This brought me up sharp just now:
The background to the reaction here:
My stuff in Chester since January 2015
I am reminded by this exchange, indirectly, if reminder I needed, that there is a common thread to what I’ve been doing since January 2015, here in Chester, UK.
From experimenting with wiki software to developing the idea of hyperlocal search, in everything I’ve been striving to do, unmediated and – at the same time – empowered access for user-producers has been that common thread.
For in my belief system, people are clever everywhere – what’s missing when they don’t seem to shine is infrastructure, opportunity … and the things that dosh normally brings.
chester.website and the truly sharing economy
Whilst chester.website’s development, ideologically/philosophically speaking, seemed quite clear (at least to me) from its very start – I think the video above will attest to this – the implications of hyperlocal search are only now beginning to really hit me.
chester.one and the implications of hyperlocal search
The individual- versus the community-understood web
The whole of modern business practice, its interactions with emerging “markets” such as hyperlocal activity, the development of apps and software, the codified constitutions behind online environments … all of these – and much much more – are posited and structured around the idea of individualising identity. Essentially, of creating personal filters and bubbles that lead supposed community projects to (as I point out in my presentation) atomise the very society they assert they are looking to bring together.
Why is this happening? Why cannot we create identities – or why are we being encouraged not to – which through individual interactions produce a coherent and community-oriented whole?
The power of the ad world’s assumptions
I have to say, without being an expert in the field, this is almost certainly primarily due to the now imperious demands of the online ad world:
Who could possibly argue with the right of a community to define itself as described previously – by itself, through itself, for itself and as that community – unless there were overriding interests in continuing to find out about and persistently invade the privacy of the most detailed parts of our lives as very separate – permanently kept-apart it would now seem – individuals?
And unless there were overriding interests in keeping us in such silos, where they served to inform better those who are devising them of our monetisable interests and value?
The threats & opportunities of community search & unmediated access
In much the same way, then, as hyperlocal search poses a benefit for communities and a simultaneous threat for those who would themselves self-serve of such communities, so unmediated access – via (for example) wiki software (of whatever brand, licensing structure or technical focus) – poses both a real threat to those who are already in the business of “content transmutation” (read the churnalism of copying, pasting and rehashing of stuff already published) as well as a hugely potential plus for any hyperlocal region which decided to get involved.
I may be wrong, of course. Sitting down behind a computer screen with far too much time on your hands to do the thinking can lead to thinking which is so left-field, it’s left any sensible field aeons ago.
I don’t think I am wrong, mind. But then, I suppose I wouldn’t, would I?
So what do you think? Any truth or value in any of today’s post?
For remember, as Francois Nel pointed out in the recent #CJ15 community journalism conference in Cardiff, and paraphrasing inexactly in the absence of access to the presentation in question, if mainstream media’s business model is broken, why spend so much time trying to reproduce it in hyperlocal journalism?