[iDC] Spammer de la Silicon Valley

Janet Hawtin lucychili at gmail.com
Sat Sep 1 13:45:24 UTC 2007

On 9/1/07, George Siemens <gsiemens at elearnspace.org> wrote:

> Our spaces have prices. Google understands that very well. They turned the
> internet from an information medium to an advertising medium by making ads
> less obtrusive, less distinct from content. Google's efforts in providing
> free tools and organizing the world's information stem from a desire to
> monetize conversations, experiences, and the information itself.

I think I see this a bit differently wrg to Google.
Our spaces and voices have business models operating around them.
Some are earning based on their infrastructure provision by doing
advertising or charging. Some are earning based on their reputation or
content and pay for infrastructure in money or other ways including

Some business models use restriction as a means of controlling
information or access to infrastructure. Broadcast models have
developed with copyright as a restriction model around which to focus
the $value of the information and infrastructure creating a single
point of value and a distributed cost to community.

The internet offers opportunities to generate information
collaboratively which is a poor fit for broadcast models/copyright.
Collaboration is a multipoint diffuse generation of value.
Participation is a kind of value in its own right. Restriction is
counter productive. There are still business models around these
distributed communities.

I think the business models around these collabortative spaces are
still formative and interesting in that respect. We are remembering
how to transact with each other without an industrial context. We are
finding new kinds of transactions which are related to the farsight
which internet offers.

Keen in content and in model is about restriction based broadcast
business of information. Hence the email advertisement. For me this is
not the conversation which unpacks the potential of collaborative
space. There are bound to be interesting aspects of different ways of
doing things which we can learn from but I think it is interesting
looking at the evolution and adaptions which are happening in
community spaces. This is a context where our choices shape things.

We are both the systems we choose to follow in service of a purpose or
project, and unique. The systems are more a kind of reciprocity or
etiquette around what makes healthy participative space.

Without the network our collaboration does not exist.
By all means find ways which are more distributed in order to do
hardware networking and search. We are part of a shift from industrial
systems/mavericks as a kind of yin/yang, to models where we choose our
own commitment to processes and our own unique contribution. In this
space the conspiracy of system against the individual is a
conversation which is less relevant than our ability to find value in
each other's ways of working. We have the choice to implement what we
will, to suggest what we will, and to try different ways of doing

Each of us is participating through the business model of our
infrastructure provider. Each of us has made choices about privacy,
purpose, etc in order to participate. For myself I see no purpose in
kicking a company for infrastructure provision. If the model is not
effective people will find ways to do things in other ways. That takes
work, it involves us finding our own models for doing things,
infrastructure and means of doing things. If people become concerned
that Google has too much gravity and that this is a risk for them or
that its signal to noise is a concern they will find or make the

For me there is more fun and function to be had in crafting practice
content (and infrastructure) which is a good fit for participative
community purposes.
Without fences the ways we respond to things which do not serve our
individual or collective interests shift and become more procedural.
There is less of a reliance on exclusion of 'other' and more of a
building of momentum and energy around what is 'core'. Perhaps free
spaces are likely to be more diverse in terms of the range of
responses and their immediate value than in a closed system. The
opportunity for diverse responses is a richness long term.

Or this is my hope. That enough of us become skilled in reciprocal
community practice that we can continue to make large important and
contentious projects free to edit and contribute without them becoming
flame wars or distorted or without resorting to fences.


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