Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> Re: Is nettime MEDIA-FASCIST??
Florian Cramer on Fri, 6 Jun 2003 13:14:09 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Re: Is nettime MEDIA-FASCIST??

Am Donnerstag, 05. Juni 2003 um 09:28:59 Uhr (-0700) schrieb John von Seggern:
> The Internet, yes. As for nettime it is looking increasingly 
> old-fashioned to me these days...as numerous posters have pointed out 
> recently, there are many more sophisticated interfaces for online 
> community interaction these days that could address some of the issues 
> the moderation process was originally supposed to solve. Nettime seems 
> to be overly dominated by the particular interests of its moderators and 
> for me it has lost a great deal of its value as a forum. When are we 
> going to move to something new? Is there any desire on the part of this 
> community to keep exploring new communication technologies and network 
> topologies? Or are we going to stay stuck in a mid-90s paradigm of a 
> moderated listserv?

Old-fashioned mailing list technology has important advantages over, for
example, Slashdot-style web-based community platforms:

- Distributed, individual archiving. 

There is not one single server/repository of past contributions, which
is also a single point of failure, but there are individual archives on
subscriber's PCs, many of them being highly personally filtered
selections of what has been posted to a list. (It would be an
interesting project to publish Nettime archives/selection of individual

- Separation of (local) authoring and (remote) distribution interfaces

There is not one monolithic web-based application which tries to be your
text editor, E-Mail client and listserver at once, but everyone can work
locally with the software s/he prefers. For example, I'm typing this on
a terminal in vim using the mutt mailreader, others might use Eudora, a
web-based Mailer, and so on. The idea to turn web pages into your
software applications is very bad in regard to usability and user

I know of newer weblog software which allows users to post from a local
computer via XML rpc, but I doubt this technology is very accessible yet
for average people.

With local, distributed storage and individual choice of authoring
software, it is also much easier to convert textual information from one
medium into an other, i.e. from a text file to a mailing list
posting and vice versa, and use even individually written software (perl
scripts, shell filters etc.) to accomplish such tasks.

- Social/economical accessibility. 

As monolithic all-in-one applications, Web-based communities force you
to be online for reading and writing contributions, preferably with
broadband flatrate internet access. Mailing lists on the other hand
allow you to read and write contributions offline, and reduce online
time to a few seconds of sending off and receiving E-Mail, which can be
conveniently done even over slow modem connections.

Moreover, through mail server technology, readers don't need to access a
remote web server (which can be slow over intercontinental connections
or in countries with low-speed networking infrastructure), but get and
post contributions from their local provider's mail server.

Needless to point out why all these technical issues are - and always
have been - important political and cultural issues for Nettime as well.


GnuPG/PGP public key ID 3200C7BA, finger cantsin {AT} mail.zedat.fu-berlin.de

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