February 25, 2001

A really interesting feature about concensus decision-making from global.indymedia.org.

It's also good to see that the folks at Indymedia are expanding into traditional media with the forthcoming global pdf project. I've been thinking that while the internet is a great medium for collaboration and distribution, it isn't the best way to get information to people. Print is good at that, if only because people prefer to read paper, or because it's more portable by default. A good combination, then, is publishing a Global Indymedia Newspaper in PDF format, and letting anyone who wants to print it locally.

I've had similar thoughts for setting up internet radio stations. A really cool project would be to set up a site for independent radio syndication, a sort of clearinghouse for freely (or small fee-ly) available shows. All the shows, PSAs, and even individual news stories would be available in digital audio format, and put into a database with descriptions, ratings, and license information. Like TUCOWS for radio shows. Stations could then have centralized easy access to the show that they wanted to play regularly. A potential side-effect of this would be the possibility of local radio stations (that is, if they were legal) playing 90% independent content from all over the world, but distributing it locally, and catering to the wants of a local audience - all on a . Meanwhile, locals could produce shows in easily set up (with a bit of grant money or donations) computer labs, play them locally, and the ones relevant to a broader audience could get picked up by other stations.

This is how it already works within organizations like NPR. The main difference, however, is that the distinction between professional content and amateur content is based on (locally perceived) merit, not how much the people who produce it are paid. Also, control over what gets played gets brought back to a local level, at least in certain contexts (micro-radio, for instance). This sounds like a totally utopian plan, but it could very easily be set up, if only micro-radio wasn't killed by congress. Bum deal, that. (being a corporate slave must be so boring).

Even if it doesn't ever happen (with radio, anyway), this little thought-spew is worth something for this simple point: there is a distinction to be made between the internet as a medium of distribution and a medium of delivery. In the case of the former, the net is almost always a very efficient way to do things. With the latter, however, there remain much better media for reaching lots of people, like airwaves and printing presses.

That reminds me, Jessamyn posted a while ago about these cool Anti-FTAA graphics, suitable for framing.. er, printing. :)

posted by dru in politicsoftech
by plebian

it sounds like a lovely idea.

um. first post?


by John Abbe

Second post, and this is the future i plan to live in.

by maffew

interesting. you might like to check out the radio4all project, which predates indymedia. it's an online archive of radio pieces, interviews and stuff. you can add to it and download from it online.

i think the address is http://www.radio4all.org, ah no it's this:


nice to see it is linked both ways with radio.indymedia.org

anywa, the thing that really made me write this comment is your point about distribution.

i think distribution online is good if you have long distances involved, and small files.

if you have big files (e.g. video), or a big audience, or many people in the audience are close to you, then offline means might be simply cheaper. e.g. burn a few CDs and post them. or use a cable TV channel.

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