Fresh & New(er)

discussion of issues around digital media and museums by Seb Chan

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DIY culture

December 26th, 2005 by Seb Chan

Nice summary of points from one of the speakers at a recent ICA event.

* The concepts of a ‘mainstream’ and an ‘underground’ are laid to rest by networked culture. There are only open and closed networks. Everything is flat.
* Top down control structures (like major labels) are unable to assure quality control in the same way bottom up structures can. In networked culture, quality bubbles up from the bottom, and the role of large entities (like major record labels) as arbiters of taste is undermined as a result.
* Collaborative filtering in trust-based networks is the way in which networked culture will deal with information overload.
* The printed press’ hallowed notion of ‘genre’ is under threat through the processes of user-generated metadata that describe Folksonomy.
* The concept of DIY is less relevant to networked youth culture today as it was when we grew up (with movements like Hardcore). DIT – Do It Together – which finds it’s roots in the Open Source movement’s model of production, is a far more relevant paradigm today.
* Bit-torrent is currently the most powerful distribution technology thrown up by the web.
* DIY culture was always about control, from production through distribution, performance and promotion of cultural product. It enabled people to have control over the end-to-end process of communicating through cultural products. A network of trusted people could be used to oversee all aspects of production/distribution/retail.
* DRM – Digital Rights Management – is a survivalist legal attempt from a desperate culture industry to preserve a revenue model (content ownership) which is at odds with a new medium for culture (digital networks).
* The new revenue model for cultural content in digital networks involves syndication of content with embedded, trackable advertising.

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