trash the net? / by JoFF Rae

guerrilla's in the media...

Cable TV as a community & social media… in the 70s as a method of capture, syndication & distribution of media where the guerrilla tactics were adopted throughout the production as equipment was accessible & portable & not confined to a sterile studio.  These methods saw innovation in the capture, management & attitude of the media & distribution.

Regulation & commercialisation was imposed on Cable TV in the 80’s after the CBS Television Network commissioned some enthusiasts to write & publish the book 'Guerrilla Television'.  The authors could see the demise of their free & unregulated networks. However, CBS was looking to have a reference for the philosophy & motivation of an organised social network - they valued the original concept & understood that the “hippies” & enthusiasts had developed unique networks, distribution, production values & philosophy as a creative strategy to work from.

Later, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in the early 90’s was the basis of social networking today with many of the same features… nick, chat, private, #chans, direct file transfers.  The networks developed a hierarchy & were managed by users with trained & earned status - also based on trust, respect & capability.  Again the moderation & security was strict & from the community - an unusual gaggle of geeks & freaks with a majority population of "normal" IRC citizens.

Late 90's & early 00's ARTIVIST recruited & commissioned young hackers from AUSTNET for exciting commercial projects demonstrating new broadband & fiber technologies.  Usually these kids had domestic dial up connections & could only imagine the results we would achieve while building content for the largest Internet expositions CeBIT & NetWorld on massive fiber connectivity & bandwidth; the coders were IRC obsessed & by habit maintained connection to 50,000 simultaneous users on up to 15 servers around Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada & a couple of stray ones in Europe.  The AUSTNET IRC network was very well moderated & controlled & had little problems with pornography, abuse & spam; a robust chat network in safe environ’ with the original conservative & christian values of AUSTNET founder Rogery with IRCops Seecs, Kwahraw & Sunflower balanced by the almost abusive & direct attitudes of Austnet IRCops CA & Boss Man; there were hundreds of rooms with users & bots in them all, each user finding their own group of friends & taking advice from IRCops or trusted ASD “helpers”.

IRC spawned branded proprietry chat clients like ICQ & MSN Messenger with improved usability, GUI design & access.  Other branded web services like Hotmail & payment facilities like PayPal were established during this period as the level of user confidence & trust in the internet increased.

Broadband & WiFi changed & motivated the ways we interact with media & communicate; we have got "wasteful" of bandwidth with increased capacity & availability; & our media has become "disposable" & flipant with Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr; Facebook released in 2004 & now has a population that is difficult to comprehend - 800 Million active users with an average of 130 friends & a total of 900 Million objects like pages & groups; 350 Million active users access Facebook through their mobile devices.

In recent years Internet & mobile services have made advances in product design & integration - our media tools are now functional & beautiful.

There are common factors of concept & development in social media:

- First is community - there is no society without community;

- Second is enthusiasm, collective talent, obsession & passion.

so what's up?

The internet by several accounts is about to be heavily regulated, censured & monitored… we’re told that freedoms & privacy will be lost.  Historically this would signal a time of creative & technical innovation that would result in new communication & social media technology from established & fragmented communities.

Consideration is required of the conceptual, philosophical & creative aspects of the relationship between user & new media technologies.  Issues of copyright & ownership of media will be a prerequisite consideration for any creative development (maybe the primary motivation) & ease of access & creative commons style licensing will be just as important.  All things considered there will be development of independent & unique online environ's of finest function & form.

However, present technical & physical constraints of the internet with regard for the limitations of perception will effect any new technology concept.

In any new media there will be three simple motivations of the creative process: social media; community; & ethic.