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The New Rhizome.org

By Nick Hasty

Dear Rhizome Community,

As you may have noticed, Rhizome.org re-launched this week and I’m truly thrilled to share the new website with you firsthand.

We didn’t just re-design the website; we re-built it entirely from the ground up and reverse-engineered fifteen years of content—a massive task that unfolded just under two full years. Our goal for the new website was three-fold: First, we felt it was a priority to upgrade Rhizome’s archive of art—the ArtBase—and make it a better platform for participating artists, as well as curators, students, and everyone who wants to learn about this field. Second, we wanted to improve the overall website, by making it more rich, dynamic and browseable, especially our community-centered sections such as “Announce” and “Discuss”. Finally, we wanted to adjust our membership policy, shifting it away from granting access (now, all art works in the ArtBase are free to view) and onto advanced features. Developing the site was a major undertaking, and involved late nights and weekends on the part of a small team for nearly a year.

I’d like to highlight a few significant new features to you:

§ The ArtBase now allows artists to represent their work in much greater detail, thanks to a more elaborate metadata schema, greater storage possibilities, and the ability to upload bigger and better images.

§ We created more and better ways for our community to interact with ArtBase works, like leaving comments, "favorite-ing" works, curating them into exhibitions, and sharing them online via other platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

§ Last, we upgraded all sections of the site, from portfolios, to discussion, to announcement. We took in feedback we got from you, and tried to make each better.

We did it for you, Rhizome’s community, and we really hope you enjoy it. Please take a look, give us feedback, and help us make this new platform continue to grow.

I'd like to thank everyone involved with the creation of this new site:

David Nolen, who's programming wizardry runs the new ArtBase and who went truly above and beyond in helping me develop the site.

Mushon Zer-Aviv, who, along with Ed Nacional, designed the new Rhizome with tremendous vision and care.

Ward Smith, who helped design the new ArtBase database and who 's research and consultation in the field of digital art preservation helped us get this project off the ground.

And current and former Rhizome staff members, such as John Michael Boling, who worked with me many late hours on designs and planning, Jason Huff, who contributed designs and to our migration, and Zoe Salditch, who compiled our new list of technologies in the ArtBase.

Our annual Community Campaign ends tonight. I send this letter in the hopes that you will show support for our efforts and our future by renewing your membership to Rhizome today. Our goal is to reach $35,000 by tonight, January 21st, at midnight, and we are just $2,000 shy of reaching it. Please, take a moment and contribute here:

This new website lays a solid foundation for Rhizome’s for many years to come, cementing our commitment to openness, experimentation and innovation, and taking our operation from a grassroots model to one that’s more sustainable and solid.

With the new website up, I am now focused on fixing bugs and preparing to launch our annual Commissions Program, through which we administer grants to emerging artists internationally. I’d love to hear from you in terms of what you think of the new site, and what you’d like to see it do.

Thank you so much for your participation in Rhizome.


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Tom Moody 4 years, 10 months agoReply

Hi, Nick,
I like the comments having the same font size as the main post. The Artbase redesign looks good so far.
Some bugs:
The reblog posts are now tagged as "reblog archive" but archived as "editorial"–this breaks incoming links.
Here are a handful of links from my site and elsewhere that no longer work:
http://rhizome.org/editorial/fp/reblog.php/1853/ (announcing Marisa Olson's The GIF Show)
http://rhizome.org/editorial/fp/reblog.php/2299/ (Marisa reblogged my Time Lapse Molecule 2 .gif - the post still exists but the URL to my site is gone from the post so it appears Marisa made the GIF. Here is the current location: http://rhizome.org/editorial/2006/jul/19/time-lapse-molecule-2/
I will look on my blogs and see what else may be broken.
Best, Tom

rhizome admin 4 years, 10 months agoReply

Hey Tom,
I'm working on fixing old linkbacks, and other bugs as well. Hopefully we'll have all the kinks work out in a week or so.
Thanks for your patience everyone!

Tom Moody 4 years, 10 months agoReply

Hmmm , looks like those URLS in the post above need a space before the break tag.

MTAA 4 years, 10 months agoReply

Great job guys. Congrats!

Tom Moody 4 years, 9 months agoReply

Hi, Nick,
It's been almost a month and the above links still aren't working. Paddy Johnson noticed some other errors and mentioned them on her twitter, specifically that the "Rhizome exhibition archives now almost all lead to
dead links":
The page above includes the "Professional Surfer" exhibit, which Brad Troemel and others have claimed as an example of the institutionalization of surf clubs. Right now that exhibit can't be found anywhere on Rhizome:
So it's impossible to prove Troemel correct or incorrect unless someone made  a screenshot or probes the haze of collective memory via interviews with people who might have witnessed the page.
We went through this a couple of years ago and you did get the redirects fixed fairly promptly. I will continue to note broken links here.
Best, Tom

Tom Moody 4 years, 9 months agoReply

Looks like URLs are still breaking in comments, as well.

Michael Szpakowski 4 years, 9 months agoReply

Why do this in public? - I'm sure it's all in good faith but it comes over as a tad mean sprited.

artfagcity 4 years, 9 months agoReply

I think it's important to say something publically. It's a persistent issue and of all the broken links that need to be fixed, I'd say the exhibition links should take top priority. These exhibitions tell people about the history of Rhizome and what they deem important in the field of net art. 
In other news, I very much like the new comment fields!

Tom Moody 4 years, 9 months agoReply

Michael, it's a public website and a public record, and these links aren't being fixed. If someone follows a link from my blog and it doesn't work, it's easier to "get the word out" via blog posts than email everyone who might have ever read my blog and been annoyed by link rot.
Also, this is the second round of broken links we've had to deal with in a couple of years. See http://www.tommoody.us/archives/2009/12/19/fundraisers-afc-and-rhizome/ Sorry if my peevishness about that comes off to you as mean-spirited.
Correction to above: Troemel's claim of museum support for surf clubs was based
on certain of their members being included in the "Unmonumental" show in
2008. (See
http://fourninetyone.com/2011/01/06/fromclubstoaffinity/ - but beware that it has many inaccuracies, as Michael Manning and others have noted.) Troemel may not have been aware of the "Professional Surfer" exhibit
in January 2007, since he is claiming the clubs had "underdog" status at
that time. In any case, it would be good to have the record of what
actually happened restored as soon as possible. (This stuff is still being argued about.)