Blog vs Board (re: Blogging Survey)

Posted by Jason Van Anden | Sun Jul 4th 2004 8:31 a.m.

I am a fairly new member to the Rhizome community. When I first discovered Rhizome, I was excited to find a forum of artists with common interests and concerns, and looked forward to the discussions that would take place, and that I could take place in. Since I joined a few months ago, there have only been a few sustained threads, while the archives are filled with lively and fascinating discussion. What happened?

The recent survey requesting community interest in a blog service via Rhizome has caused me to wonder if this is because of some trend; moving away from boards, and towards blogs. If so, I wonder what the ramifications of this may be. In some ways, blogs and boards are the similar, they both enable ongoing, two way communication. The clear difference is that a blog is run by it's moderator, which changes the dynamic, a lot.

If everyone runs their own blog, everyone is a moderator, and system becomes decentralized. This requires more effort by the blog owner and his/her audience. The person running the blog needs to keep things interesting enough to keep people visiting, the audience needs to keep track of many blogs instead of one.

At the time that I discovered Rhizome, I also discovered a lot of other on-line resources influenced by it. After doing an unscientific cost/benefits analysis, I decided that the service that Rhizome provides as a centralized and democratic community was the best one, and decided to become a member. Personally, this meant that I devote some of my time (and ego) for the greater good of the group, by posting my opinions and reactions to topics of interest, in one place.

I believe that a socialist-democracy (the ideal of Rhizome) is a much better way for this community to thrive than anarchy (fractured, poorly maintained blogs). In order for this to happen, I think that members need to deliberately devote their resources to the good of the board than their own blogs.

Given that we all have a finite amount of time to devote to our art, our day-jobs, and so on, I am interested in why members feel it is better to blog than to participate in a board.

Best Regards,
Jason Van Anden

Rachel Greene wrote:

>
> > From: Kevin McGarry <Kevin@rhizome.org>
> > Date: July 1, 2004 5:57:38 PM EDT
> > To: <netartnewslist@rhizome.org>
> > Subject: + + Rhizome.org blogging survey (please participate) + +
> >
> > Hello Net Art News Reader,
> >
> > We are conducting a simple, 4-question survey regarding blogs to
> > collect
> > data for a possible forthcoming addition to Rhizome.org. We value
> your
> > opinions about arts writing and your support for online
> publication,
> > so who
> > better to take our questions on blogging to but you?
> >
> > Please, if you have a moment, visit the URL below and complete the
> > survey -
> > it should only take about 10 seconds -
> >
> > http://rhizome.org/survey/
> >
> > Thanks and all the best from Rhizome.org Staff
> >
> > Kevin McGarry
> >
  • Lee Wells | Sun Jul 4th 2004 9:30 a.m.
    Survey Says, "EGO. was the number one reason for self-aggrandized blogging."

    On 7/4/04 10:31 AM, "Jason Van Anden" <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:

    > I am a fairly new member to the Rhizome community. When I first discovered
    > Rhizome, I was excited to find a forum of artists with common interests and
    > concerns, and looked forward to the discussions that would take place, and
    > that I could take place in. Since I joined a few months ago, there have only
    > been a few sustained threads, while the archives are filled with lively and
    > fascinating discussion. What happened?
    >
    > The recent survey requesting community interest in a blog service via Rhizome
    > has caused me to wonder if this is because of some trend; moving away from
    > boards, and towards blogs. If so, I wonder what the ramifications of this may
    > be. In some ways, blogs and boards are the similar, they both enable ongoing,
    > two way communication. The clear difference is that a blog is run by it's
    > moderator, which changes the dynamic, a lot.
    >
    > If everyone runs their own blog, everyone is a moderator, and system becomes
    > decentralized. This requires more effort by the blog owner and his/her
    > audience. The person running the blog needs to keep things interesting enough
    > to keep people visiting, the audience needs to keep track of many blogs
    > instead of one.
    >
    > At the time that I discovered Rhizome, I also discovered a lot of other
    > on-line resources influenced by it. After doing an unscientific cost/benefits
    > analysis, I decided that the service that Rhizome provides as a centralized
    > and democratic community was the best one, and decided to become a member.
    > Personally, this meant that I devote some of my time (and ego) for the greater
    > good of the group, by posting my opinions and reactions to topics of interest,
    > in one place.
    >
    > I believe that a socialist-democracy (the ideal of Rhizome) is a much better
    > way for this community to thrive than anarchy (fractured, poorly maintained
    > blogs). In order for this to happen, I think that members need to deliberately
    > devote their resources to the good of the board than their own blogs.
    >
    > Given that we all have a finite amount of time to devote to our art, our
    > day-jobs, and so on, I am interested in why members feel it is better to blog
    > than to participate in a board.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Jason Van Anden
    >
    >
    > Rachel Greene wrote:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>> From: Kevin McGarry <Kevin@rhizome.org>
    >>> Date: July 1, 2004 5:57:38 PM EDT
    >>> To: <netartnewslist@rhizome.org>
    >>> Subject: + + Rhizome.org blogging survey (please participate) + +
    >>>
    >>> Hello Net Art News Reader,
    >>>
    >>> We are conducting a simple, 4-question survey regarding blogs to
    >>> collect
    >>> data for a possible forthcoming addition to Rhizome.org. We value
    >> your
    >>> opinions about arts writing and your support for online
    >> publication,
    >>> so who
    >>> better to take our questions on blogging to but you?
    >>>
    >>> Please, if you have a moment, visit the URL below and complete the
    >>> survey -
    >>> it should only take about 10 seconds -
    >>>
    >>> http://rhizome.org/survey/
    >>>
    >>> Thanks and all the best from Rhizome.org Staff
    >>>
    >>> Kevin McGarry
    >>>
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Dyske Suematsu | Sun Jul 4th 2004 8:03 p.m.
    Every medium and context encourage their own unique behaviors. For instance, a friend of mine is a member of WeightWatchers.com, and she showed me what sort of discussions take place on their boards. I was quite surprised to see women behaving badly. On most discussion boards, women tend to behave more civilzed than men do. But, apparently, in a context where they know there are only women, they change their behaviors. (Or perhaps it is the topic of weight that encourages that sort of behavior; who knows.).

    Minor differences in user interface, system architecture, graphic design, theme, the personality of the organizers, etc. can influence the behaviors of the members significantly. I currently manage several discussion boards and I am always surprised by how differently people behave because of these subtle differences. By changing small aspects of them, you can encourage or discourage certain behaviors. For instance, making people register first before posting makes a big difference in terms of the quality of content; you get a lot less abusive posts. Being able to easily view all the posts made by a specific user, makes people think twice about saying anything too stupid. And so on...

    Blogs and discussion boards are quite different. For one, blogs, for the most part, are one-way communication. You have something you want to say, and you say it on your blog, not necessarily expecting that people would respond. Not all thoughts you want to write down are appropriate for discussion boards, even less so for discussion boards with specific subject matters, like Rhizome. So, I do not see blogs and boards as something you need to choose.

    As for the lack of interesting discussions on this list: There are things you can do to encourage interesting discussions too. I've always found Rhizome to be problematic when it comes to how it supports text. Thoughtful posts, like that of Curt you pointed out, get lost in a flood of other posts. It may get on the home page for a few weeks, but after that, it gets the same treatment as the other posts that contain frivolous remarks. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, there is no easy way to browse though quality content on the site. If there were a page with a list of substantial contributions, many more readers would be encouraged to read them, and that in turn would encourage writers to submit more substantial contents.

    When most people go to sites like nytimes.com, they do not exactly know what they want to read. They just know the quality and the reputation associated with New York Times. nytimes.com therefore needs to provide a way to let the readers easily scan through contents. If their home page looked like Google's home page, most people would simply go elsewhere. This is essentially the situation Rhizome has with respect to substantial contents contributed to RAW. It does not make sense especially because the majority of Rhizome's content is relatively timeless. (This particular post that I am writing now, for instance, should still be relevant to some readers a year from now.)

    So, given this design of the site, you as a writer know, consciously or subconsciously, that whatever you write will be for the consumption of the few who happen to catch it at the right time. This does not make you want to spend much time composing your thoughts. It makes more sense to use the list for something more casual (like short comments and remarks) or temporary (like announcements of current events).

    For these reasons, I believe that being frustrated with the way people are behaving or not behaving is a waste of time. Trying to discipline people by criticizing achieves very little. You need to provide an environment that makes them want to behave certain ways.

    Now, as an experiement, if you have read this post this far, I would like you to click on the link below which will count the number of people who actually read this. I'm curious how many people in general actually read posts on Rhizome. Many people open a web page or email, but not many, I suspect, actually read the content.

    http://www.dyske.com/visit.asp?p=1

    -Dyske
  • Jason Van Anden | Mon Jul 5th 2004 6:32 a.m.
    RSS feeds might solve the problem, (1: below) if everyone has their own blog. As Dyske points out (2:below), this is not trivial. To be worthy of community interest, it needs to be well maintained and promoted.

    If the community accepts that Rhizome Raw is like a community blog, the end result would be one rich site instead of many competing, poorly maintained and promoted sites.

    Dyske also point out (3: below) "As for the lack of interesting discussions on this list: There are things you can do to encourage interesting discussions too." I have tried to do this, and I suspect that it takes some practice. I have not enagaged in an online forum such as Rhizome before. Perhaps this is why I have such high expectations for it's potential.

    Jason Van Anden

    1 - Geert Deekers
    >Tracking decentralized posts outside of rhizome, but within the rhizome
    >community could be facilitated -- just thinking aloud here folks -- by
    >implementing rss feeds. Joining the rhizome community with your blog
    >would then be as easy as posting your rss address to some specialized
    >rhizome page. Or does this already exist?

    2 - Dyske Suematsu
    > Minor differences in user interface, system architecture, graphic
    > design, theme, the personality of the organizers, etc. can influence
    > the behaviors of the members significantly. I currently manage several
    > discussion boards and I am always surprised by how differently people
    > behave because of these subtle differences.

    3 - Dyske Suematsu
    >As for the lack of interesting discussions on this list: There are things you can do to >encourage interesting discussions too.
  • void void | Mon Jul 5th 2004 4:59 p.m.
    I agree
    with lee...
    the blog be,
    about ME!
    not WE!
    you see.

    all we need is a computer and a connection to think that what we think are thoughts worth thinking... or so we think... I think?

    note to self: include self in last remark!

    cheers!
    AE04
    anti-artist
    atomicelroy.com ( it's about me)
  • Rob Myers | Mon Jul 5th 2004 5:24 p.m.
    Blogs can be good. So can boards. But I check my email more regularly
    than I check Slashdot or Lambda The Ultimate.

    Making Rhizome Raw public would differ from a blogs or boards by -spam
    -trolls and... exactly how? :-)

    I'm happy to pay for write access to a Rhizome that everyobdy else has
    read access to. Lots of services work that way...

    - Rob.

    --

    "If record companies sold bottled water they'd demand that poison be
    added to your taps.
  • neil jenkins | Mon Jul 5th 2004 6:13 p.m.
    yep, can you imagine what a group rhizome blog would be like
    ..er.. it would probably be a bit like raw, but adding all of our
    personal blogged meanderings.. could be a bit of a swamp

    please delete this message once you've read it.. blogging is great - it
    keeps the data on the bloggers site, not in your inbox :) sorry to have
    wasted your bytes

    pull not push

    neil

    On 5 Jul 2004, at 23:59, atomic elroy wrote:

    > I agree
    > with lee...
    > the blog be,
    > about ME!
    > not WE!
    > you see.
    >
    >
    > all we need is a computer and a connection to think that what we think
    > are thoughts worth thinking... or so we think... I think?
    >
    > note to self: include self in last remark!
    >
    >
    >
    > cheers!
    > AE04
    > anti-artist
    > atomicelroy.com ( it's about me)
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Jul 6th 2004 5:29 a.m.
    The comments have been enlightening. To summarize, blogs serve different purposes not achieved by paritipating in a community message board: Ego (1 - Lee Wells) and protecting fellow message board participants from topics not necessarily appropriate for discussion (2 - Dyske Suematsu). Each raises an interesting question:

    1.) Eyeballs == Ego Fuel:
    Does the typical individual's blog draw more traffic than Rhizome?

    2.) Raw == 'Enter at Your Own Risk':
    Do the levels of Rhizome's board distillation
    (Raw as opposed to Digest, etc...) poorly protect the membership from inappropriate topics of discussion?

    Jason Van Anden
  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jul 6th 2004 8:03 a.m.
    Let me avoid a confusion, and use the word "list" or "email list" instead of
    "board", because the latter is a medium of its own (generally web-based).

    I don't see the "ego" argument in this context. Ego is certainly the motive
    for both an email list and a blog (and a board). I do not believe that a
    blog is fueled more by ego than a list is. In many ways, a list is more
    ego-fueled since it is a "push" medium. You are pushing your message to
    people who may not be interested in what you have to say. I find a blog to
    be less egotistical because only those who are actually interested in what
    you have to say would come visit. It is less intrusive and less
    presumptuous.

    On my last post, I provided a link for those who actually read my post. So
    far 13 people have read it. When you hear that Rhizome has 17,000 members,
    you might get an idea that at least hundreds of people would read your
    posts, but no matter how big the list is, those who are willing to be
    involved actively are always handful. In fact, there is a natural size of
    active participants towards which all lists tend to incline. If too many
    people start discussing, it becomes impossible to keep on top of it. Part of
    the nature of email list is that there is a point at which the number of
    posts per day becomes unacceptable for most people. Like population growth
    of a city; at some point it becomes uncomfortable and people start leaving.

    All these characteristics of email list encourage and discourage certain
    behaviors. Because of the way Rhizome is set up, I would imagine that my
    last post will not be read by too many more people even after a year. So,
    when you write something for this list, you want to keep in mind that what
    you are writing is going to be read by about a dozen people. This will
    certainly influence most people in terms of how much time and energy they
    would spend on writing something.

    This is not a bad thing. This encourages people to casually express their
    opinions. In fact, that is my impression of Rhizome; a casual place, not a
    serious one. For the same reason, it is a good place for announcements. 76%
    of the members being artists, if you post an announcement for a grant or a
    commission, I'm sure hundreds of people would actually read it.

    The bottom line is that Rhizome cannot be everything you want it to be. It
    is what it is. It is good for what it is good for. Beyond that, you either
    have to find some other websites/lists/boards, or start your own with
    specific designs that encourage desired behaviors.

    Best,
    Dyske
  • Francis Hwang | Tue Jul 6th 2004 8:33 a.m.
    I'm up to my eyeballs in this stuff these days. Here's my take on it:

    First of all, it's only 2004 and I'm already sick of the word "blog".
    Unfortunately, there aren't many words that serve its purpose well, so
    we're stuck with it for the time being. In the long view, the
    particular technology that gets used isn't as interesting as the
    technical philosophy behind how people communicate. The best phrase
    here is, to use the title of a book by David Weinberger, "Small Pieces
    Loosely Joined". The good things about blogs are:

    + Small Pieces: They are highly atomized, individualistic venues for
    self-expression, more so than on more centrally administered services
    like email lists or wikis.
    + Loosely Joined: They use standards-driven technologies to help
    readers aggregate them into meaningful, manageable chunks of
    information. If you have an RSS reader (you can download good, free RSS
    readers for every operating system under the sun), you can channel-surf
    20 blogs in the time it might take you to visually read 4 webpages.

    In a broad sense, the internet is now a big enough technology that the
    economics of such a case are compelling. You can no longer build one
    central community site that harnesses more energy than all those blogs
    out there. In the specific sense, this lines up well with the
    development of the field of new media arts. Once upon a time Rhizome
    was a gigantic fish in a teensy tiny pond; now we're a biggish fish in
    a much bigger pond. This is a much healthier situation, of course. It
    also means we might want to rethink how we relate to that pond.

    But, blogs are very different in tone from email lists, wikis,
    UltimateBBS, MOOs, etc., etc. They're much more public, and they
    drastically increase the "15 minutes of fame" factor of online life. It
    happens all the time that some no-name blogger comes up with some
    really great idea that gets passed around blogspace really quickly, and
    bang they have hundreds more readers and lots of emails and maybe
    comments. Having a blog increases the chances that some stranger will
    point to your work and say "This gal's a goddamn genius." It also
    increases the chances that they'll say "She's full of shit." Caveat
    author.

    So adding blogs to Rhizome would mostly be about offering options.
    Blogs won't replace email lists, just like television never replaced
    radio. But a proliferation of forms for online communication will mean
    that people will be free to discover which forms are better for which
    sorts of content.

    As to how quickly it would take if introduced here, it's hard to say.
    If you look at our space (tech/arts/culture), you see a lot of very
    smart people who don't write or read blogs, they prefer to hang out on
    mailing lists like Rhizome Raw or Nettime or thingist or Syndicate or
    what have you. I don't believe that's an accident, or simply a function
    of technophobia. People have their own preferences, and of course those
    preferences matter a great deal.

    Mostly, though, I think of this as a big experiment. Experiments are
    cool.

    F.

    On Jul 4, 2004, at 10:31 AM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > I am a fairly new member to the Rhizome community. When I first
    > discovered Rhizome, I was excited to find a forum of artists with
    > common interests and concerns, and looked forward to the discussions
    > that would take place, and that I could take place in. Since I joined
    > a few months ago, there have only been a few sustained threads, while
    > the archives are filled with lively and fascinating discussion. What
    > happened?
    >
    > The recent survey requesting community interest in a blog service via
    > Rhizome has caused me to wonder if this is because of some trend;
    > moving away from boards, and towards blogs. If so, I wonder what the
    > ramifications of this may be. In some ways, blogs and boards are the
    > similar, they both enable ongoing, two way communication. The clear
    > difference is that a blog is run by it's moderator, which changes the
    > dynamic, a lot.
    >
    > If everyone runs their own blog, everyone is a moderator, and system
    > becomes decentralized. This requires more effort by the blog owner and
    > his/her audience. The person running the blog needs to keep things
    > interesting enough to keep people visiting, the audience needs to keep
    > track of many blogs instead of one.
    >
    > At the time that I discovered Rhizome, I also discovered a lot of
    > other on-line resources influenced by it. After doing an unscientific
    > cost/benefits analysis, I decided that the service that Rhizome
    > provides as a centralized and democratic community was the best one,
    > and decided to become a member. Personally, this meant that I devote
    > some of my time (and ego) for the greater good of the group, by
    > posting my opinions and reactions to topics of interest, in one place.
    >
    > I believe that a socialist-democracy (the ideal of Rhizome) is a much
    > better way for this community to thrive than anarchy (fractured,
    > poorly maintained blogs). In order for this to happen, I think that
    > members need to deliberately devote their resources to the good of the
    > board than their own blogs.
    >
    > Given that we all have a finite amount of time to devote to our art,
    > our day-jobs, and so on, I am interested in why members feel it is
    > better to blog than to participate in a board.
    >
    > Best Regards,
    > Jason Van Anden
    >
  • curt cloninger | Tue Jul 6th 2004 9:48 a.m.
    Hi Jason,

    To quote Gene Eugene, "it is what it is what it is." I often use RAW as my blog because I'm just stupid enough not to care. The only thing keeping anybody from posting anything at all (other than the token $5) is fear of being ridiculed, or losing face, or losing a commission, or losing status in whatever micro-scene politics one happens to be tracking.

    I was searching through old email correspondences the other day, and I found this classic squelch from my dear friend Tim Whidden, november, 2001:

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    please curt, why don't you grind your little axe over something
    else, it's getting very old and very tired.

    you've proved you're naive understanding of contemporary art practice
    again and again on this list, this thread is only the most recent
    example.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    to which I replied:

    I love you (mostly since I discovered you used to copy heavy metal album covers).

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Ah, those were the days! But I digress. Unlike Thing/NetTime, RAW is totally self-policing (due to Mark Tribe's original fascination with Beuys' "social sculpture" notion), so sometimes it's boring as crap, sometimes it's lively, sometimes it's hijacked by poly-pseudonymous eastern european situationist rhetorical tar babies. Often it talks about itself and how it can become more interesting. People get fed up with it and stop posting, but they usually return (brad brace, eryk salvaggio), because you gotta be in it to win it.

    All that to say, you can't make a totally open forum any more open via protocol or legislation. If you want to use RAW as a blog, you don't need RSS tech implemented on the rhizome server. Just cut and paste each entry from your blog and email it to list@rihzome.org . ("Currently Listening To: Adam and the Ants. Current Mood: Feisty!")

    The achilles heel of rhizome is fear of critical discussion. [ cf: http://www.marumushi.com/apps/socialcircles/socialcircles.cfm?list=rhizome to visualize the lack of list interaction.] Between the academics and the relativists and the self-promoting artists, nobody dare say "sucks" without fear of receiving the scarlet letter ("S" for "sucks"). So we read each other's one-to-many announcements, and we occasionally make our own one-to-many announcements. And every now and then something like joywar or the CAE case gets everybody all stirred up (and understandably so). And then of course, the liberal majority always feels at liberty to perpetually slag all things un-liberal despite the fact that most of their screeds have nothing to do with new media art.

    I am always surprised at the number of people who email me offlist about discussions we are having onlist. Why don't they just post their comments to the list? But I hesitate to encourage lurkers to vocalize, the same way I hesitate to encouarage people to vote. If you're too apathetic to vote, why do I want you to vote? If you're too timid to post, why do I want you to post?

    peace,
    curt

    _
    _

    __

    Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > The comments have been enlightening. To summarize, blogs serve
    > different purposes not achieved by paritipating in a community message
    > board: Ego (1 - Lee Wells) and protecting fellow message board
    > participants from topics not necessarily appropriate for discussion (2
    > - Dyske Suematsu). Each raises an interesting question:
    >
    > 1.) Eyeballs == Ego Fuel:
    > Does the typical individual's blog draw more traffic than Rhizome?
    >
    > 2.) Raw == 'Enter at Your Own Risk':
    > Do the levels of Rhizome's board distillation
    > (Raw as opposed to Digest, etc...) poorly protect the membership from
    > inappropriate topics of discussion?
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Jul 6th 2004 10:19 a.m.
    I agree with Francis that 'experiments are cool'. But experiments should be recognized as just that; a trial (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=experiment).

    Questioning whether blogging strengthens or weakens an online community is my attempt to follow Dyske's suggestion '... start your own with specific designs that encourage desired behaviors.' without having to build it myself.

    Jason Van Anden
  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jul 6th 2004 11:52 a.m.
    Speaking of preferences. If I were in charge of the technology at Rhizome,
    my strategy would be this: I would try to define the objectives of Rhizome
    first, and then try to use technologies that best serve those objectives.
    What I end up choosing as my solutions may be nothing exciting, old
    technologies or something everyone uses.

    To define my objectives, I might ask questions like:

    Do I want to encourage thoughtful discussions that can be shared with a
    large audience?

    Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people can express their
    opinions freely whether they are intellectually or emotionally motivated?

    Would Rhizome members benefit more by encouraging intimate inter-member
    communication or one-to-many communication?

    Should Rhizome place its emphasis on supporting its own members or the
    general public who are interested in digital art?

    If one of the objectives is to raise awareness of digital art among the
    general public, what sort of content should Rhizome foster? How could we
    foster it? What would the general public want to see on Rhizome? How should
    the site be organized for that purpose?

    Should Rhizome be completely undiscriminating about what constitute good
    art, and collect everything and anything? (convenient for artists) Or should
    Rhizome use its own judgment and highlight works it deems as good art?
    (convenient for the audience)

    And so on...

    After answering these questions, I would find the best technologies for
    them, and implement them specifically for those objectives.

    I find that some technologists are too experimental without having specific
    visions and tangible goals. They experiment, and they describe the results
    of those experiments: How certain technologies ended up being used. What
    sort of social implications they have. What it is good for. How it changed
    people's lives. Etc.. That is, always after the fact. Their thinking is not:
    "We want to achieve this; so let's use this technology this way." Instead,
    they think: "Let's try this new technology and see what happens." Thus
    technologies get used for their own sake.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that this is what Francis does. I'm aware
    that he is concerned about some of the questions I raised above. I'm
    illustrating the two extremes in how technologists think. Everyone falls
    somewhere in between.

    In fact, someone does need to experiment with new technologies, for the rest
    of us to be able to use them appropriately. The question as a director of IT
    is: Is my role to explore the possibilities of new technologies, or to use
    them to serve a certain purpose? I find that many directors of IT end up
    doing the former because it is more exciting, better for their careers, and
    offers more recognition for their achievements. It is rare to see IT
    directors who put objectives before the allure of new technologies. I've
    personally witnessed millions of dollars go down the toilet because of these
    tendencies of IT directors.

    Again, I do not want to sound like I am criticizing Francis personally. This
    is simply my own personal philosophy of managing IT.

    -Dyske
  • Jeremy Zilar | Tue Jul 6th 2004 12:50 p.m.
    Dyske, I like your questions. I was thinking along similar lines today.

    I wanted to ask the community:
    "What is Rhizome? Can you describe it?"

    and as Dyske says, "What sort of content should Rhizome foster?"

    I think that with the open discussion of what it is, we will come to
    understand the direction it should take, through a natural process.
    Help me dream up ideas and possibilities! I am looking forward to an
    engaging discussion.

    -jeremy

    *****
    http://silencematters.com/shhhh/shhhh.html
    *****

    Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    >Speaking of preferences. If I were in charge of the technology at Rhizome,
    >my strategy would be this: I would try to define the objectives of Rhizome
    >first, and then try to use technologies that best serve those objectives.
    >What I end up choosing as my solutions may be nothing exciting, old
    >technologies or something everyone uses.
    >
    >To define my objectives, I might ask questions like:
    >
    >Do I want to encourage thoughtful discussions that can be shared with a
    >large audience?
    >
    >Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people can express their
    >opinions freely whether they are intellectually or emotionally motivated?
    >
    >Would Rhizome members benefit more by encouraging intimate inter-member
    >communication or one-to-many communication?
    >
    >Should Rhizome place its emphasis on supporting its own members or the
    >general public who are interested in digital art?
    >
    >If one of the objectives is to raise awareness of digital art among the
    >general public, what sort of content should Rhizome foster? How could we
    >foster it? What would the general public want to see on Rhizome? How should
    >the site be organized for that purpose?
    >
    >Should Rhizome be completely undiscriminating about what constitute good
    >art, and collect everything and anything? (convenient for artists) Or should
    >Rhizome use its own judgment and highlight works it deems as good art?
    >(convenient for the audience)
    >
    >And so on...
    >
    >After answering these questions, I would find the best technologies for
    >them, and implement them specifically for those objectives.
    >
    >I find that some technologists are too experimental without having specific
    >visions and tangible goals. They experiment, and they describe the results
    >of those experiments: How certain technologies ended up being used. What
    >sort of social implications they have. What it is good for. How it changed
    >people's lives. Etc.. That is, always after the fact. Their thinking is not:
    >"We want to achieve this; so let's use this technology this way." Instead,
    >they think: "Let's try this new technology and see what happens." Thus
    >technologies get used for their own sake.
    >
    >Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that this is what Francis does. I'm aware
    >that he is concerned about some of the questions I raised above. I'm
    >illustrating the two extremes in how technologists think. Everyone falls
    >somewhere in between.
    >
    >In fact, someone does need to experiment with new technologies, for the rest
    >of us to be able to use them appropriately. The question as a director of IT
    >is: Is my role to explore the possibilities of new technologies, or to use
    >them to serve a certain purpose? I find that many directors of IT end up
    >doing the former because it is more exciting, better for their careers, and
    >offers more recognition for their achievements. It is rare to see IT
    >directors who put objectives before the allure of new technologies. I've
    >personally witnessed millions of dollars go down the toilet because of these
    >tendencies of IT directors.
    >
    >Again, I do not want to sound like I am criticizing Francis personally. This
    >is simply my own personal philosophy of managing IT.
    >
    >-Dyske
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >
  • Francis Hwang | Tue Jul 6th 2004 1 p.m.
    Interesting points, Dyske. One of the broad questions in my mind was
    hinted at in my earlier post: In the face of an increasingly growing
    internet, and a much bigger new media arts world, how do you a) engage
    the parts of it that are interesting to you and b) foster some sort of
    sense of relationships and even (cough) community?

    So that's a goal of mine, though it's perhaps less concrete than the
    goals you offered. Blogs to me make sense because an increasing amount
    of discussion in our field lives outside the Rhizome walls. There are a
    lot of small reasons for it (and, yes, the membership policy is one of
    those) but the big reason is this: The internet ain't what it used to
    be. There are lots of people who want to maintain their own little
    atomic sites somewhere else besides on some mega-community site like
    Rhizome ... I think it would be cool to find ways to include them in
    the conversation, too.

    It's possible that doing so will bring more non-artsy people into the
    new media field. (Certain new-media-ish projects, like Dodgeball.com or
    Pac Manhattan, already get significant traction in the non-artsy
    memespace.) That would be sweet. It's also possible that a Rhizome bl*g
    product would make more artist/curator/critics into bl*ggers, upping
    the arts volume online overall. That would also be sweet.

    But I'm not even thinking that specifically. Mostly, I'm thinking about
    harnessing energy--by which I mean the desires and enthusiasm of other
    people. People want to talk to other people, and online communications
    works best when it complements that innate desire. Who do you want to
    talk to? What rhythm should the conversation have? What do you want to
    talk about? How can a site like Rhizome help you find those people and
    conversations? Maybe blogging will help. If it doesn't, I suppose
    people will just stop using it, and then we'll have to try something
    else.

    Francis

    On Jul 6, 2004, at 1:53 PM, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    > Speaking of preferences. If I were in charge of the technology at
    > Rhizome,
    > my strategy would be this: I would try to define the objectives of
    > Rhizome
    > first, and then try to use technologies that best serve those
    > objectives.
    > What I end up choosing as my solutions may be nothing exciting, old
    > technologies or something everyone uses.
    >
    > To define my objectives, I might ask questions like:
    >
    > Do I want to encourage thoughtful discussions that can be shared with a
    > large audience?
    >
    > Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people can express their
    > opinions freely whether they are intellectually or emotionally
    > motivated?
    >
    > Would Rhizome members benefit more by encouraging intimate inter-member
    > communication or one-to-many communication?
    >
    > Should Rhizome place its emphasis on supporting its own members or the
    > general public who are interested in digital art?
    >
    > If one of the objectives is to raise awareness of digital art among the
    > general public, what sort of content should Rhizome foster? How could
    > we
    > foster it? What would the general public want to see on Rhizome? How
    > should
    > the site be organized for that purpose?
    >
    > Should Rhizome be completely undiscriminating about what constitute
    > good
    > art, and collect everything and anything? (convenient for artists) Or
    > should
    > Rhizome use its own judgment and highlight works it deems as good art?
    > (convenient for the audience)
    >
    > And so on...
    >
    > After answering these questions, I would find the best technologies for
    > them, and implement them specifically for those objectives.
    >
    > I find that some technologists are too experimental without having
    > specific
    > visions and tangible goals. They experiment, and they describe the
    > results
    > of those experiments: How certain technologies ended up being used.
    > What
    > sort of social implications they have. What it is good for. How it
    > changed
    > people's lives. Etc.. That is, always after the fact. Their thinking
    > is not:
    > "We want to achieve this; so let's use this technology this way."
    > Instead,
    > they think: "Let's try this new technology and see what happens." Thus
    > technologies get used for their own sake.
    >
    > Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that this is what Francis does. I'm
    > aware
    > that he is concerned about some of the questions I raised above. I'm
    > illustrating the two extremes in how technologists think. Everyone
    > falls
    > somewhere in between.
    >
    > In fact, someone does need to experiment with new technologies, for
    > the rest
    > of us to be able to use them appropriately. The question as a director
    > of IT
    > is: Is my role to explore the possibilities of new technologies, or to
    > use
    > them to serve a certain purpose? I find that many directors of IT end
    > up
    > doing the former because it is more exciting, better for their
    > careers, and
    > offers more recognition for their achievements. It is rare to see IT
    > directors who put objectives before the allure of new technologies.
    > I've
    > personally witnessed millions of dollars go down the toilet because of
    > these
    > tendencies of IT directors.
    >
    > Again, I do not want to sound like I am criticizing Francis
    > personally. This
    > is simply my own personal philosophy of managing IT.
    >
    > -Dyske
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Bob Wyman | Tue Jul 6th 2004 1:30 p.m.
    Francis Hwang wrote:
    > If you have an RSS reader (you can download good, free RSS
    > readers for every operating system under the sun), you can
    > channel-surf 20 blogs in the time it might take you to
    > visually read 4 webpages.
    Warning: Crass plug follows:
    Francis, if you have an RSS news aggregator AND you have a few
    subscriptions (free) at PubSub.com, you can channel-surf over 2 million
    blogs and over 50,000 newsgroups simultaneously!!!
    What you do is create a subscription that specifies a search-query
    that we'll then match against every new blog entry as we discover
    it.(several million each day) Once something matches, we'll insert it into a
    personalized RSS file for you. This is like what you do with traditional
    "retrospective" search engines like Google, etc. except that we're
    "prospective" in that we search the future, not the past.

    bob wyman
  • MTAA | Tue Jul 6th 2004 3:29 p.m.
    Dyske's comments are right on the money IMO.

    On Jul 6, 2004, at 10:05 AM, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    > Let me avoid a confusion, and use the word "list" or "email list"
    > instead of
    > "board", because the latter is a medium of its own (generally
    > web-based).
    >
    > I don't see the "ego" argument in this context. Ego is certainly the
    > motive
    > for both an email list and a blog (and a board). I do not believe that
    > a
    > blog is fueled more by ego than a list is. In many ways, a list is more
    > ego-fueled since it is a "push" medium. You are pushing your message to
    > people who may not be interested in what you have to say. I find a
    > blog to
    > be less egotistical because only those who are actually interested in
    > what
    > you have to say would come visit. It is less intrusive and less
    > presumptuous.

    we're talking about artists here, right? Isn't ego the basis of all
    their actions ;-)

    My thoughts regarding 'art blogging' are here:

    http://www.mteww.com/mtaaRR/news/twhid/art\_blogs.html

    I'll pull one quote:

    Since it's very easy to update the site I just post things there all
    the time that I might email to either my collaborator M.River or post
    to a discussion list like Rhizome. I was very active on the Rhizome
    list for many years but I like the blog better. Discussions started on
    the blog are less likely to devolve into flame wars and it's less
    aggressive. If people want to read my opinions and thoughts the site is
    passively waiting for them to visit, my ideas don't wind up in people's
    in-boxes. Plus, after Rhizome switched to a fee-based membership I
    decided that any extended writings of mine needed to be freely
    accessible via the Internet.

    >
    > On my last post, I provided a link for those who actually read my
    > post. So
    > far 13 people have read it.

    I'm still superuser (for now) maybe I should post it to RARE?

    > <snip>
    >
    > Best,
    > Dyske

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Dyske Suematsu | Tue Jul 6th 2004 4:14 p.m.
    > I'm still superuser (for now) maybe I should post it to RARE?

    No, you shouldn't. It's a test to see how many people would read an ordinary
    post.

    Best,
    Dyske
  • neil jenkins | Tue Jul 6th 2004 5:14 p.m.
    >chuckle< blog it instead

    On 6 Jul 2004, at 23:15, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    >> I'm still superuser (for now) maybe I should post it to RARE?
    >
    > No, you shouldn't. It's a test to see how many people would read an
    > ordinary
    > post.
    >
    > Best,
    > Dyske
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Jul 6th 2004 7:23 p.m.
    I think all of Dyske's questions are spot-on and super thoughtful (as usual).

    I feel the most important one is:

    >Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people can express their
    >opinions freely whether they are intellectually or emotionally motivated? - Dyske Suematsu

    I would like Rhizome to be a lively and respectful forum for new media artists to share their intellectually or emotionally motivated musings about the state of the art. I think the current structure is a really good one, it's just not as lively and respectful as it could be.

    Curt Cloninger expressed that "The achilles heel of rhizome is fear of critical discussion."
    I wonder if more energy could be harnessed if the members felt safer about participating. I share Curt's concerns. I am guilty of second and third guessing myself about what to say for fear of being horribly misunderstood by who knows and at what costs?

    I believe that if the environment felt more safe, the content on Rhizome might have a better chance of flourishing without having to touch the technology. The current structure would suggest that this is up to the membership. Rules of Engagement? A Constitution?

    Jason Van Anden
  • curt cloninger | Tue Jul 6th 2004 9:59 p.m.
    Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > I believe that if the environment felt more safe, the content on
    > Rhizome might have a better chance of flourishing without having to
    > touch the technology. The current structure would suggest that this
    > is up to the membership. Rules of Engagement? A Constitution?

    I don't think so. The lack of any democratically sanctioned world view is the whole fun and challenge of rhizome. How can I carry on a logical conversation with someone who doesn't believe in aristotelian logic? How can I carry on a conversation about aesthetics with someone who doesn't beleive in aesthetics? In some extreme situations, how can I carry on a meaningful conversation with someone who doesn't believe meaningful conversations are possible or even desirable? Thus the boundries of the community are hammered out rhetorically, post after post.

    http://rhizome.org/info/index.php
    "we're tired of trees" is the mantra. did it happen? no. http://rhizome.org/baseims/navbar_subtitle.gif you can't have a rhizome "at" anywhere. "AT the new museum" is more than just semantics. it's proof that a pure rhizomatic social experience is not immune to other overarching control structures. but an agreed upon constitution isn't going to make it any more rhizomatic.

    So what do I want out of rhizome? When I first came to rhizome, I wanted to discover a like-minded community of creative folks who wanted to talk about art. I never quite discovered that (except for a handful of kindred spirits). What I did discover was different, but in some ways even more beneficial to me (although it took me a while to appreciate it).

    "Don't rock, wobble."
    - the bubblemen

    working from one end to the other / and all points in between,
    curt

    _
  • Michael Szpakowski | Wed Jul 7th 2004 4:22 a.m.
    < I am guilty of second and third
    guessing myself about what to say for fear of being
    horribly misunderstood by who knows and at what
    costs?>
    I still shudder when I think about my first post to
    Rhizome -it had lots of horrible manifesto like
    feeling and a fair degree of "LOOK AT ME!" to it.
    ..and its probably out there and accessible..arrgh!
    However since I decided to participate rather than
    shout ( I hope!) I have found the list to have the
    wonderful spin off of making me think through my ideas
    in a systematic way and attempting to argue them
    clearly. For me this has been of enormous personal
    benefit.
    I've also met some very interesting folk and discoverd
    a lot of things I didn't previously know.
    Furthermore I've come to respect a number of people
    whose views I largely reject and therefore at least
    carefully consider what they have to say, and, on
    occasion, I've had my mind changed.
    For me participation in the list has been literally a
    life changing activity but I do think a certain
    investment of time and energy is needed for
    participation to bear fruit.
    Also ..to be brutal about it.. if someone has
    something to say.. eventually they'll find the courage
    and foolishness to say it...this *is* a discussion
    list for grown ups and not a kindergarten.
    As for blogs ...well..fine.. let a hundred flowers
    bloom... but the glorious elegance and simplicity of
    the list form, with its slow burn and its cumulative
    impact, makes it unbeatable for me.
    best
    michael

    --- Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    > I think all of Dyske's questions are spot-on and
    > super thoughtful (as usual).
    >
    > I feel the most important one is:
    >
    > >Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people
    > can express their
    > >opinions freely whether they are intellectually or
    > emotionally motivated? - Dyske Suematsu
    >
    > I would like Rhizome to be a lively and respectful
    > forum for new media artists to share their
    > intellectually or emotionally motivated musings
    > about the state of the art. I think the current
    > structure is a really good one, it's just not as
    > lively and respectful as it could be.
    >
    > Curt Cloninger expressed that "The achilles heel of
    > rhizome is fear of critical discussion."
    > I wonder if more energy could be harnessed if the
    > members felt safer about participating. I share
    > Curt's concerns. I am guilty of second and third
    > guessing myself about what to say for fear of being
    > horribly misunderstood by who knows and at what
    > costs?
    >
    > I believe that if the environment felt more safe,
    > the content on Rhizome might have a better chance of
    > flourishing without having to touch the technology.
    > The current structure would suggest that this is up
    > to the membership. Rules of Engagement? A
    > Constitution?
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
    > http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is
    > open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set
    > out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at
    > http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >

    =====
    *** You are asked for a jusqu'a car-portrait 'imagining ourselves' contribution.
    http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/self_portraits/contribute.html
    It black and an empty image must be qu'avec null, he n'est become the methods and material digitali/fotografici, (acceptable = ink, matita, coal, varnish; acceptable not = computer the photography &c)
    http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/self_portraits/index.html ***

    __________________________________
    Do you Yahoo!?
    New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
    http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
  • mez breeze | Wed Jul 7th 2004 5:30 a.m.
    At 04:33 AM 7/07/2004, you wrote:
    >Interesting points, Dyske. One of the broad questions in my mind was
    >hinted at in my earlier post: In the face of an increasingly growing
    >internet, and a much bigger new media arts world, how do you a) engage the
    >parts of it that are interesting to you and b) foster some sort of sense
    >of relationships and even (cough) community?

    .... when we r confronted with the _domestic_rigmarole of the net & the
    [its] x.tensions [s.pecially those that x.hibit characteristics that
    follow acceptable, regurgative modes of discourse] its tempting 2 slip
    in2|against these x.tensions, especially as they b.come de rigueur,
    shifting in2 the spotlite of contemporary text[ures]....

    ......1 way 2 n.courage this is assume lurker status periodically....normal
    ebbs N shifts occur here like everywhere, according 2 warps + wefts not
    blanket-obserable|perceivable.....

    ....those more akin with hardening them.selves with[in] coded|acceptable
    communication paradigms can perceive this lack of response as somehow
    damning, or indicative of a lack of overt engagement, rather than
    indicating other ][w][e][bs][dges of the net.work, the discursive shadowing
    in communica][do][tion, the patternings of data marrow of a sort that
    creeps out from under the hoopla & labels.....part of this is 2 accept the
    lull as a normative x.pression....silence as more than an indicator of
    non-partic[le]ipation.....

    perhaps this is my own bug-bear, but x.traction & x.pression still seem
    viable, even .here...............

    chunks,
    mez

    .(c)[lick].
    -
    -

    http://www.hotkey.net.au/~netwurker
    http://www.livejournal.com/users/netwurker/
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Jul 7th 2004 6:03 a.m.
    Has my original post been preempted?

    Dyske's well written thread (3 of 22) sets up an experiment to examine how invested the community is in actually reading each other's posts. The impetus for this was an actual conversation he and I and t.whid had in real life. I like Dyske's method. It's a very clever way to measure the participation of the membership.

    My original post (1 of 22) takes this ambivalence as fact, and questions whether the trend towards blogs dilutes a board like Raw. I feel that the thread was going in a really productive direction. I am concerned that focusing on how ambivalent and detached the memebership may be, doesn't address what can be done about it.

    If members felt more secure participating in this board, I feel that a lot more would decide to participate as a community, rather than opting to secede into their own blogs. This has less to do with how new technology can accomodate this activity, but rather how this already huge community could be motivated to become more invested.

    Jason Van Anden
  • Matthew Mascotte | Wed Jul 7th 2004 7:08 a.m.
    Michael. yes. me too. have found much
    and learned a bit more here. like the "slow
    burn" of this list as well. makes me consider
    my words...and i look forward each day to
    watching the flow which like most things runs
    rich sometimes and thin other times but there
    in lies its beauty.

    matthew

    On Wednesday, July 07, 2004, at 06:57AM, Michael Szpakowski <szpako@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > < I am guilty of second and third
    > guessing myself about what to say for fear of being
    > horribly misunderstood by who knows and at what
    > costs?>
    >I still shudder when I think about my first post to
    >Rhizome -it had lots of horrible manifesto like
    >feeling and a fair degree of "LOOK AT ME!" to it.
    >..and its probably out there and accessible..arrgh!
    >However since I decided to participate rather than
    >shout ( I hope!) I have found the list to have the
    >wonderful spin off of making me think through my ideas
    >in a systematic way and attempting to argue them
    >clearly. For me this has been of enormous personal
    >benefit.
    >I've also met some very interesting folk and discoverd
    >a lot of things I didn't previously know.
    >Furthermore I've come to respect a number of people
    >whose views I largely reject and therefore at least
    >carefully consider what they have to say, and, on
    >occasion, I've had my mind changed.
    >For me participation in the list has been literally a
    >life changing activity but I do think a certain
    >investment of time and energy is needed for
    >participation to bear fruit.
    >Also ..to be brutal about it.. if someone has
    >something to say.. eventually they'll find the courage
    >and foolishness to say it...this *is* a discussion
    >list for grown ups and not a kindergarten.
    >As for blogs ...well..fine.. let a hundred flowers
    >bloom... but the glorious elegance and simplicity of
    >the list form, with its slow burn and its cumulative
    >impact, makes it unbeatable for me.
    >best
    >michael
    >
    >
    >--- Jason Van Anden <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:
    >> I think all of Dyske's questions are spot-on and
    >> super thoughtful (as usual).
    >>
    >> I feel the most important one is:
    >>
    >> >Do I want Rhizome to be a casual place where people
    >> can express their
    >> >opinions freely whether they are intellectually or
    >> emotionally motivated? - Dyske Suematsu
    >>
    >> I would like Rhizome to be a lively and respectful
    >> forum for new media artists to share their
    >> intellectually or emotionally motivated musings
    >> about the state of the art. I think the current
    >> structure is a really good one, it's just not as
    >> lively and respectful as it could be.
    >>
    >> Curt Cloninger expressed that "The achilles heel of
    >> rhizome is fear of critical discussion."
    >> I wonder if more energy could be harnessed if the
    >> members felt safer about participating. I share
    >> Curt's concerns. I am guilty of second and third
    >> guessing myself about what to say for fear of being
    >> horribly misunderstood by who knows and at what
    >> costs?
    >>
    >> I believe that if the environment felt more safe,
    >> the content on Rhizome might have a better chance of
    >> flourishing without having to touch the technology.
    >> The current structure would suggest that this is up
    >> to the membership. Rules of Engagement? A
    >> Constitution?
    >>
    >> Jason Van Anden
    >>
    >>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
    >> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is
    >> open to non-members
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set
    >> out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at
    >> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>
    >
    >
    >=====
    >*** You are asked for a jusqu'a car-portrait 'imagining ourselves' contribution.
    >http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/self_portraits/contribute.html
    > It black and an empty image must be qu'avec null, he n'est become the methods and material digitali/fotografici, (acceptable = ink, matita, coal, varnish; acceptable not = computer the photography &c)
    >http://www.somedancersandmusicians.com/self_portraits/index.html ***
    >
    >
    >
    >__________________________________
    >Do you Yahoo!?
    >New and Improved Yahoo! Mail - Send 10MB messages!
    >http://promotions.yahoo.com/new_mail
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Lee Wells | Wed Jul 7th 2004 9:37 a.m.
    What is there to be afraid of?
    There are no shadows in virtual space.

    On 7/6/04 9:23 PM, "Jason Van Anden" <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:

    > I believe that if the environment felt more safe
  • alex galloway | Wed Jul 7th 2004 11:30 a.m.
    i find this blog thread very interesting. these are some of the issues
    that we have wrestled with ever since the beginning of rhizome: the
    best way to exchange content collaboratively.

    a quick summary of what rhiz has attempted thus far (Francis--correct
    me if i'm wrong)... at the start of rhizome, mark tribe decided that
    the best way to navigate the signal-to-noise problem was to have two
    lists, one heavily moderated and one completely open. this resulted in
    the Digest/Raw format that has persisted since. people wanting a filter
    subscribed to Digest, while those who could handle the deluge
    subscribed to Raw. in the olden days the website was edited by the same
    person who edited Digest, and therefore ended up resembling the
    filtered email list rather then the unfiltered. eventually a web
    archive of Raw was added to balance things out a little. then, after a
    few years, rhizome switched over to a more decentralized format,
    handing the editorial selection for the website to a group of
    "superusers" who are able to pick which articles appear on the front
    page.

    as others have already pointed out in this thread, RSS feeds have
    fundamentally changed the landscape of the web. it's my opinion that
    rhizome might be ready for another redesign, one that can accommodate
    the aggregation and republishing functionality enabled by RSS. yes,
    email will always be the killer app, so of course some balance between
    email content and web feed content should be achieved.

    by way of contrast.. i've recently been hanging out over on the eyebeam
    reblog system (http://eyebeam.org/reblog/) and am currently coding
    version 2 of the backend (with much help from Jonah Peretti and Michael
    Frumin). reblog is formally quite similar to the current rhizome
    website in the sense that it has a community-fed text input system that
    is then parsed and republished on the site. reblog is simple, it takes
    an unlimited number of RSS feeds as input and lets you parse them into
    a single RSS feed as output. the main differences with rhiz i can see
    are 1) rhizome uses the emails posted to rhizome raw as its input
    channel, while reblog uses posts from about 80 web feeds, 2) rhizome
    uses a group of "superusers" who can publish articles on the website,
    while reblog uses a single rotating "guest reblogger" (a convention
    which could easily be changed in the future to include multiple
    simultaneous rebloggers).

    rhizome could conceivably reorganize itself around the reblog model,
    using both email and rhizomer blog feeds as the input.
  • Rob Myers | Wed Jul 7th 2004 12:35 p.m.
    On 7 Jul 2004, at 16:37, Lee Wells wrote:

    > What is there to be afraid of?

    We live in times where our "leaders" want us to fear irrationally,
    totally, focussably, exploitably. The trickle-down seems to be
    starting.

    > There are no shadows in virtual space.

    Well there are but you have to pre-compute them and paint them on
    yourself...

    - Rob.
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Jul 7th 2004 12:49 p.m.
    Hi Alex,

    Are you actually suggesting a Re-Re-Blog? It seems to me that Re-Blog does a really great job at what it does, so why would we need another? I don't see how a Rhizome Re-Blog would taste any different than the Eyebeam flavored one - the topics of interest are pretty much the same. The only obvious difference to me is the effect of many super users moderating instead of one rotating one.

    What if they endlessly Re-Blogged into one another?

    Jason Van Anden
  • MTAA | Wed Jul 7th 2004 1:21 p.m.
    On Jul 7, 2004, at 2:49 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > Hi Alex,
    >
    > Are you actually suggesting a Re-Re-Blog? It seems to me that Re-Blog
    > does a really great job at what it does, so why would we need another?
    > I don't see how a Rhizome Re-Blog would taste any different than the
    > Eyebeam flavored one - the topics of interest are pretty much the
    > same. The only obvious difference to me is the effect of many super
    > users moderating instead of one rotating one.
    >
    > What if they endlessly Re-Blogged into one another?
    >

    Haha! M.River had that same idea for an RSS sculpture. It would work
    like this:

    http://www.mteww.com/mtaaRR/news/mriver/rsssculpture.html

    it's a brilliant idea :-)

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Francis Hwang | Wed Jul 7th 2004 2:20 p.m.
    Actually, I think it's much more promising to add individual blogs, for
    individual authors, than to have one more collectively moderated
    channel on Rhizome. The ecosystem of RSS users already has its own
    collective moderation, as drawn implicitly through the act of linking
    and tracked on search & indexing sites like Technorati, Blogdex,
    PubSub, Google, etc., etc., etc. There are, of course, group blogs out
    in the world, but with a well-armed RSS reader you can mix your channel
    anyway.

    Individually authored blogs are easier to code/maintain, too.

    I also have to say that I don't think it's at all guaranteed that email
    will always be the killer app. These days I get more than 5000 emails a
    week, and the overwhelming majority are spam ... client-side filtering
    doesn't work at this volume, legal measures will just push spammers
    into legal gray zones, and, various sender verification systems are
    making their way through the standards process but will take years to
    codify and implement. In the meantime, the upcoming versions of
    operating systems from both Redmond and Cupertino will include RSS
    readers ... the future of email as a one-to-many broadcast medium is by
    no means guaranteed, unfortunately.

    F.

    On Jul 7, 2004, at 1:30 PM, Alexander Galloway wrote:

    > i find this blog thread very interesting. these are some of the issues
    > that we have wrestled with ever since the beginning of rhizome: the
    > best way to exchange content collaboratively.
    >
    > a quick summary of what rhiz has attempted thus far (Francis--correct
    > me if i'm wrong)... at the start of rhizome, mark tribe decided that
    > the best way to navigate the signal-to-noise problem was to have two
    > lists, one heavily moderated and one completely open. this resulted in
    > the Digest/Raw format that has persisted since. people wanting a
    > filter subscribed to Digest, while those who could handle the deluge
    > subscribed to Raw. in the olden days the website was edited by the
    > same person who edited Digest, and therefore ended up resembling the
    > filtered email list rather then the unfiltered. eventually a web
    > archive of Raw was added to balance things out a little. then, after a
    > few years, rhizome switched over to a more decentralized format,
    > handing the editorial selection for the website to a group of
    > "superusers" who are able to pick which articles appear on the front
    > page.
    >
    > as others have already pointed out in this thread, RSS feeds have
    > fundamentally changed the landscape of the web. it's my opinion that
    > rhizome might be ready for another redesign, one that can accommodate
    > the aggregation and republishing functionality enabled by RSS. yes,
    > email will always be the killer app, so of course some balance between
    > email content and web feed content should be achieved.
    >
    > by way of contrast.. i've recently been hanging out over on the
    > eyebeam reblog system (http://eyebeam.org/reblog/) and am currently
    > coding version 2 of the backend (with much help from Jonah Peretti and
    > Michael Frumin). reblog is formally quite similar to the current
    > rhizome website in the sense that it has a community-fed text input
    > system that is then parsed and republished on the site. reblog is
    > simple, it takes an unlimited number of RSS feeds as input and lets
    > you parse them into a single RSS feed as output. the main differences
    > with rhiz i can see are 1) rhizome uses the emails posted to rhizome
    > raw as its input channel, while reblog uses posts from about 80 web
    > feeds, 2) rhizome uses a group of "superusers" who can publish
    > articles on the website, while reblog uses a single rotating "guest
    > reblogger" (a convention which could easily be changed in the future
    > to include multiple simultaneous rebloggers).
    >
    > rhizome could conceivably reorganize itself around the reblog model,
    > using both email and rhizomer blog feeds as the input.
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • joy garnett | Wed Jul 7th 2004 3:01 p.m.
    in that case, would it be possible/worthwhile to add a blogroll to
    rhizome somehow? someone (superusers?) would have to choose what blogs to
    subscribe to...

    On Wed, 7 Jul 2004, Francis Hwang wrote:

    > Actually, I think it's much more promising to add individual blogs, for
    > individual authors, than to have one more collectively moderated channel on
    > Rhizome. The ecosystem of RSS users already has its own collective
    > moderation, as drawn implicitly through the act of linking and tracked on
    > search & indexing sites like Technorati, Blogdex, PubSub, Google, etc., etc.,
    > etc. There are, of course, group blogs out in the world, but with a
    > well-armed RSS reader you can mix your channel anyway.
    >
    > Individually authored blogs are easier to code/maintain, too.
    >
    > I also have to say that I don't think it's at all guaranteed that email will
    > always be the killer app. These days I get more than 5000 emails a week, and
    > the overwhelming majority are spam ... client-side filtering doesn't work at
    > this volume, legal measures will just push spammers into legal gray zones,
    > and, various sender verification systems are making their way through the
    > standards process but will take years to codify and implement. In the
    > meantime, the upcoming versions of operating systems from both Redmond and
    > Cupertino will include RSS readers ... the future of email as a one-to-many
    > broadcast medium is by no means guaranteed, unfortunately.
    >
    > F.
    >
    > On Jul 7, 2004, at 1:30 PM, Alexander Galloway wrote:
    >
    >> i find this blog thread very interesting. these are some of the issues
    >> that we have wrestled with ever since the beginning of rhizome: the best
    >> way to exchange content collaboratively.
    >>
    >> a quick summary of what rhiz has attempted thus far (Francis--correct me
    >> if i'm wrong)... at the start of rhizome, mark tribe decided that the best
    >> way to navigate the signal-to-noise problem was to have two lists, one
    >> heavily moderated and one completely open. this resulted in the Digest/Raw
    >> format that has persisted since. people wanting a filter subscribed to
    >> Digest, while those who could handle the deluge subscribed to Raw. in the
    >> olden days the website was edited by the same person who edited Digest,
    >> and therefore ended up resembling the filtered email list rather then the
    >> unfiltered. eventually a web archive of Raw was added to balance things
    >> out a little. then, after a few years, rhizome switched over to a more
    >> decentralized format, handing the editorial selection for the website to a
    >> group of "superusers" who are able to pick which articles appear on the
    >> front page.
    >>
    >> as others have already pointed out in this thread, RSS feeds have
    >> fundamentally changed the landscape of the web. it's my opinion that
    >> rhizome might be ready for another redesign, one that can accommodate the
    >> aggregation and republishing functionality enabled by RSS. yes, email will
    >> always be the killer app, so of course some balance between email content
    >> and web feed content should be achieved.
    >>
    >> by way of contrast.. i've recently been hanging out over on the eyebeam
    >> reblog system (http://eyebeam.org/reblog/) and am currently coding version
    >> 2 of the backend (with much help from Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin).
    >> reblog is formally quite similar to the current rhizome website in the
    >> sense that it has a community-fed text input system that is then parsed
    >> and republished on the site. reblog is simple, it takes an unlimited
    >> number of RSS feeds as input and lets you parse them into a single RSS
    >> feed as output. the main differences with rhiz i can see are 1) rhizome
    >> uses the emails posted to rhizome raw as its input channel, while reblog
    >> uses posts from about 80 web feeds, 2) rhizome uses a group of
    >> "superusers" who can publish articles on the website, while reblog uses a
    >> single rotating "guest reblogger" (a convention which could easily be
    >> changed in the future to include multiple simultaneous rebloggers).
    >>
    >> rhizome could conceivably reorganize itself around the reblog model, using
    >> both email and rhizomer blog feeds as the input.
    >>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Geert Dekkers | Wed Jul 7th 2004 4:03 p.m.
    Something like this??

    http://members.chello.nl/gdekkers/
    http://nznl.com

    Geert
    (http://nznl.com)

    On 7-jul-04, at 21:20, t.whid wrote:

    >
    > On Jul 7, 2004, at 2:49 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    >
    >> Hi Alex,
    >>
    >> Are you actually suggesting a Re-Re-Blog? It seems to me that
    >> Re-Blog does a really great job at what it does, so why would we need
    >> another? I don't see how a Rhizome Re-Blog would taste any different
    >> than the Eyebeam flavored one - the topics of interest are pretty
    >> much the same. The only obvious difference to me is the effect of
    >> many super users moderating instead of one rotating one.
    >>
    >> What if they endlessly Re-Blogged into one another?
    >>
    >
    >
    > Haha! M.River had that same idea for an RSS sculpture. It would work
    > like this:
    >
    > http://www.mteww.com/mtaaRR/news/mriver/rsssculpture.html
    >
    > it's a brilliant idea :-)
    >
    > ===
    > <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    > ===
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Jul 7th 2004 4:41 p.m.
    Those of us who have blogs, seem to think it would be super to connect them to Rhizome in some way. It seems like a good a way to maintain one's identity (autonomy, individuality, percieved star power...) while benefiting by the strength in numbers. From this vantage it provides the best of both worlds. Cool.

    The question still remains: how does facilitating the inclusion of blogs as part of Rhizome actually improve the service to the community and content it delivers? At what cost and at what benefit? I am convinced that more focus should be on fostering community involvement rather than encouraging it's diffusion.

    It takes a village...

    Jason Van Anden
  • M. River | Wed Jul 7th 2004 7:24 p.m.
    LOL - Yes, that was what I was thinking of. Thanks. I'll blog it at the mtaaRR as soon as I can. Also, as to Rhi-bl*g, I think Alexand D are on to something. The question is not should Rhizome include blog sites but what is the structure for blogs to intersect/ interact with the Rhizome site and lists.

    Geert Dekkers wrote:

    > Something like this??
    >
    > http://members.chello.nl/gdekkers/
    > http://nznl.com
    >
    > Geert
    > (http://nznl.com)
    >
    > On 7-jul-04, at 21:20, t.whid wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > On Jul 7, 2004, at 2:49 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    > >
    > >> Hi Alex,
    > >>
    > >> Are you actually suggesting a Re-Re-Blog? It seems to me that
    > >> Re-Blog does a really great job at what it does, so why would we
    > need
    > >> another? I don't see how a Rhizome Re-Blog would taste any
    > different
    > >> than the Eyebeam flavored one - the topics of interest are pretty
    > >> much the same. The only obvious difference to me is the effect of
    > >> many super users moderating instead of one rotating one.
    > >>
    > >> What if they endlessly Re-Blogged into one another?
    > >>
    > >
    > >
    > > Haha! M.River had that same idea for an RSS sculpture. It would
    > work
    > > like this:
    > >
    > > http://www.mteww.com/mtaaRR/news/mriver/rsssculpture.html
    > >
    > > it's a brilliant idea :-)
    > >
    > > ===
    > > <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    > > ===
    > >
    > >
    > > +
    > > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
    > http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > > +
    > > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > > Membership Agreement available online at
    > http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    > >
    >
  • MTAA | Thu Jul 8th 2004 8:06 a.m.
    Hi Geert,

    thx, it's hot :-)

    Geert Dekkers wrote:

    > Something like this??
    >
    > http://members.chello.nl/gdekkers/
    > http://nznl.com
    >

    > >
    > >
    > > Haha! M.River had that same idea for an RSS sculpture. It would
    > work
    > > like this:
    > >
    > > http://www.mteww.com/mtaaRR/news/mriver/rsssculpture.html
    > >
    > > it's a brilliant idea :-)
  • Francis Hwang | Thu Jul 8th 2004 8:08 a.m.
    Multi-replies below:

    On Jul 7, 2004, at 6:41 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    > The question still remains: how does facilitating the inclusion of
    > blogs as part of Rhizome actually improve the service to the community
    > and content it delivers? At what cost and at what benefit? I am
    > convinced that more focus should be on fostering community involvement
    > rather than encouraging it's diffusion.

    When you say "community involvement", Jason, what sort of involvement
    do you have in mind?

    On Jul 7, 2004, at 5:00 PM, Joy Garnett wrote:

    > in that case, would it be possible/worthwhile to add a blogroll to
    > rhizome somehow? someone (superusers?) would have to choose what blogs
    > to subscribe to...

    Well I was just imagining that each blogger would get her own
    individual blogroll. No need to aggregate them all together.

    F.
  • Jason Van Anden | Thu Jul 8th 2004 11:25 a.m.
    Thanks for asking Francis. I am not going to be able to post again until tommorrow, and I am still formulating what it is exactly that I mean, but here is where I am currently at:

    Community Involvement == What can be done to inspire the Rhizome membership be more motivated to participate in it's success?

    My insistence on focusing the discussion on "community involvement" is a continuation of thoughts that I had after you reported the very low particpation in this year's gaming commission voter turnout. The system you had created was wonderfully conceived, and executed - so it was not for lack of trying. It amazed me that so many members did not take advantage of this unique opportunity. How come? How do you motivate individuals to cooperate?

    Not a new question for most life forms sharing the planet - and for good reason (ie: bees and flowers, the creation of the city state, slashdot). I do not think that this has anything to do with technology, but rather human nature.

    Artists of course, are ten times more protective of their autonomy as most, thus the current trend to homestead many mini-Rhizomes (uni-blogs?) all over the net instead of collaborating.

    Darwin would predict that this will eventually lead to a few strong blogs succeeding, and most failing. As people start to weigh the cost/benefit of this reality, collaborative blogs will evolve. Thing is, we already have this in the form of Rhizome.

    I would like to skip to step two, accept that pooling resources is for the common good and expedite the process.

    Recognizing that these ideas are not new, I ordered two books: "Protocol" and "Bowling Alone". Perhaps they will shed more light on the topic.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Francis Hwang | Thu Jul 8th 2004 1:47 p.m.
    Interesting points, Jason. Though I might argue that you're putting the
    cart before the horse. Let me go out on a limb and say this: I think
    Rhizome's success is sort of a boring stupid thing to have to worry
    about. I mean, obviously I think about it, but I think its success is a
    lot less interesting than the success of a) new media arts as a whole,
    and b) the possibility of destabilizing the hierarchical nature of
    discourse in the arts. Or: "More rock, more talk." I like to think that
    if Rhizome helps those other things succeed, it itself will succeed,
    but of course nothing is guaranteed and nothing lasts forever.

    I'll also say that Rhizome tries to provide lots of different services,
    and some of them are less cooperative than others. Text discussion in
    an email list is fairly cooperative and intimate, but getting your work
    into the ArtBase is fairly solitary: You do your work, you submit it,
    you shepherd it through the archival process. You might exchange a lot
    of email with Kevin if you submit an artwork, but you won't be relying
    on the collective judgement of Rhizome members to do it. (For now.
    There's nothing that says that couldn't be changed in the future.)

    Commissions voting is probably somewhere in the middle. Yes, I was
    disappointed by the low turnout, but overall I wasn't disappointed with
    the result. The main point of commissions wasn't to give me warm
    fuzzies about the Rhizome community; it was to award money to artists
    so they could spend time on doing good art, and in that we succeeded. I
    was pleased (though not surprised) that the community-chosen selection
    was as good as the others. And my disappointment with turnout is still
    mostly focused on that single goal: More turnout might mean better
    publicity and more interesting grant applications, which might
    translate into more money for artists the next year.

    (Also, I don't particularly think voting necessarily counts as
    "cooperative", since conflicts are resolved using a dry mathematical
    formula. In my mind cooperation involves trying to figure out what
    might make others happy and then actively seeking compromise with that
    in mind. Wikis are cooperative. Divvying up household chores with your
    roommates is cooperative. Voting is more like "politely competitive",
    maybe.)

    Anyway, another point worth addressing is the notion of what it means
    to have a blog succeed. I'll say this: The vast majority of blogs out
    there do not have huge audiences, but that's only failure if you
    expected to be the next Slashdot. For most people they're not like
    bullhorns in the town square. They're like a family Christmas card.

    But those are pretty nice, anyway. My youngest brother just went to
    South Korea for a few months, and he set up his own blog about it. This
    blog isn't going to get him a book deal or a pundit spot on MSNBC, but
    I can read it to get updates about what's going in his life. That stuff
    matters, and I'm glad he's doing it. (Of course, I had to email him to
    tell him to add an RSS feed, and I'm not sure when he'll get around to
    that. Tech ain't perfect.)

    Francis

    On Jul 8, 2004, at 1:25 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > Thanks for asking Francis. I am not going to be able to post again
    > until tommorrow, and I am still formulating what it is exactly that I
    > mean, but here is where I am currently at:
    >
    > Community Involvement == What can be done to inspire the Rhizome
    > membership be more motivated to participate in it's success?
    >
    > My insistence on focusing the discussion on "community involvement" is
    > a continuation of thoughts that I had after you reported the very low
    > particpation in this year's gaming commission voter turnout. The
    > system you had created was wonderfully conceived, and executed - so it
    > was not for lack of trying. It amazed me that so many members did not
    > take advantage of this unique opportunity. How come? How do you
    > motivate individuals to cooperate?
    >
    > Not a new question for most life forms sharing the planet - and for
    > good reason (ie: bees and flowers, the creation of the city state,
    > slashdot). I do not think that this has anything to do with
    > technology, but rather human nature.
    >
    > Artists of course, are ten times more protective of their autonomy as
    > most, thus the current trend to homestead many mini-Rhizomes
    > (uni-blogs?) all over the net instead of collaborating.
    >
    > Darwin would predict that this will eventually lead to a few strong
    > blogs succeeding, and most failing. As people start to weigh the
    > cost/benefit of this reality, collaborative blogs will evolve. Thing
    > is, we already have this in the form of Rhizome.
    >
    > I would like to skip to step two, accept that pooling resources is for
    > the common good and expedite the process.
    >
    > Recognizing that these ideas are not new, I ordered two books:
    > "Protocol" and "Bowling Alone". Perhaps they will shed more light on
    > the topic.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > www.smileproject.com
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Thu Jul 8th 2004 2:51 p.m.
    I did not mean to imply that blogs are bad things that should not exist, nor that I feel that Rhizome is in trouble. Since both things are new to me, that would be really rude. I have personally benefitted from my involvement in Rhizome in countless ways, and I only joined this year.

    I know I said in my last post that I would not be able to post again until tomorrow, but on the drive home I started to wonder if I had side-stepped Francis's question. I did not mean to, but I don't think I actually answered it.

    I am not super-prepared to answer it right now, but off the cuff, here is a totally made up example:

    Let's say that someone had an idea for a website called "artornot.com" (apparently not very original idea - domain already taken - I checked), to be used as a open forum for new media art criticism and discussion. Let's say that this was a really good idea (just). I think it would be great if that person was encouraged to come to this community with the idea, with the possibility that it would get support (developmental, moral, financial, coding, etc...) from other members, rather than letting it rot on the vine because of lack of personal resources (time, money, faith).

    I see an institution like Rhizome as being in a unique position to facilitate this kind of community activity. As I am writing this, I am thinking about what Dyske said in a much earlier thread - perhaps it is my responsibility to initiate such things.

    Feedback appreciated.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • curt cloninger | Thu Jul 8th 2004 9:43 p.m.
    Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > I see an institution like Rhizome as being in a unique position to
    > facilitate this kind of community activity. As I am writing this, I
    > am thinking about what Dyske said in a much earlier thread - perhaps
    > it is my responsibility to initiate such things.

    Hi Jason,

    I'm part of this initiative in my hometown:
    http://themap.org

    we spent all this time focusing up, getting corporate sponsorships and local government endorsement and professional consultations and a 5 phase implementation plan, etc.; but none of that stuff in and of itself makes a creative scene. A scene is probably better instigated by a bunch of sleep-deprived freaks with no funding, sitting in the basement mixing up the medicine. One can prototype and technologize and discuss ad infinitum, but if the energy and interest is not there at a root level, it simply won't materialize. As you say, it has to do with motivating humans. As Bill Burroughs said, "Every man a god, that is if ye can qualify. You can't be the god of anything unless you can do it."

    I admire artist who just started making cool stuff from the ground up. Daniel Johnston recorded his original songs onto lo-fi mono one-track cassette tapes and just walked around downtown Austin, Texas, wandering up to strangers and giving the tapes away. Howard Finster was refurbishing old bicycles for poor kids when he saw a face in a paint smudge, then he drew the face, then he heard the voice of God telling him to take a dollar bill out of his pocket and draw it. Finster protested, "But I can't draw." God responded, "How do you know? How do you know? How do you know?" So Finster drew the dollar, then he drew some pictures of Abraham Lincoln, then he spends the rest of his life making brilliant cool messed up shit.

    Or my man Al Sacui, still going strong and off the radar: http://gisol.org/

    So I'd say if you have a mind to start using rhizome to do something, start using it to do something and see what happens. I'm not trying to squelch the dialogue, and I hope something good comes of it, but you don't have to wait on Francis before you attempt to reinvigorate rhizome. You just have to motivate a bunch of very busy, spread-thin creative folks with varied goals and different understandings of what art is "good for."

    _
  • Jeremy Zilar | Thu Jul 8th 2004 10:54 p.m.
    Jason, i like where you are taking this.

    Going off of what you said,.....

    "I see an institution like Rhizome as being in a unique position to facilitate this kind of community activity."

    So I was thinking....... What if there was a site (RHIZOME?) that had a
    pool of members.. and each week there were 3(?) featured Artists on some
    part of the site.
    And as a member you are required to participate in 2 out of the 3
    discussions a week for a months time in order to obtain a spot on the
    rotating weekly calendar. Once you have a months worth of time in,..
    your name goes up on the list and you become available to show your work
    when your name comes around. If you want to wait, or you have nothing to
    show at the time,. that is fine. you can always join the rotating weekly
    schedule when you have something to show, as long as you are maintaining
    your monthly discussion dues. If you stop contributing for lets say,...
    2 wks then you have to star over. You just need to contribute to the
    energy of the discussion in order to get in line... and you need to
    maintain your presence in the discussion if you want to be in the
    schedule in the future. it is simple. And if you keep the rotation going
    fast enough, like weekly... you will get enough discussion in and
    maintain relative interest in the process.

    I think this would be a great way to encourage involvement, and generate
    energy and lively evolving discussion. I have been looking for ways to
    talk about art as much as the process of the industry we are involved
    in. I would like to see the discussions branch out beyond the art, and
    into our presentation of our art,.. and our administrative duties as
    artists (taxes, resumes, proposals, bios, archive..etc.) Talking about
    the art will get us all farther in our work, reshaping the system we
    work in will help us to define the art, and becoming clearer in our
    paperwork will help us to continue doing what we do. Is this too much to
    ask of a community?

    I guess the worst case scenario is that you are forced to give
    constructive criticism to someone who's work you dont understand... in
    which case, i am sure they could use some help with clarifying their
    artist statement. :)

    Let me know what you guys think. I would be happy to contribute my
    skills to making anything happen. I would like to see this go beyond
    what it is, and i dont know that i have completely bought into the Blog
    vs Board argument. I dont know that either is the solution. I like
    having my email right here in front of me. I dont want to have to go to
    some website to participate, unless i was getting something more out it
    than an ordinary Blog.

    -jeremy

    Jason Van Anden wrote:

    >I did not mean to imply that blogs are bad things that should not exist, nor that I feel that Rhizome is in trouble. Since both things are new to me, that would be really rude. I have personally benefitted from my involvement in Rhizome in countless ways, and I only joined this year.
    >
    >I know I said in my last post that I would not be able to post again until tomorrow, but on the drive home I started to wonder if I had side-stepped Francis's question. I did not mean to, but I don't think I actually answered it.
    >
    >I am not super-prepared to answer it right now, but off the cuff, here is a totally made up example:
    >
    >Let's say that someone had an idea for a website called "artornot.com" (apparently not very original idea - domain already taken - I checked), to be used as a open forum for new media art criticism and discussion. Let's say that this was a really good idea (just). I think it would be great if that person was encouraged to come to this community with the idea, with the possibility that it would get support (developmental, moral, financial, coding, etc...) from other members, rather than letting it rot on the vine because of lack of personal resources (time, money, faith).
    >
    >I see an institution like Rhizome as being in a unique position to facilitate this kind of community activity. As I am writing this, I am thinking about what Dyske said in a much earlier thread - perhaps it is my responsibility to initiate such things.
    >
    >Feedback appreciated.
    >
    >Jason Van Anden
    >www.smileproject.com
    >
    >
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >
  • Eric Dymond | Thu Jul 8th 2004 11:10 p.m.
    Or how about you Artists contribute to the Steve Kurtz defence fund.
    Your freedom is at stake, the reason you call yourself artists is also in question.
    http://caedefensefund.org/donate.html
    not a good time for apathy.
    Eric
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 2:27 p.m.
    Hi Jason,

    I've followed with interest this thread and was going to post a
    meta-response but there's too much for that.

    On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 10:31 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    wrote:
    > I am a fairly new member to the Rhizome community. When I first
    > discovered Rhizome, I was excited to find a forum of artists with
    > common interests and concerns, and looked forward to the discussions
    > that would take place, and that I could take place in. Since I joined
    > a few months ago, there have only been a few sustained threads, while
    > the archives are filled with lively and fascinating discussion. What
    > happened?

    Fatigue. Other interests. Growth.

    > The recent survey requesting community interest in a blog service via
    > Rhizome has caused me to wonder if this is because of some trend;
    > moving away from boards, and towards blogs.

    A little more than a year ago I started talking to people here in NYC
    about blogs; about how I would love to see art sites with XML feeds and
    such because, well, I'm lazy and hate browsers. Not that I am asking
    people to give up use of the browser but to look at the technology of
    blogs as the real way to build a rhizome (not this art site but the
    concept as per Deleuze and Guattari). But mainly, it's because I'm
    lazy, I want to metaweb art sites and hate bookmarks. TWhid was part of
    that round of conversations. Alex, Francis and others.

    Also, technologically speaking, there is an enthusiasm and energy
    around blogs very much like the one that brought the net art scene back
    in 1996. Explorations on the possibilities of the semantic web are
    pushing the envelope on technologies such as XML, Atom, trackbacks,
    CSS, PhP. And the new hot thing is anything social or like they say at
    Corante, YASNS (yet another social networking software). Orkut or
    Friendster anyone?

    > If so, I wonder what the ramifications of this may be. In some ways,
    > blogs and boards are the similar, they both enable ongoing, two way
    > communication. The clear difference is that a blog is run by it's
    > moderator, which changes the dynamic, a lot.

    Blogs have no more of a moderator than an email list. You are comparing
    apples with oranges. Blogs can be scaled vertically via RSS whereas
    there is no way of doing that with an elist unless you RSSscrap it or
    hack a feed (which someone did so a while back for Rhizome). Still,
    hacked feeds like that are not malleable.

    > If everyone runs their own blog, everyone is a moderator, and system
    > becomes decentralized. This requires more effort by the blog owner and
    > his/her audience. The person running the blog needs to keep things
    > interesting enough to keep people visiting, the audience needs to keep
    > track of many blogs instead of one.

    That's what a rhizome is supposed to be :
    http://rhizome.org/info/index.php

    > "To these centered systems [arborescent structures], the authors
    > contrast acentered systems, finite networks of automata in which
    > communication runs from any neighbor to another, the stems or channels
    > do not preexist, and all individuals are interchangeable, defined only
    > by their state at a given moment--such that the local operations are
    > coordinated and the final, global result synchronized without a
    > central agency."

    What I want to bring into light is your comment about effort. Blogs are
    not things. They are technologies. Software that is meant to manage a
    site by separating the structure (HTML/PHP), from the design (CSS) and
    the content (TXT). So if you are used to creating sites with
    Dreamweaver, yeah, the thought is daunting. But as someone who is not a
    software developer, I have to say that there is nothing better for
    easily managing a site than a CMS. Now, does that mean that you should
    give up on artsy-fartsy sites? No. What it means is that artists need
    to think strategically about their sites. That the art stay separate
    from the actual management of the site. To use the CMS as a way of
    archiving and curating your site.

    Tina LaPorta the other said to me "As net artists, we've lost out way".
    It came out of a conversation that net art was supposed to be about
    decentralization, the rhizome, nomadism and as it is it's become
    institutionalized. So in effect, the first wave of net artists
    basically emulated online the very systems they sought to by-pass
    offline in order to show/disseminate their art. Is this bad? I don't
    think so because, really, social networking software like wikis and
    blogs, for example, have exploded in the last 2 years. Rhizome and the
    first wave of net artists has been around since 1996. Their old farts
    in web / technology years if you think about it.

    > At the time that I discovered Rhizome, I also discovered a lot of
    > other on-line resources influenced by it. After doing an unscientific
    > cost/benefits analysis, I decided that the service that Rhizome
    > provides as a centralized and democratic community was the best one,
    > and decided to become a member.

    Rhizome is centralized but is not a democratic community. It was never
    set up to work like that. Rhizome comes out of a salon / atelier /
    studio / gallery / museum tradition. It's about centralizing art. So
    that's where the technology for the site went. It's not a good or bad
    thing, BTW. The rhizome at Rhizome is a metaphor but not an actual
    realization of the blueprints given out by D&G*. That has happened with
    CMS.

    The technologies developed for blogging come from two traditions :
    Online link logging and self publishing. So the onus of disseminating a
    site is taken on by the blogger because, if they don't do it nobody
    will. And the links have become a way of not just acknowledging
    influences of showing love to other bloggers but of creating prestige
    ranking: of not only showing your influences but assessing your
    influence on others.

    > Personally, this meant that I devote some of my time (and ego) for the
    > greater good of the group, by posting my opinions and reactions to
    > topics of interest, in one place.

    With blogs, that new place is the feed reader.

    To read about feeds go to : http://news.yahoo.com/rss
    For what feed readers do, check out NetNewsWire at
    http://www.ranchero.com

    > I believe that a socialist-democracy (the ideal of Rhizome) is a much
    > better way for this community to thrive than anarchy (fractured,
    > poorly maintained blogs).

    Sorry but your analogy is hollow. Educate yourself a bit more about how
    the technologies work and then come back to that. I still have not read
    Alex Galloway's Protocol but I have on my site an essay he wrote with
    Eugene Thacker called the Limits of Networking. It's brilliant. Check
    it out at http://www.culturekitchen.com/archives/000574.html

    > In order for this to happen, I think that members need to deliberately
    > devote their resources to the good of the board than their own blogs.

    I will be publishing this weekend a long post on metablogging the net
    art world. Hopefully it will be informative enough about the importance
    and utility of CMS technology for net artists.

    > Given that we all have a finite amount of time to devote to our art,
    > our day-jobs, and so on, I am interested in why members feel it is
    > better to blog than to participate in a board.

    Quick thoughts : Vertical scaling (metaweb), categories, archives,
    networking, diffusion, dissemination, the rhizome. More to come.

    best,
    l i za
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 2:28 p.m.
    On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 11:30 America/New_York, Lee Wells wrote:

    > Survey Says, "EGO. was the number one reason for self-aggrandized
    > blogging."

    As if making art is not about that? HA!
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 2:48 p.m.
    On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 22:02 America/New_York, Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    > Every medium and context encourage their own unique behaviors. For
    > instance, a friend of mine is a member of WeightWatchers.com, and she
    > showed me what sort of discussions take place on their boards. I was
    > quite surprised to see women behaving badly. On most discussion
    > boards, women tend to behave more civilzed than men do. But,
    > apparently, in a context where they know there are only women, they
    > change their behaviors. (Or perhaps it is the topic of weight that
    > encourages that sort of behavior; who knows.)

    Both. I've done WW also. If you want to read occasional bawdiness, then
    a homeschooling list is your place. And in terms of vicious flame wars,
    there is nothing like a SAHM hooked online. Scary.

    > Minor differences in user interface, system architecture, graphic
    > design, theme, the personality of the organizers, etc. can influence
    > the behaviors of the members significantly. I currently manage several
    > discussion boards and I am always surprised by how differently people
    > behave because of these subtle differences. By changing small aspects
    > of them, you can encourage or discourage certain behaviors. For
    > instance, making people register first before posting makes a big
    > difference in terms of the quality of content; you get a lot less
    > abusive posts. Being able to easily view all the posts made by a
    > specific user, makes people think twice about saying anything too
    > stupid. And so on...

    This though comes out of years of what has been experienced on BBSs. So
    you the technology comes out of experiences with users not just from
    what a developer thinks might be useful.

    > Blogs and discussion boards are quite different. For one, blogs, for
    > the most part, are one-way communication. You have something you want
    > to say, and you say it on your blog, not necessarily expecting that
    > people would respond. Not all thoughts you want to write down are
    > appropriate for discussion boards, even less so for discussion boards
    > with specific subject matters, like Rhizome. So, I do not see blogs
    > and boards as something you need to choose.

    I don't necessarily agree with the one-wayness you speak about but
    definitely feel the same --it is not an either/or situation. The issue
    with blogs is that maybe on your site you do not have comments but that
    does not mean people are not commenting about what you write. They may
    not be trackbacking or linking back to your. The communication may not
    be necessarily teleological but circuitous.

    > As for the lack of interesting discussions on this list: There are
    > things you can do to encourage interesting discussions too. I've
    > always found Rhizome to be problematic when it comes to how it
    > supports text. Thoughtful posts, like that of Curt you pointed out,
    > get lost in a flood of other posts. It may get on the home page for a
    > few weeks, but after that, it gets the same treatment as the other
    > posts that contain frivolous remarks. Unless you know exactly what you
    > are looking for, there is no easy way to browse though quality content
    > on the site. If there were a page with a list of substantial
    > contributions, many more readers would be encouraged to read them, and
    > that in turn would encourage writers to submit more substantial
    > contents.

    This is where CMS software would remedy that with the way they set
    archives, categories, metas, etc. It would definitely ease curating of
    texts.

    > When most people go to sites like nytimes.com, they do not exactly
    > know what they want to read. They just know the quality and the
    > reputation associated with New York Times. nytimes.com therefore needs
    > to provide a way to let the readers easily scan through contents. If
    > their home page looked like Google's home page, most people would
    > simply go elsewhere. This is essentially the situation Rhizome has
    > with respect to substantial contents contributed to RAW. It does not
    > make sense especially because the majority of Rhizome's content is
    > relatively timeless. (This particular post that I am writing now, for
    > instance, should still be relevant to some readers a year from now.)
    >
    > So, given this design of the site, you as a writer know, consciously
    > or subconsciously, that whatever you write will be for the consumption
    > of the few who happen to catch it at the right time. This does not
    > make you want to spend much time composing your thoughts. It makes
    > more sense to use the list for something more casual (like short
    > comments and remarks) or temporary (like announcements of current
    > events).
    >
    > For these reasons, I believe that being frustrated with the way people
    > are behaving or not behaving is a waste of time. Trying to discipline
    > people by criticizing achieves very little. You need to provide an
    > environment that makes them want to behave certain ways.

    For Rhizome to work in ways like NYTimes, it would have to change not
    only its technology but the way that the whole organization is managed.
    A new organization charter / plan would have to be created. Has anybody
    been at Kuro5hin lately? They've clamped down on the so-called
    democracy on the site. In reality it seems they grew too fast with
    little projection on how they were going to manage that.

    > Now, as an experiement, if you have read this post this far, I would
    > like you to click on the link below which will count the number of
    > people who actually read this. I'm curious how many people in general
    > actually read posts on Rhizome. Many people open a web page or email,
    > but not many, I suspect, actually read the content.
    >
    > http://www.dyske.com/visit.asp?p=1

    Done.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 2:56 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 07:29 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    wrote:

    > The comments have been enlightening. To summarize, blogs serve
    > different purposes not achieved by paritipating in a community message
    > board: Ego (1 - Lee Wells) and protecting fellow message board
    > participants from topics not necessarily appropriate for discussion (2
    > - Dyske Suematsu). Each raises an interesting question:
    >
    > 1.) Eyeballs == Ego Fuel:
    > Does the typical individual's blog draw more traffic than Rhizome?

    You cannot compare the typical blog with Rhizome. It would be more like
    does "Gawker" get more traffic than Rhizome or something like that. And
    still it's not a good comparison because longevity + hits has a lot to
    do with ranking on places like Google.

    > 2.) Raw == 'Enter at Your Own Risk':
    > Do the levels of Rhizome's board distillation
    > (Raw as opposed to Digest, etc...) poorly protect the membership from
    > inappropriate topics of discussion?

    There's always going to be drivel. I just think that it's better
    managed on sites like MetaFilter or /.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:10 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 10:05 America/New_York, Dyske Suematsu
    wrote:

    > Let me avoid a confusion, and use the word "list" or "email list"
    > instead of
    > "board", because the latter is a medium of its own (generally
    > web-based).
    >
    > I don't see the "ego" argument in this context. Ego is certainly the
    > motive
    > for both an email list and a blog (and a board). I do not believe that
    > a
    > blog is fueled more by ego than a list is. In many ways, a list is more
    > ego-fueled since it is a "push" medium. You are pushing your message to
    > people who may not be interested in what you have to say. I find a
    > blog to
    > be less egotistical because only those who are actually interested in
    > what
    > you have to say would come visit. It is less intrusive and less
    > presumptuous.

    Ironically, because it is not pus technology it can be diffused and
    disseminated more effectively than posts to an e-list and certainly
    messages on a board.

    >
    > On my last post, I provided a link for those who actually read my
    > post. So
    > far 13 people have read it. When you hear that Rhizome has 17,000
    > members,
    > you might get an idea that at least hundreds of people would read your
    > posts, but no matter how big the list is, those who are willing to be
    > involved actively are always handful.

    Always the case in centralized organizations. What I see on some blogs
    just amazes me. How people come in and out and how resources flow from
    that looseness. One example I'm thinking of is Lazyweb.

    > In fact, there is a natural size of
    > active participants towards which all lists tend to incline. If too
    > many
    > people start discussing, it becomes impossible to keep on top of it.
    > Part of
    > the nature of email list is that there is a point at which the number
    > of
    > posts per day becomes unacceptable for most people. Like population
    > growth
    > of a city; at some point it becomes uncomfortable and people start
    > leaving.

    Absolutely! There was an unschooling list which I love but just could
    not keep up with at all. On a slow day I would get 100 emails from it.
    On a busy day exchanges went up to 600. 600 emails on a day from one
    list! Too much. Would have loved to scrap it but it was a closed list.
    So no I went on no emails.

    > All these characteristics of email list encourage and discourage
    > certain
    > behaviors. Because of the way Rhizome is set up, I would imagine that
    > my
    > last post will not be read by too many more people even after a year.
    > So,
    > when you write something for this list, you want to keep in mind that
    > what
    > you are writing is going to be read by about a dozen people. This will
    > certainly influence most people in terms of how much time and energy
    > they
    > would spend on writing something.

    And it gets lost in the way things are archived on Rhizome; whereas on
    a blog it becomes way more efficient --if having Google find your stuff
    is important to you. So getting a blog and a Google API makes more
    sense than just posting to Rhizome. At least I do both (although here,
    less and less).

    > This is not a bad thing. This encourages people to casually express
    > their
    > opinions. In fact, that is my impression of Rhizome; a casual place,
    > not a
    > serious one.

    More like a coffee house than a conference room.

    > For the same reason, it is a good place for announcements. 76%
    > of the members being artists, if you post an announcement for a grant
    > or a
    > commission, I'm sure hundreds of people would actually read it.

    Pass the tin cup syndrome? HA!

    > The bottom line is that Rhizome cannot be everything you want it to
    > be. It
    > is what it is. It is good for what it is good for. Beyond that, you
    > either
    > have to find some other websites/lists/boards, or start your own with
    > specific designs that encourage desired behaviors.
    >

    This is so true.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:15 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 11:48 America/New_York, curt cloninger
    wrote:

    > Ah, those were the days! But I digress. Unlike Thing/NetTime, RAW is
    > totally self-policing (due to Mark Tribe's original fascination with
    > Beuys' "social sculpture" notion), so sometimes it's boring as crap,
    > sometimes it's lively, sometimes it's hijacked by poly-pseudonymous
    > eastern european situationist rhetorical tar babies. Often it talks
    > about itself and how it can become more interesting. People get fed
    > up with it and stop posting, but they usually return (brad brace, eryk
    > salvaggio), because you gotta be in it to win it.

    But so are most blogs and boards and email lists and wikis ... the
    point being that it all is dependent on the interaction. It has nothing
    to do with the technology itself. That the technology can be changed
    and molded based on the human interaction is one thing but to expect
    that the technology take care of us animals, well, that is asking too
    much. And no 'bot is going to be as bootilicious as I am ... or you
    curt, for that matter :-)

    / l i z a
  • Jason Van Anden | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:27 p.m.
    Liza Sabater wrote:

    >
    > On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 07:29 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    > wrote:
    >
    > > The comments have been enlightening. To summarize, blogs serve
    > > different purposes not achieved by paritipating in a community
    > message
    > > board: Ego (1 - Lee Wells) and protecting fellow message board
    > > participants from topics not necessarily appropriate for discussion
    > (2
    > > - Dyske Suematsu). Each raises an interesting question:
    > >
    > > 1.) Eyeballs == Ego Fuel:
    > > Does the typical individual's blog draw more traffic than Rhizome?
    >
    >
    > You cannot compare the typical blog with Rhizome. It would be more
    > like
    > does "Gawker" get more traffic than Rhizome or something like that.
    > And
    > still it's not a good comparison because longevity + hits has a lot
    > to
    > do with ranking on places like Google.
    >
    >
    > > 2.) Raw == 'Enter at Your Own Risk':
    > > Do the levels of Rhizome's board distillation
    > > (Raw as opposed to Digest, etc...) poorly protect the membership
    > from
    > > inappropriate topics of discussion?
    >
    > There's always going to be drivel. I just think that it's better
    > managed on sites like MetaFilter or /.
    >
    > Best,
    > l i z a
    >
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:28 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 10:32 America/New_York, Francis Hwang wrote:

    > I'm up to my eyeballs in this stuff these days. Here's my take on it:
    >
    > First of all, it's only 2004 and I'm already sick of the word "blog".
    > Unfortunately, there aren't many words that serve its purpose well, so
    > we're stuck with it for the time being. In the long view, the
    > particular technology that gets used isn't as interesting as the
    > technical philosophy behind how people communicate. The best phrase
    > here is, to use the title of a book by David Weinberger, "Small Pieces
    > Loosely Joined". The good things about blogs are:
    >
    > + Small Pieces: They are highly atomized, individualistic venues for
    > self-expression, more so than on more centrally administered services
    > like email lists or wikis.
    > + Loosely Joined: They use standards-driven technologies to help
    > readers aggregate them into meaningful, manageable chunks of
    > information. If you have an RSS reader (you can download good, free
    > RSS readers for every operating system under the sun), you can
    > channel-surf 20 blogs in the time it might take you to visually read 4
    > webpages.

    David has a great post on Many-to-Many at Corante. It's called
    Redefining Friendship
    http://www.corante.com/many/archives/2004/07/07/
    redefining_friendship.php

    What I found interesting a year ago (and still do) is how the
    technology of blogs are CONCRETELY changing the web; whereas 8 years
    ago net art redefined the web METAPHORICALLY --including this here site.

    > In a broad sense, the internet is now a big enough technology that the
    > economics of such a case are compelling. You can no longer build one
    > central community site that harnesses more energy than all those blogs
    > out there.

    Absolutely.

    > In the specific sense, this lines up well with the development of the
    > field of new media arts. Once upon a time Rhizome was a gigantic fish
    > in a teensy tiny pond; now we're a biggish fish in a much bigger pond.
    > This is a much healthier situation, of course. It also means we might
    > want to rethink how we relate to that pond.

    Agree.

    > But, blogs are very different in tone from email lists, wikis,
    > UltimateBBS, MOOs, etc., etc. They're much more public, and they
    > drastically increase the "15 minutes of fame" factor of online life.

    Actually, that even has been redefined. On the web your famous is more
    than 15 know of/read your blog.

    > It happens all the time that some no-name blogger comes up with some
    > really great idea that gets passed around blogspace really quickly,
    > and bang they have hundreds more readers and lots of emails and maybe
    > comments. Having a blog increases the chances that some stranger will
    > point to your work and say "This gal's a goddamn genius." It also
    > increases the chances that they'll say "She's full of shit." Caveat
    > author.

    I know people who have gotten hired just for their blogs. No resumes or
    applications needed.

    > So adding blogs to Rhizome would mostly be about offering options.
    > Blogs won't replace email lists, just like television never replaced
    > radio. But a proliferation of forms for online communication will mean
    > that people will be free to discover which forms are better for which
    > sorts of content.

    It would also would get them out of the ghetto that net art has carved
    so well for itself. That would be all due thanks to Google.

    > As to how quickly it would take if introduced here, it's hard to say.
    > If you look at our space (tech/arts/culture), you see a lot of very
    > smart people who don't write or read blogs, they prefer to hang out on
    > mailing lists like Rhizome Raw or Nettime or thingist or Syndicate or
    > what have you. I don't believe that's an accident, or simply a
    > function of technophobia. People have their own preferences, and of
    > course those preferences matter a great deal.

    There lies the rub. The culture from whence most net artists come from
    is very different from the writers/bloggers culture. Especially now
    that NA/NMA has become so institutionalized. "Into the blogosphere" is
    a new academic source about blogging and I fear by its tone and the
    articles that people are rushing to clamp down what a blog is and is
    not --much like what has happened with net art--- thus taking the life
    and spontaneity out of it.

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/

    > Mostly, though, I think of this as a big experiment. Experiments are
    > cool.

    Definitely. And the experiment can be about transitioning people into
    this new technology.

    / l i z a
  • MTAA | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:29 p.m.
    mmmm, lots of tasty bits in here...

    I'll snip and quote below:

    On Jul 9, 2004, at 4:27 PM, liza sabater wrote:

    > Hi Jason,
    >
    > I've followed with interest this thread and was going to post a
    > meta-response but there's too much for that.
    >
    > On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 10:31 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    > wrote:
    >> I am a fairly new member to the Rhizome community. When I first
    >> discovered Rhizome, I was excited to find a forum of artists with
    >> common interests and concerns, and looked forward to the discussions
    >> that would take place, and that I could take place in. Since I
    >> joined a few months ago, there have only been a few sustained
    >> threads, while the archives are filled with lively and fascinating
    >> discussion. What happened?
    >
    > Fatigue. Other interests. Growth.

    I post more often to my own site then to Rhiz, here's why:

    1. I have complete control over linking

    No one can put any sort of impediment in front of it for any reason
    (even a little $5 fee).

    2. I have complete control over availability

    My posts will be there for as long as I choose. Rhiz could go under.
    I'm not going to close-up shop on my web site until the day I die. Look
    what happened to the Walker's new media program...

    3. I find I'm a better person when I'm posting to my own site.

    I share more instead of making a public pose. I'm much less likely to
    flame and complain. I don't know why but I'm less reactionary. (of
    course this is my own issue...)

    4. It's less aggressive. (this is related to point 3)

    Blogs are passive; email lists are much more aggressive PUSH media.

    5. I can syndicate (this is related to 1)

    RSS baby

    > <snip>
    >>
    >
    > What I want to bring into light is your comment about effort. Blogs
    > are not things. They are technologies. Software that is meant to
    > manage a site by separating the structure (HTML/PHP), from the design
    > (CSS) and the content (TXT). So if you are used to creating sites with
    > Dreamweaver, yeah, the thought is daunting. But as someone who is not
    > a software developer, I have to say that there is nothing better for
    > easily managing a site than a CMS. Now, does that mean that you should
    > give up on artsy-fartsy sites? No. What it means is that artists need
    > to think strategically about their sites. That the art stay separate
    > from the actual management of the site. To use the CMS as a way of
    > archiving and curating your site.
    >
    > Tina LaPorta the other said to me "As net artists, we've lost out
    > way". It came out of a conversation that net art was supposed to be
    > about decentralization, the rhizome, nomadism and as it is it's become
    > institutionalized. So in effect, the first wave of net artists
    > basically emulated online the very systems they sought to by-pass
    > offline in order to show/disseminate their art. Is this bad? I don't
    > think so because, really, social networking software like wikis and
    > blogs, for example, have exploded in the last 2 years. Rhizome and the
    > first wave of net artists has been around since 1996. Their old farts
    > in web / technology years if you think about it.

    I'm need to comment on this 'net artists lost their way' thing.

    I don't see net artists losing their way. There isn't as much of it
    going on, it's not as exciting and new as it was, but to say, "we've
    lost our way" simply makes lots and lots of assumptions about what net
    artists were thinking about in the early days. I for one didn't think
    all that much about rhizomatic structures or nomadism (nomadism?). I
    was more excited about the fact that I, ME, JUST LITTLE OLE ME, had
    access to a mass medium! That was what excited me. Also, most newer net
    art projects use decentralized, networked processes in the make-up of
    the work even if it's being supported by centralized art world
    institutions.

    >
    >
    >> At the time that I discovered Rhizome, I also discovered a lot of
    >> other on-line resources influenced by it. After doing an unscientific
    >> cost/benefits analysis, I decided that the service that Rhizome
    >> provides as a centralized and democratic community was the best one,
    >> and decided to become a member.
    >
    > Rhizome is centralized but is not a democratic community. It was never
    > set up to work like that. Rhizome comes out of a salon / atelier /
    > studio / gallery / museum tradition. It's about centralizing art. So
    > that's where the technology for the site went. It's not a good or bad
    > thing, BTW. The rhizome at Rhizome is a metaphor but not an actual
    > realization of the blueprints given out by D&G*. That has happened
    > with CMS.
    >
    > The technologies developed for blogging come from two traditions :
    > Online link logging and self publishing. So the onus of disseminating
    > a site is taken on by the blogger because, if they don't do it nobody
    > will. And the links have become a way of not just acknowledging
    > influences of showing love to other bloggers but of creating prestige
    > ranking: of not only showing your influences but assessing your
    > influence on others.
    >
    >> Personally, this meant that I devote some of my time (and ego) for
    >> the greater good of the group, by posting my opinions and reactions
    >> to topics of interest, in one place.
    >
    > With blogs, that new place is the feed reader.
    >
    > To read about feeds go to : http://news.yahoo.com/rss
    > For what feed readers do, check out NetNewsWire at
    > http://www.ranchero.com
    >
    >
    >> I believe that a socialist-democracy (the ideal of Rhizome) is a much
    >> better way for this community to thrive than anarchy (fractured,
    >> poorly maintained blogs).
    >
    > Sorry but your analogy is hollow. Educate yourself a bit more about
    > how the technologies work and then come back to that. I still have not
    > read Alex Galloway's Protocol but I have on my site an essay he wrote
    > with Eugene Thacker called the Limits of Networking. It's brilliant.
    > Check it out at http://www.culturekitchen.com/archives/000574.html

    Yeah, I wouldn't make that analogy either, that is, anarchy=blogs, that
    really doesn't make any sense to me.

    My experience in blogland is it maintains a very democratic nature as
    there is no one voice of authority or mechanism of centralization. Of
    course some voices rise to the top (in the web design field for
    instance, there are a few 'main' bloggers: Zeldman, stopdesign, What do
    i know, mezzoblue, k10k, etc). But the same thing happens on a
    discussion board but it's much harder to create one's own filter of the
    leading voices in a field.

    Similar blog voices link via their post links, their blogrolls, their
    comment links, their trackbacks, etc. The mechanism of grouping or
    networking therefor is decentralized; if one blog goes down, much like
    the Internet, it doesn't tear down the entire network of blogs in a
    field. We need that desperately in the new media/net art world. If
    Rhizome goes out tomorrow, what becomes of the artbase? the texts? our
    RAW clubhouse? It's gone.

    >
    >
    >> In order for this to happen, I think that members need to
    >> deliberately devote their resources to the good of the board than
    >> their own blogs.
    >
    > I will be publishing this weekend a long post on metablogging the net
    > art world. Hopefully it will be informative enough about the
    > importance and utility of CMS technology for net artists.
    >
    >
    >> Given that we all have a finite amount of time to devote to our art,
    >> our day-jobs, and so on, I am interested in why members feel it is
    >> better to blog than to participate in a board.
    >
    >
    > Quick thoughts : Vertical scaling (metaweb), categories, archives,
    > networking, diffusion, dissemination, the rhizome. More to come.
    >
    > best,
    > l i za
    >
    >
    >
    >

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:35 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 13:53 America/New_York, Dyske Suematsu
    wrote:

    > In fact, someone does need to experiment with new technologies, for
    > the rest
    > of us to be able to use them appropriately. The question as a director
    > of IT
    > is: Is my role to explore the possibilities of new technologies, or to
    > use
    > them to serve a certain purpose? I find that many directors of IT end
    > up
    > doing the former because it is more exciting, better for their
    > careers, and
    > offers more recognition for their achievements. It is rare to see IT
    > directors who put objectives before the allure of new technologies.
    > I've
    > personally witnessed millions of dollars go down the toilet because of
    > these
    > tendencies of IT directors.

    Completely agree with this. Just to reinforce my opinion about the
    'culture' that this new service will be serving.

    I have just finished designing a blog for Napier's potatoland. Not
    ready to launch yet but once I finish the post on metablogging, I'll be
    pointing to some examples of how I will be using the site for archival
    / curatorial purposes.

    There are people out there actually using blogging technology to create
    art. Will give some of those as well. But these possibilities might not
    be available to users if you are centralizing the system.

    If decentralized, how different would that make you from TypePad? Then
    there is the kind of licensing you may be using for the software
    itself; the amount of blogs allowed per user, etc. etc.

    Lots to think about.

    / l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:39 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 14:33 America/New_York, Francis Hwang wrote:

    > So that's a goal of mine, though it's perhaps less concrete than the
    > goals you offered. Blogs to me make sense because an increasing amount
    > of discussion in our field lives outside the Rhizome walls. There are
    > a lot of small reasons for it (and, yes, the membership policy is one
    > of those) but the big reason is this: The internet ain't what it used
    > to be. There are lots of people who want to maintain their own little
    > atomic sites somewhere else besides on some mega-community site like
    > Rhizome ... I think it would be cool to find ways to include them in
    > the conversation, too.
    >

    The poster-child for metawebbing and vertical scaling has to be this
    site :

    http://www.electrokin.com/netart_links.htm

    Net Artists should kiss the feet of people like Christiane Paul or Curt
    Cloninger. I have no idea how they do it, really. Clicking one bookmark
    at a time? Is that the best net artists can do? And don't get me
    started with those all-flash-all-the-time sites. Really, keeping track
    net art is like trying to give cats a bath.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 3:55 p.m.
    On Tuesday, Jul 6, 2004, at 23:59 America/New_York, curt cloninger
    wrote:
    > So what do I want out of rhizome? When I first came to rhizome, I
    > wanted to discover a like-minded community of creative folks who
    > wanted to talk about art. I never quite discovered that (except for a
    > handful of kindred spirits). What I did discover was different, but
    > in some ways even more beneficial to me (although it took me a while
    > to appreciate it).

    This makes me think of the house of greek parents in "My Big Fat Greek
    Wedding". It's funny how the house was built to keep the Exenos from
    coming in. What I like about having a blog is that I have no idea who
    will get hooked into it. I am the #3 search choice for spongemonkeys
    and #6 for masturbation month

    http://www.google.com/search?q=spongemonkeys&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    http://www.google.com/search?q=masturbation+month&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    No I have not been masturbating for a month with spongemonkeys
    (although I should post something like that and see what happens).
    Anyhow, it's been interesting to see some of the comments on these and
    other topics. Then there are the personal emails I receive from people
    that, once I visit their sites I go, WOW! now I know why they 'clicked'
    with what I write.

    You just don't get that on a gated community. Need the traffic or
    pedestrians, runners, strollers and transients. That's what makes blogs
    rhizomatic.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 4:01 p.m.
    On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 08:03 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    wrote:
    > If members felt more secure participating in this board, I feel that a
    > lot more would decide to participate as a community, rather than
    > opting to secede into their own blogs. This has less to do with how
    > new technology can accomodate this activity, but rather how this
    > already huge community could be motivated to become more invested.
    >

    Well given that the 'community' is mostly composed of geeks, something
    dealing with technology might inspire them. Then again, I'd love to see
    the median age for Rhizome members. I bet a lot of them are having
    offline lives disrupt their online presence. Grock knows now a bunch of
    them here in NYC have spawned and will suffer the same fate us earlier
    breeders have. Heh.

    / l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 4:24 p.m.
    On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 13:30 America/New_York, Alexander
    Galloway wrote:
    > i find this blog thread very interesting. these are some of the issues
    > that we have wrestled with ever since the beginning of rhizome: the
    > best way to exchange content collaboratively.

    True.

    > a quick summary of what rhiz has attempted thus far (Francis--correct
    > me if i'm wrong)... at the start of rhizome, mark tribe decided that
    > the best way to navigate the signal-to-noise problem was to have two
    > lists, one heavily moderated and one completely open. this resulted in
    > the Digest/Raw format that has persisted since. people wanting a
    > filter subscribed to Digest, while those who could handle the deluge
    > subscribed to Raw. in the olden days the website was edited by the
    > same person who edited Digest, and therefore ended up resembling the
    > filtered email list rather then the unfiltered. eventually a web
    > archive of Raw was added to balance things out a little. then, after a
    > few years, rhizome switched over to a more decentralized format,
    > handing the editorial selection for the website to a group of
    > "superusers" who are able to pick which articles appear on the front
    > page.

    So the decision came out of the main technology email. Since you're the
    Perl guy Alex, did you know about blogging systems when you were
    building R1 or R2? I am assuming you did not because the technology
    really did not explode until about 2 years ago and you were already
    done with the site. Correct? I really want this information because ...
    well ... inquiring minds want to know. I really want to know the
    details of the process for building the site.

    > as others have already pointed out in this thread, RSS feeds have
    > fundamentally changed the landscape of the web. it's my opinion that
    > rhizome might be ready for another redesign, one that can accommodate
    > the aggregation and republishing functionality enabled by RSS. yes,
    > email will always be the killer app, so of course some balance between
    > email content and web feed content should be achieved.

    That would be a huge undertaking. You already have the chops with PhP
    and there's a lot of nifty things done with it that surpass what is
    accomplished with the mere mortal HTML CMS site but, I'm thinking more
    of the structure of Rhizome itself. This is social software after all.
    How are you going to manage the socialization on the site and why. Two
    big questions to answer before going ahead with a redesign of that
    nature.

    > by way of contrast.. i've recently been hanging out over on the
    > eyebeam reblog system

    Hanging out? Hogging it is more like it. Get off it! I want to reblog
    <pout> <pout>

    > (http://eyebeam.org/reblog/) and am currently coding version 2 of the
    > backend (with much help from Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin). reblog
    > is formally quite similar to the current rhizome website in the sense
    > that it has a community-fed text input system that is then parsed and
    > republished on the site.

    Nononononono. It is edited. It is not a regular feed where anything
    would be aggregated unfiltered. It is definitely not conventional XML
    aggregation and Jonah wanted it that way because they wanted a
    moderated aggregation to the site. Correct?

    > reblog is simple, it takes an unlimited number of RSS feeds as input
    > and lets you parse them into a single RSS feed as output. the main
    > differences with rhiz i can see are 1) rhizome uses the emails posted
    > to rhizome raw as its input channel, while reblog uses posts from
    > about 80 web feeds, 2) rhizome uses a group of "superusers" who can
    > publish articles on the website, while reblog uses a single rotating
    > "guest reblogger" (a convention which could easily be changed in the
    > future to include multiple simultaneous rebloggers).

    The advantage of 1 list to 80 blogs is huge and that is what I mean by
    vertical scaling.

    > rhizome could conceivably reorganize itself around the reblog model,
    > using both email and rhizomer blog feeds as the input.

    Absolutely. Yahoo! has an RSS for their open email lists. So the
    model has been proven. I have to dig for the link to that feature but
    have used it.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 4:31 p.m.
    On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 16:20 America/New_York, Francis Hwang
    wrote:
    > Actually, I think it's much more promising to add individual blogs,
    > for individual authors, than to have one more collectively moderated
    > channel on Rhizome. The ecosystem of RSS users already has its own
    > collective moderation, as drawn implicitly through the act of linking
    > and tracked on search & indexing sites like Technorati, Blogdex,
    > PubSub, Google, etc., etc., etc. There are, of course, group blogs out
    > in the world, but with a well-armed RSS reader you can mix your
    > channel anyway.

    The question still is who gets to blog for Rhizome. Payers of the
    service? Members who already have blogs? A mix of both? And then how
    would that be reflected on the site? Just simple aggregation or by the
    # links to a certain post or by the # comments? How is all that
    technology going to be put to use to fulfill the needs of Rhizome?

    > Individually authored blogs are easier to code/maintain, too.

    Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on the user. The issue here is that
    you have a very small % of net art people using blogs. So your focus
    may well be about educating people on how to use them. Most net art
    people equate blogs with just writing and have no idea how to use it
    for their own art purposes.

    >
    > I also have to say that I don't think it's at all guaranteed that
    > email will always be the killer app. These days I get more than 5000
    > emails a week, and the overwhelming majority are spam ... client-side
    > filtering doesn't work at this volume, legal measures will just push
    > spammers into legal gray zones, and, various sender verification
    > systems are making their way through the standards process but will
    > take years to codify and implement. In the meantime, the upcoming
    > versions of operating systems from both Redmond and Cupertino will
    > include RSS readers ... the future of email as a one-to-many broadcast
    > medium is by no means guaranteed, unfortunately.
    >

    That is true to. Push media, due to spamming, is going the way of ...
    well... telemarketing and spamming.

    Best,
    l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 4:35 p.m.
    On Thursday, Jul 8, 2004, at 16:51 America/New_York, Jason Van Anden
    wrote:
    > Let's say that someone had an idea for a website called "artornot.com"
    > (apparently not very original idea - domain already taken - I
    > checked), to be used as a open forum for new media art criticism and
    > discussion. Let's say that this was a really good idea (just). I
    > think it would be great if that person was encouraged to come to this
    > community with the idea, with the possibility that it would get
    > support (developmental, moral, financial, coding, etc...) from other
    > members, rather than letting it rot on the vine because of lack of
    > personal resources (time, money, faith).

    That would mean changing the whole structure of how the (non-profit)
    business of Rhizome is run. It's not just about the technology.

    / l i z a
  • Liza Sabater | Fri Jul 9th 2004 4:54 p.m.
    last reply of the day before I go to a party where there's going to be
    a bunch of ... bloggers.

    On Friday, Jul 9, 2004, at 17:28 America/New_York, t.whid wrote:
    > Similar blog voices link via their post links, their blogrolls, their
    > comment links, their trackbacks, etc. The mechanism of grouping or
    > networking therefor is decentralized; if one blog goes down, much like
    > the Internet, it doesn't tear down the entire network of blogs in a
    > field. We need that desperately in the new media/net art world. If
    > Rhizome goes out tomorrow, what becomes of the artbase? the texts? our
    > RAW clubhouse? It's gone.
    >

    I did not even think about this one. This is definitely a thing to
    consider.

    I am not at liberty to say which piece it is but a certain net art
    piece completely disappeared from a major museum here in NYC thanks to
    the cluelessness of the sysmins that were migrating the system to a new
    server.

    Gone.

    POOF!

    The artist in question was not allowed to keep a copy of it on his site
    as per the contract/commission details. TWO YEARS of the work were gone
    .... until the other day when, threatened with a lawsuit the hosting
    company found a full backup of the work.

    PHEW!

    This is the tyranny of centralized systems. The "it's mine" mentality
    that by just the flick of a switch can do away with two years of net
    art just like that.

    Similar occurrence with Weblogger dot com. Dave Winer lost all my
    sympathy and respect for what he did. He had been running this free
    blog system for sometime, not out of the goodness of his heart but
    because it served him as a testing ground for Manila's R&D. It seems he
    got sticker shock with the server bill or something and guess what :
    3000 blogs disappeared from the blogosphere because he had the plug
    pulled from the server. His excuse : I gave it to you for free, I can
    take it away if I want.

    Whether it is tyranny or incompetence, centralized systems are a thing
    to think about twice. Why use the net to harbor centralized sites? It
    is a virtual, networked world after all.

    best,
    l i z a
  • Jason Van Anden | Fri Jul 9th 2004 5:25 p.m.
    This discussion, by it's very existence, actually does a good job of illustrating why I brought this topic up.

    How would this discussion be realized on a blog?

    How would you know about it?

    Who would be motivated to contribute to it?

    The thoughtful contributions from the membership have motivated me to contiue to participate in this ongoing discussion. I feel like I have spent my time well.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Jeremy Zilar | Fri Jul 9th 2004 5:52 p.m.
    LIZA did a fine job today of sewing together a series of posts on this
    subject. I felt like i was reading a blog. I enjoyed reading them, but i
    became turned off to the whole thing after a while.
    She made me take a look at RSS. I dont really understand what it is
    yet,. but she got my curiosity peaked.
    I do know that i like recieving Rhisome via email for the very fact that
    i feel like i am in a neutral environment. (this is just an illusion in
    my head)

    however, i could easily see my self taking part in a rhizome blog if the
    discussion were ALIVE.

    I am looking forward to helping out in any way possible. I would like to
    get something going.

    Jason Van Anden wrote:

    >This discussion, by it's very existence, actually does a good job of illustrating why I brought this topic up.
    >
    >How would this discussion be realized on a blog?
    >
    >How would you know about it?
    >
    >Who would be motivated to contribute to it?
    >
    >The thoughtful contributions from the membership have motivated me to contiue to participate in this ongoing discussion. I feel like I have spent my time well.
    >
    >Jason Van Anden
    >www.smileproject.com
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >
  • joy garnett | Fri Jul 9th 2004 6:46 p.m.
    This discussion has brought up everything for me--everything that I've
    been struggling with for the past 4 years of editing newsgrist and trying
    to make it work. Ha! Liza has indeed done an amazing job of tieing it all
    together. What remains for me to say is perhaps personal, and I hope a
    little bit useful here: ironically, newsgrist started as an adverse
    reaction to Rhizome flame wars and my own irritation with Raw -- ah, the
    good old days. (Alex, please don't laugh!)

    But those were also pre-RSS pre-blog days. I started a news digest
    (c. 2000) because I wanted editorial control as well as "reach"--
    in those days that killer app was not yet bogged down by spam or
    worminess. Also and most important: I felt the painful gap between one
    art community, which at that point was starkly Luddite, and the digital/
    net scene, which had basically changed my life and my work in untold and
    amazing ways. The gap wrankled me (still does). So newsgrist set about its
    mission in a proto-bloggy fashion: it wanted to build a community
    through distribution and sharing of info, not unlike Phil Agre's Red Rock
    Reader list, if anyone remembers that phenom. At that stage it was very
    much a landscape of lists. and of course, bbs.

    Anyway, long story short: this year I finally decided to shift newsgrist
    into blogdom. There is no point in ignoring RSS etc. BUT at the same time,
    the idea of abandoning a carefully taylored and large subscriber list made
    no sense (abandon all my subscribers?). So instead of emailing out a news
    digest (which gets archived on a website that no one visits) I blog and
    blog and blog...and then send out a news digest to my as yet non-bloggy
    subscribers--a digest of the blog itself. The links are almost all
    permalinks so they will be led to the non-bloggy, should they choose to
    click, new newsgrist blog, and hence (and this is the idea) to other
    blogs; to the world of blogs. So my idea: to create some kind of bridge
    between a passive community that barely looks at the web, that likes to
    receive email (they used to be the Luddites) and a bloggy world of
    aggregators and feeds. One thing leads to another.

    Even successful (um, $$$) blog entrpeneurs like Nick Denton (Gawker,
    Wonkette, FleshBot, etc.) are trying to figure out how to drive the
    non-bloggy community into the blog market--that's the idea behind sites
    like Kinja.com. But my feeling is that we don't have to be absolutists:
    there are uses for blogs, for boards, for email lists---they all serve
    different needs, different communities even. Reality is hybrid.

    I don't know that Rhizome really needs to change radically right now--Net Art
    News being their feed, their way of drawing both bloggers and non-bloggers
    (net art news subscribers). Perhaps the real question is: Are any of the
    current modes that Rhizome employs expendable? Or is it rather a question
    of adding something new?

    Hmmmm.
    best,
    Joy
    http://newsgrist.typepad.com
    http://imvoting.com

    On Fri, 9 Jul 2004, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > This discussion, by it's very existence, actually does a good job of illustrating why I brought this topic up.
    >
    > How would this discussion be realized on a blog?
    >
    > How would you know about it?
    >
    > Who would be motivated to contribute to it?
    >
    > The thoughtful contributions from the membership have motivated me to contiue to participate in this ongoing discussion. I feel like I have spent my time well.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > www.smileproject.com
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Sat Jul 10th 2004 6:28 a.m.
    Wow. Lots to think about. I want to respond to the points made by, well, everyone - but I need to digest it all, and have the free moment to write it responsibly. I hope to be able to do this sometime over the weekend.

    Perhaps it is not necessary to say this, perhaps it is even self-centered and presumptuous, but at the expense of sounding square... I have to admit that I often wait in anticipation for a reply to my posts. I think it is about a yearning for recognition, and relying on feedback from others for some sort of self-actualization - interesting topics for therapy at any rate, or perhaps the reason I chose to pursue art. I am new at this kind of interaction, so maybe this does not need to be brought up, the informal protocol of this medium excuses the need to. I would hate to think that someone felt dismissed because of the pause, especially given the amount of effort members have invested in their contributions.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Lee Wells | Sat Jul 10th 2004 7:40 a.m.
    In that case, I would be delighted to join the cult of individual
    personality. I promise to do my best.

    http://leewells.blogspot.com/

    Cheers,
    Lee

    On 7/9/04 4:25 PM, "Liza Sabater" <blogdiva@culturekitchen.com> wrote:

    >
    > On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 11:30 America/New_York, Lee Wells wrote:
    >
    >> Survey Says, "EGO. was the number one reason for self-aggrandized
    >> blogging."
    >
    > As if making art is not about that? HA!
    >
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Sat Jul 10th 2004 8:16 a.m.
    Joy is not the first person to have referenced the legendary Rhizome "Flame Wars" as being the beginning of some sort of Rhizome schism. Was it ever documented, analysed, made into a prequel? If not, can someone bring me up to date? Really curious.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Lee Wells | Sat Jul 10th 2004 8:41 a.m.
    Dear Liza:

    Art is not about blogging.
    Blogging is about art.

    On 7/10/04 9:40 AM, "Lee Wells" <lee@leewells.org> wrote:

    > In that case, I would be delighted to join the cult of individual
    > personality. I promise to do my best.
    >
    > http://leewells.blogspot.com/
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Lee
    >
    > On 7/9/04 4:25 PM, "Liza Sabater" <blogdiva@culturekitchen.com> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> On Sunday, Jul 4, 2004, at 11:30 America/New_York, Lee Wells wrote:
    >>
    >>> Survey Says, "EGO. was the number one reason for self-aggrandized
    >>> blogging."
    >>
    >> As if making art is not about that? HA!
    >>
    >>
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Rob Myers | Sat Jul 10th 2004 9:10 a.m.
    On 10 Jul 2004, at 15:41, Lee Wells wrote:

    > Art is not about blogging.
    > Blogging is about art.

    There's always "Whistler's Blogger"...

    More seriously there's Belle du Jour (etc.), blogs as literature
    (allegedly).

    I *don't* think Rhizome Raw would be better as a blog. I like the
    peculiar mix of press releases, ASCII art and chit-chat that is this
    list. I like the volume of traffic. And I like the semi-private nature
    of the list. Rhizome Raw would be a late and redundant entry to the
    blogging arena. As a mailing list it's something very special.

    - Rob.
  • MTAA | Sat Jul 10th 2004 9:14 a.m.
    there was also the JODI and antiorp spam bombs. those were fun :-)

    Alex G was in the trenches. Maybe he can give us the history?

    On Jul 10, 2004, at 10:16 AM, Jason Van Anden wrote:

    > Joy is not the first person to have referenced the legendary Rhizome
    > "Flame Wars" as being the beginning of some sort of Rhizome schism.
    > Was it ever documented, analysed, made into a prequel? If not, can
    > someone bring me up to date? Really curious.
    --
    <t.whid>
    www.mteww.com
    </t.whid>
  • Lee Wells | Sat Jul 10th 2004 9:25 a.m.
    Rob:
    I agree.

    On 7/10/04 11:10 AM, "Rob Myers" <robmyers@mac.com> wrote:

    > On 10 Jul 2004, at 15:41, Lee Wells wrote:
    >
    >> Art is not about blogging.
    >> Blogging is about art.
    >
    > There's always "Whistler's Blogger"...
    >
    > More seriously there's Belle du Jour (etc.), blogs as literature
    > (allegedly).
    >
    > I *don't* think Rhizome Raw would be better as a blog. I like the
    > peculiar mix of press releases, ASCII art and chit-chat that is this
    > list. I like the volume of traffic. And I like the semi-private nature
    > of the list. Rhizome Raw would be a late and redundant entry to the
    > blogging arena. As a mailing list it's something very special.
    >
    > - Rob.
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Jeremy Zilar | Sat Jul 10th 2004 9:52 a.m.
    I dont understand RSS enough,. but it seems like it would be a happy
    medium in between the two.
    And besides, any system has flaws, which will ultimately be exploited
    and used to create beautiful havoc. And if those flaws are not being
    exploited, then we will be here to see that they are.
    Let it change and evolve, and move on.
    I am more interested in seeing what things come out of a change, than
    what could come from using the same tired methods.

    -jeremy

    Lee Wells wrote:

    >Rob:
    > I agree.
    >
    >On 7/10/04 11:10 AM, "Rob Myers" <robmyers@mac.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >>On 10 Jul 2004, at 15:41, Lee Wells wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>>Art is not about blogging.
    >>>Blogging is about art.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>There's always "Whistler's Blogger"...
    >>
    >>More seriously there's Belle du Jour (etc.), blogs as literature
    >>(allegedly).
    >>
    >>I *don't* think Rhizome Raw would be better as a blog. I like the
    >>peculiar mix of press releases, ASCII art and chit-chat that is this
    >>list. I like the volume of traffic. And I like the semi-private nature
    >>of the list. Rhizome Raw would be a late and redundant entry to the
    >>blogging arena. As a mailing list it's something very special.
    >>
    >>- Rob.
    >>
    >>+
    >>-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >>-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >>+
    >>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >
  • Jason Van Anden | Sun Jul 11th 2004 5:09 p.m.
    I think the artornot.com example was a poor choice.

    Liza wrote:
    >That would mean changing the whole structure of how the (non-profit) business of >Rhizome is run. It's not just about the technology.

    This was an attempt to answer Francis's question about what I meant by community participation. My example was not meant to suggest that we should be developing profitable products umbrellaed under the Rhizome brand. Later posts by Joy Garnett and T.Whid actually illustrate my point much better. Disenfranchised by activities going on within the Rhizome community, they were motivated to start their own blogs: T.Whid had a problem with the fee structure, Joy Garnett with the flame wars. Clearly both of these members contribute (a lot) regardless or I would not know this, however, this suggests to me that this board is quieter since they decided to focus their efforts on their blogs.

    I think both Joy and T.Whid have excellent blogs, so perhaps it is not a bad thing that they were inspired to do what they do.

    But doesn't this suggest that this board (and community) might be more active if members were more motivated to focus their thoughts and idea here instead?

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • alex galloway | Mon Jul 12th 2004 10:07 a.m.
    > there was also the JODI and antiorp spam bombs. those were fun :-)

    oh yeah there was the time when jodi send 1039 emails to Raw in one day.

    > Alex G was in the trenches. Maybe he can give us the history?

    sure. the flame wars started in 1996, and continue to the present day
    ;-)

    > On Jul 10, 2004, at 10:16 AM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    >
    >> Joy is not the first person to have referenced the legendary Rhizome
    >> "Flame Wars" as being the beginning of some sort of Rhizome schism.
    >> Was it ever documented, analysed, made into a prequel? If not, can
    >> someone bring me up to date? Really curious.
  • Francis Hwang | Mon Jul 12th 2004 10:13 a.m.
    On Jul 9, 2004, at 6:31 PM, liza sabater wrote:

    >
    > On Wednesday, Jul 7, 2004, at 16:20 America/New_York, Francis Hwang
    > wrote:
    >> Actually, I think it's much more promising to add individual blogs,
    >> for individual authors, than to have one more collectively moderated
    >> channel on Rhizome. The ecosystem of RSS users already has its own
    >> collective moderation, as drawn implicitly through the act of linking
    >> and tracked on search & indexing sites like Technorati, Blogdex,
    >> PubSub, Google, etc., etc., etc. There are, of course, group blogs
    >> out in the world, but with a well-armed RSS reader you can mix your
    >> channel anyway.
    >
    > The question still is who gets to blog for Rhizome. Payers of the
    > service? Members who already have blogs? A mix of both? And then how
    > would that be reflected on the site? Just simple aggregation or by the
    > # links to a certain post or by the # comments? How is all that
    > technology going to be put to use to fulfill the needs of Rhizome?

    I don't think there will be such a thing as blogging "for Rhizome", as
    you put it. Although we haven't really nailed down how much this will
    cost per person (and accordingly how we'd want to charge for it), more
    or less anybody who'll want one can get one. There's no vetting or
    anything like that. You can come and blog about Holocaust revisionism
    for all I want, I don't care. (Though if you were into that sort of
    thing you might be better off somewhere else, because if you don't care
    about integration into the Rhizome community then there's not much
    reason to blog here.)

    There are a lot of different ways that the proposed blogs could be
    integrated into the rest of the site: Personally I think this needs to
    be rolled into some sort of design/usability review though I'm not sure
    when we'll find the time. So, to give you a sort of weasely
    non-committal answer: We're very interested in reflecting this in the
    site in lots of different ways but don't know exactly how we'll do it.

    F.
  • void void | Mon Jul 12th 2004 4:26 p.m.
    I've read this entire thread.. and I'm coming around to value of blogs. and the value they could have on a site like this one, they can transcend the "daddy, daddy, look at me!" mentality.

    I think maybe a system of 1.superuser blogs as a main offering 2.then if you wanted to purchase a blog space, you could if a member. ( like the web hoasting) and 3. a reblog type of offering

    by the way I'm listening to Michael Gordon "Light is Calling" :-)

    AE04
    atomicelroy.com
    don't bitch... run for office, i am!
  • Jason Van Anden | Mon Jul 12th 2004 6:12 p.m.
    What do you mean by the "daddy, daddy, look at me!" mentality?

    atomic elroy wrote:

    > I've read this entire thread.. and I'm coming around to value of
    > blogs. and the value they could have on a site like this one, they can
    > transcend the "daddy, daddy, look at me!" mentality.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Lee Wells | Mon Jul 12th 2004 7:37 p.m.
    I think it kinda has something to do with peeing in the snow.

    On 7/12/04 8:12 PM, "Jason Van Anden" <jason@smileproject.com> wrote:

    > What do you mean by the "daddy, daddy, look at me!" mentality?
    >
    > atomic elroy wrote:
    >
    >> I've read this entire thread.. and I'm coming around to value of
    >> blogs. and the value they could have on a site like this one, they can
    >> transcend the "daddy, daddy, look at me!" mentality.
    >
    > Jason Van Anden
    > www.smileproject.com
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • void void | Mon Jul 12th 2004 8:13 p.m.
    indeed! lee's on it!

    AE04
    atomicelroy.com
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Jul 13th 2004 6:31 a.m.
    I am still confused. Might graffiti be a better analogy?

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com

    atomic elroy wrote:
    > indeed! lee's on it!
  • void void | Tue Jul 13th 2004 3:15 p.m.
    jva,

    blogs can tend to be narcissistic, in the wrong hands...

    reading a blog can be a lot like watching some one else masturbate, it really depends on who's doing it, as to whether or not it turns you on.

    cheers!

    AE04
    atomicelroy.com
    don't bitch... run for office!
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Jul 13th 2004 4:54 p.m.
    Got it.
    Thanks.

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com

    atomic elroy wrote:
    > reading a blog can be a lot like watching some one else masturbate,
    > it really depends on who's doing it, as to whether or not it turns you
    > on.
  • Steve Kudlak | Tue Jul 13th 2004 7:49 p.m.
    I really miss the old BBS world. Now I spent what I call my second
    adolescence;) on tree structured BBSes in a small (well medium sized
    university town of some note). The systems had their pasrticular
    problems, for example almost all BBS systems were a refelection of
    their sysops. But I don't know whether it was the BBSes that were
    good, whether it was an interesting time in my life, although at
    some point not a pleasant one or whether it was that we held parties
    at the beach Anyway I we had an interesting group of people doing
    various things. It was all very interesting.

    Good blogs start to come close; one really needs to have interesting
    comments so it isn't a one person show. I find that I like epistolary
    a bit better, I end up seeing interesting things on mailing lists.
    Of course it often gets scattered and one has to look through a lot
    of stuff before one can find anything interesting.

    The problem is that blogs need to be more than one person talking.
    When I try to write mine, it always seems like I am talking to myself
    but it is hardly worth it at large. I guess one might just have to
    keep it up and then one might start getting responses.

    I do consider many bloggers just as good as the major news people.
    Although I haven't seen anyone as interesting or willing to stick
    their necks out there as Crispin Sartwell in his essay about Monstrous
    Sainthood. I really think that had to be said and the downside of religion
    is seldom ever mentioned in that it kills people and runs planes into
    buildings, that religious idealism has its multifaceted darkside.

    But overall I have seen leftie and rightie bloggers who are just
    as good as Malkin, Sowell and Hentoff. So it maybe that the medium
    will get better after awhile.

    Have Fun,
    Sends Steve

    > jva,
    >
    > blogs can tend to be narcissistic, in the wrong hands...
    >
    > reading a blog can be a lot like watching some one else masturbate, it
    > really depends on who's doing it, as to whether or not it turns you on.
    >
    > cheers!
    >
    >
    > AE04
    > atomicelroy.com
    > don't bitch... run for office!
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
  • Lee Wells | Wed Jul 14th 2004 12:32 a.m.
    It seems to me, being very new to the whole blogging thing, that its for
    those that have a desire and the time to say something. Which is cool.
    It doesn't really matter if anyone reads it but just functions as a form of
    digital journaling.

    Then theres the one with the fan club or the desire for the fan club.
    Some other poor soul can relate (and let me know) to what my sorry ass had
    to say today. Great now I'm not going to blow my head off thanks Buddy.

    Some folks have some pretty comprehensive Blogs.
    I imagine they don
  • Steve Kudlak | Wed Jul 14th 2004 9:08 a.m.
    ActuaLLy, you found of my neat patented idea, as he says with that
    sense of self inflation that we internet folks seem to have, that is
    to have a sort of art blog, which would include all sorts of collages,
    maybe even shudden, shudder poetry.

    But there are somethings that I can think can only be done easily
    by blogs. For example "The Steve the Artist amd Bob the Genetic Science
    Person being doggedly persued by the FBI, which seems to want to pin
    something on them, no matter how thwey do it on them, just to keep up
    the reputation of "WE ARE THE FEDS DON'T MESS WITH US; IF YOU DO YOU WILL
    BE SORRY; WE WILL MAKE SURE OF THAT..." In addition to Steve (another one
    not me)and Bob there is a small publisher called Autonomedia whose works
    have been subpoena'd and as far as I can tell don't have flashy lawyers to
    help them. Last I heard Steve and Bob had Paul Cambria Jr.who is wodely
    and
    highly thought of in many circuits (I know it sounds more news hound like to
    say circles but I likr circuits:)

    But I am worried about things like Autonomedia, becuase it was Autonomediz,
    zines(the paper kind that came by mail), Loompanics and C-SPAN that kept
    me emotionally and intellectually alive, and maybe even assured my physical
    survival while I was pretty much bed ridden for a periof of aboutr 9 months
    with the loving care of my Aunts Mary and Anna, whose phsyical care pulled
    me through. Along with Doctor Chuck-Dude's 50mcg/hr Duragesic preszcriptions
    that made pain a distant if not totally unpresent thing...See this is
    getting blog-like already...BUT TO ME IT IS THESE LITTLE THINGS LIKE
    ZINES,
    AUTONOMEDIA AND LOOMPANICS THAT ADD TO THE BIG THINGS LIKE CARE AND KINDNESS
    AND PRESCRIPTIONS THAT MAKE THINGS LIVE SURVIVAL POSSIBLE.

    The other BIG THING was these things helped supress the CHORUS FROM SO
    CALLED FREINDS THAT IT WAS ALL THE SAME EVERYWHERE THAT THERE WAS NO
    USE TRYING TO LEAVE THRUST BELT UPPER OHIO VALLEY. ACTUALLY I AM PROBABLY
    BEING TOO MEAN; HAVING NEVER SEEN ANYTHING DIFFERENT SO HE PROBABLY HONESTLY
    THOUGHT THAT WAS THE CASE.

    Anyway that is probably too blog like already....but it is tied in with
    why it would be a shame to see things like autonomedia, loompanics or some
    zine whih talked about growing bacteria or doingsomething slightly scared to
    be shut down, or worse yet,just warmed off.

    EVER SINCE I HAVE TOLD PEOPLE THAT I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE
    STEVE KURTZ AND CAE CASE A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE TOLD ME THAT I SHOULD
    STAY CLEAR, THAT IF I BECAME SIGNIFICANTLY INVOLVED THEM WOULD FIND
    SOME WAY TO MESS WITH ME TOO. I WAS SURPRISED THAT THIS CAME NOT FROM
    PEOPLE WHOSE INTERESTS WERE IN BLACK HELICOPTERS, CIA PROGRAMS NAMED
    MKULTRA AND MKDELTA BUT BUILDING MANAGERS. OFFICE PERSONS AND SMALL
    BUSINESS OENERS.

    I have become very interrsted in the whoile hijacking of cultural to give
    various entities who want to extend copyrighy more and more and jack
    technology around so it has this built in. I mean all this Digital copyright
    Sutff could lay the groundwork for what later would be a very Orwellian
    MethodFor Controling lots of things. I think that our supposedly liberal
    leftie friends in office like a certain Barbara Boxer should haveher
    feet held tot to the fire over this one.

    In spite of all those failures I am not willing to fall into the old
    lefty saw that both parties are the same. I see that as VERY PERNICIOUS
    AND CLOSE TO DOWN RIGHT EVIL IN THE CURRENT PRESIDENTIAL SITUATION>
    THE CURRENT SITTING PRESIDENT AS DIM-WITTED RELIGIOUS NUT WITH DELUSIONS
    THAT HE IS A KING. CERTAIN PEOPLE IN THE OTHER PARTY DID VOTE FOR THINGS
    THAT WERE QUESTIONABLE BUT NOW AS LONG AS THEY HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT THEY
    ARE STILL A MUCH BETTER CHOICE. NO WHERE NEAR PERFECT BUT I AM WORRIED
    THAT IF THE CURRENT POWERS THAT BE REMAIN IN OFFICE OUR ARTISTIC AND SOCIAL
    FREEDOMS WILL BE THINGS OF THE PAST SACRFICED ON THE ALTAR OF PROTECTION
    FROM TERRORISM.

    Note this would have been something that would have been discussed on the
    old tree strucured BBS and it would have provoked lots of useful discussion.
    I think I will paste it into my blog and see what happens in addition to
    posting it to these various mailing lists. But in general it seems out of
    place in such places so I am not going to do too much of tHAT.

    hAVE fuN,
    sENDs Steve

    > It seems to me, being very new to the whole blogging thing, that its for
    > those that have a desire and the time to say something. Which is cool.
    > It doesn't really matter if anyone reads it but just functions as a form
    > of
    > digital journaling.
    >
    > Then theres the one with the fan club or the desire for the fan club.
    > Some other poor soul can relate (and let me know) to what my sorry ass had
    > to say today. Great now I'm not going to blow my head off thanks Buddy.
    >
    > Some folks have some pretty comprehensive Blogs.
    > I imagine they don
  • Jason Van Anden | Tue Aug 3rd 2004 11:53 a.m.
    While I was away on vacation, I had the pleasure of reading "I, Robot", "Protocol" and "Bowling Alone". I chose the latter books because I thought they were relavant to this discussion, the first one because I never had. I did a lot of driving, and so there was a lot of time to let the ingredients stew. I wanted to cast some thoughts out there, off the cuff, to see if anyone would bite. I found these three books relevant for the points I have been trying to make about my concerns about the impact of blogging on a community board such as this.

    For everyone else who has not read it, "I, Robot" by Issac Asimov is a collection of fables, that use robots and three rules (protocols) that guide them, as the basis for reflection on human behavior.

    In "Protocol", Alex Galloway describes how the rules that run electronic technology (TCP/IP, HTTP, ...), establishes control over it's without a more traditional, centralized power structure.

    In "Bowling Alone", Robert D. Putnam analyses why Americans particpate less and less in group activities. The author pins most of the blame on the adoption of electronic media (especially TV) into our lives. He does not suggest that TV is the root of all evil, but points out how this medium has replaced other ways in which we had spent free time before it (attending clubs, town meetings, playing cards), and how these activities tended to involve face to face/community oriented relations with feedback. He suggests that Americans need to make a concerted effort to invest more in "Social Captial" in order to improve their quality of life.

    OK, so where does this intersect and relate for the sake of this discussion? The three rules of robotics from "I, Robot" are established in order for them to interoperate with humans. Like the technologies we really use described in "Protocol", the fables bring to light how the machines we create control and compromise our behavior, forcing us to establish a protocol to match it. "Bowling Alone" illustrates the long term effects that can evolve by blindly evolving a societal protocol (behavior) in order to co-exist with a technology's protocol.

    Blog is to TV as Board is to Town Meeting.

    My concern is if everybody blogs (or the most active members blog instead), it is a compromise that deteriorates the Social Capital of community. Looking at this discussion as an RFC, I am advocating for a "Social Protocol" of sorts, to persuade more members to focus their time contributing here when they can, as opposed to "Blogging Alone".

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com
  • Francis Hwang | Wed Aug 4th 2004 8:50 a.m.
    On Aug 3, 2004, at 1:53 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    > "Bowling Alone" illustrates the long term effects that can evolve by
    > blindly evolving a societal protocol (behavior) in order to co-exist
    > with a technology's protocol.
    >
    > Blog is to TV as Board is to Town Meeting.

    At the advent of television there were a handful of channels with
    millions of viewers each. Today there are millions of blogs, most of
    which have a handful of readers. Doesn't that change the dynamic
    somewhat?

    Francis Hwang
    Director of Technology
    Rhizome.org
    phone: 212-219-1288x202
    AIM: francisrhizome
    + + +
  • MTAA | Wed Aug 4th 2004 9:13 a.m.
    On Aug 4, 2004, at 10:50 AM, Francis Hwang wrote:

    >
    > On Aug 3, 2004, at 1:53 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    >> "Bowling Alone" illustrates the long term effects that can evolve by
    >> blindly evolving a societal protocol (behavior) in order to co-exist
    >> with a technology's protocol.
    >>
    >> Blog is to TV as Board is to Town Meeting.
    >
    > At the advent of television there were a handful of channels with
    > millions of viewers each. Today there are millions of blogs, most of
    > which have a handful of readers. Doesn't that change the dynamic
    > somewhat?
    >

    Along with tech like comments, trackbacks, and various other
    connections blogs function very well as interconnected conversations
    which are distributed (like the net itself) and therefor more robust
    than one singular meeting place.

    The blog/TV analogy doesn't cut it for me.

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Jason Van Anden | Wed Aug 4th 2004 7:31 p.m.
    First off, in regards to an earlier post of Francis': I am not talking about a blog such as the example of your brother's travel-blog. I think of that as a website that is built using blog technology out of convenience to the user - and to the benefit of his very specific audience. Clearly, this is incredibly empowering, cool.

    Francis Hwang> Today there are millions of blogs, most of which have a handful of readers.
    Francis Hwang> Doesn't that change the dynamic somewhat?

    If your point about the dynamics of millions of blogs vs a few television stations is meant to point out that that a free flow of decentralized information is important for freedom, I am with you*.

    With all of that in mind...

    More and more television channels have begotten more and more televisions, to the point that the average American home has close to 2.5** television sets. The specificity of television content has made it so that many who watch television, watch exactly what they want (or else whatever else is on), albeit by themselves, alone. The title of the book "Bowling Alone" refers to an observation of author Robert D. Putnam, that we are not bowling less, but bowling alone. The book clearly documents how as more people have isolated themselves by taking comfort in television, member based activities have radically atrophied, from town meetings to bowling clubs.

    Rhizome is the internet equivalent of a member based organization. I see the action of a few key participants leaving to create their own blogs as potentially disruptive as if active members in a real group stopped coming to stay home and watch television. I had expressed concern that this may have already started to occur in the first post. Upon reflecting on it more, I am convinced.

    t.whid> The blog/TV analogy doesn't cut it for me.
    Does that clear it up?

    I am really glad to have gotten more feedback. I felt a little weird exhuming this topic for fear of seeming way uncool ... so thanks!

    Jason Van Anden
    www.smileproject.com

    * Realistically, I will still gravitate towards established sources that have responsibilities such as fact checking, etc... no matter their agenda. I have been reading newspapers since I was a kid. I still think the professionals do a good job, for the most part.

    ** http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/mediatrendstrack/tvbasics/07_RoomLocation.asp
  • Lewis LaCook | Wed Aug 4th 2004 7:54 p.m.
    i've always asked myself: what really is the difference between a blog and a threaded message-board? what's the difference between a group blog and a wiki?

    bliss
    l

    "t.whid" <twhid@twhid.com> wrote:

    On Aug 4, 2004, at 10:50 AM, Francis Hwang wrote:

    >
    > On Aug 3, 2004, at 1:53 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    >> "Bowling Alone" illustrates the long term effects that can evolve by
    >> blindly evolving a societal protocol (behavior) in order to co-exist
    >> with a technology's protocol.
    >>
    >> Blog is to TV as Board is to Town Meeting.
    >
    > At the advent of television there were a handful of channels with
    > millions of viewers each. Today there are millions of blogs, most of
    > which have a handful of readers. Doesn't that change the dynamic
    > somewhat?
    >

    Along with tech like comments, trackbacks, and various other
    connections blogs function very well as interconnected conversations
    which are distributed (like the net itself) and therefor more robust
    than one singular meeting place.

    The blog/TV analogy doesn't cut it for me.

    ===
    http://www.mteww.com
    ===

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  • Francis Hwang | Thu Aug 5th 2004 9:59 a.m.
    On Aug 4, 2004, at 9:31 PM, Jason Van Anden wrote:
    > Rhizome is the internet equivalent of a member based organization. I
    > see the action of a few key participants leaving to create their own
    > blogs as potentially disruptive as if active members in a real group
    > stopped coming to stay home and watch television. I had expressed
    > concern that this may have already started to occur in the first post.
    > Upon reflecting on it more, I am convinced.

    Well, I'll say that a blog is definitely less intimate than a well-run
    mailing list, that's for sure. Much of this might depend on how you
    define "membership". Membership in a mailing list is a fairly binary
    proposition: Either you're getting those emails or not. For a blog it's
    quite amorphous: Some people subscribe to the RSS feed and post
    comments all the time, some people just read the website regularly,
    some people only read individual posts when they're pointed there from
    somewhere else.

    Linkage in a mailing list is internal, and thus convenient. Linkage
    through blogs (and sites in general) is external, and sacrifices
    convenience for diversity. (You have a lot more control over your
    reading habits through blogs than through mailing lists.) There are
    many different protocol-based efforts to make linkage denser between
    external sites; in the long-term I'm optimistic that they'll help out.

    But, in general, they are different forms. And they appeal to different
    sorts of people and different sorts of discourse. There are plenty of
    people who will never want a blog, and that's fine. Rhizome interest in
    the tech shouldn't be interpreted as a neglect of everything else. (I
    don't imagine, for example, wanting to shut down Raw.)

    I should also say that although I haven't read "Bowling Alone", I'm
    fairly familiar with its arguments and find myself mostly in agreement.
    I grew up in a suburbanized city in which public space was not a highly
    valued public asset; I was happy to leave it for a city in which public
    space (and public participation) is considered essential to the
    character of the place. And from that point of view I do not believe
    that a mailing list and a blog are substantially different when seen in
    the light of such arguments. Internet communications seem to offer a
    quick solution to general civic malaise, but such communications are
    inherently limited. When you're on your deathbed, most of the things
    you will remember about your life will be things that happened
    off-line. If you're on the internet too much, you're missing out on a
    whole world of physical, face-to-face experiences. Choosing a mailing
    list over a blog isn't going to help that one bit.

    Francis Hwang
    Director of Technology
    Rhizome.org
    phone: 212-219-1288x202
    AIM: francisrhizome
    + + +
  • ryan griffis | Thu Aug 5th 2004 6:27 p.m.
    > When you're on your deathbed, most of the things you will remember
    > about your life will be things that happened off-line. If you're on
    > the internet too much, you're missing out on a whole world of
    > physical, face-to-face experiences. Choosing a mailing list over a
    > blog isn't going to help that one bit.

    Thanks for the pick-me-up Francis... ;)
    ryan
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