think that Rhizome¹s path was a Faustian bargain.  Its decentering from
>  the community model, IMO, is coming to roost as the institutions are
> giving it less resources (and isn¹t it even outside of the NuMu now?),
> and there isn¹t a community except for the young blue-chips to rely on.
> First, withFF¹s punk roots, I doubt that many of the pitfalls that beset
> R
> will hit FF.  And there is a valid question - how does FF continue to
> evolve without neglecting its core values? Good question.
> And I¹ll be selfish in that although I am not terribly active, the list
> is my main umbilical to the community at this time, and I want it to stay a
> list.  I¹mnot against outreaches, don¹t think that the list should just be
> a haven for hoary New Media artists, but on the other hand, I feel that
> the list has a good community that is pretty healthy.  I also think there
>  are good models like Nettime that are excellent cases to defend the
> form, andŠ
> For Powers¹ Sake, The Well???
> There¹s is a case for the power of Ur-Forums and their continued power.
> My buds Lebkowsky and Sterling rock the cybersphere every year from a
> anciently formatted mail thread there every year through The State of the
> World every year.
> I think FF has a precious resource in its list, and I¹m not in favor of
> much more than incremental change.  The axiom of that which evolves dies
> doesn¹t necessarily fit here, as it¹s a matter of community investiture
> rather than logistics.  Looking at the list institutionally rather than
> socially is a salient debate to have, and I don¹t want to lose the sense
> of community I have here.  This is one of the last informal venues I have
>  to just shoot the shit, as it were, and I think it¹s one of the few
> where you can in this format.
> My .02 AED...
> On 10/3/15, 9:01 AM, "Rob Myers" <rob at robmyers.org> wrote:
>> On 02/10/15 04:03 AM, ruth catlow wrote:
>>> Furtherfield HQ (first think Google and then try to imagine the
>>> opposite)
>> An open-ended and non-enclosed structure with no basketball courts or
>> free candy vending machines?
>>> Two issues
>>> 1) the cost and time associated with strategising, consulting,
>>> designing, planning and remunerating all involved, for their efforts
>>> while: future-proofing community infrastructure, caring for the
>>> archive/database. We have had some really very good and generous
>>> support from a number of people to help us understand what the process
>>> might be, but the work still needs doing...and all risks mitigated!
>>> 2) connected to the above - maintaining the connections we all have,
>>> while inviting in new and diverse (in age, background, device-loyalty,
>>>  ethnicity) people.
>> There are a few approaches, with different affordances and costs
>> (economic and political).
>> 1. Yay Walled Gardens!
>> Use Medium for publishing articles, hosted Discourse for mail/boards,
>> and Slack for co-ordination/chat.
>> Cost: 100USD/month plus your soul.
>> Demographic: Current.
>> 2. All Zuck All The Time
>> Use Facebook Notes for publishing articles, Facebook pages for
>> discussion, and Facebook messaging for co-ordination/chat.
>> Cost: Zero, plus the souls of all humanity.
>> Demographic: Previous.
>> 3. Current Free Software
>> Use Jekyll for publishing (mediated via GitLabs or at a pinch GitHub)
>> [TODO: comment system], self-hosted Discourse or Groupserver for
>> mail/boards, and an existing GNU social install or irc for co-ord/chat.
>> Cost: As much as hosting costs.
>> Demographic: current.
>> 4. Hosted Free Software
>> Use Wordpress for publishing, see if lurk.org will host Netbehaviour on
>>  their Groupserver install, and use an existing GNU social install or
>> irc for co-ord/chat.
>> Cost: As much as the services cost, look for donations.
>> Demographic: Almost current.
>> For any self-hosted or donated services, stick them behind Cloudflare.
>> Good for DDOS and ssl, bad for centralization.
>> Choice of platform is to a degree choice of audience, cultural context
>> and politics. Not in a technologically deterministic sense but in the
>> sense that different book publishers or record labels are. Change the
>> system, exploit the system, or buck the system?
>> - Rob.
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