the nettime mod squad on Thu, 29 May 2003 14:05:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Nettime-bold is dead

Dear Nettimers,

We are closing nettime-bold. Some weeks ago, we stopped archiving it
because the archives kept breaking.[1] Now, because the cost of running
the list is high in terms of load on the server and the
benefits are low in terms of creative or 'open' uses of nettime-bold, we
are closing the list for good.

As an experiment, Nettime-bold was a failure, but a revealing one. First,
there was very little interest in it. At its best, nettime-bold had about
130 subscribers, which, at the time, was 5% the subscribers nettime-l had.
Originally, when the decision to launch nettime-bold was made (Feb. 2000)
we intended as a way to make the moderation process more transparent.
Since there was some discontent with the moderation, we thought that
alternative moderations might spring up, using the same base feed as
nettime-l. It didn't happen.

Second, and more importantly, it seems like it's impossible to run a
completely open channel, even if you don't care about the quality of the
content. The Internet, as an evironment, has become so 'hostile' that
'undifferentiated' openness is not a practical option anymore. This
happens both internally, in the sense of people who know the list abusing
it deliberately (to make an artistic or political point), as well as
externally, where the list becomes just one in a million anonymous
addresses, available for $19.99 to any spammer.

This is not surprising. Flame wars, list flooding and spam are we
well-known problems. But it raises the question how to maintain openness
in an environment you cannot assume even the most basic assumptions to be

This is not to say that it's impossible to keep a communication channel
open (slashdot, wikipedia and, we guess, nettime-l are working examples)
but it means that there is a needs to upgrade both the technical platforms
and thinking about what 'openness' means.

One thing this no longer means is an unmoderated nettime channel. RIP,

[the nettime mods]


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