Cable TV was originally a community & social media… in the 70s as a method of capturing video & the concept of media, distributing the media around closed loops in communities & syndication of shows for distribution. The guerrilla media approach was adapted throughout the production as the equipment was far more accessible & not confined to a sterile studio. These methods saw innovation in the capture & management & attitude toward media distribution.
Regulation & Commercialisation was imposed on Cable TV in the 80’s after the CBS Television Network commissioned some enthusiasts to write & publish a book Guerrilla Media. The writers could see the demise of their free & unregulated networks. However, CBS was looking to have a reference for the philosophy & motivation of a social network – they valued the original concept & understood that the “hippies” & enthusiasts had developed unique networks, distribution, production values & philosophy as a creative direction.
Later, Internet Relay Chat (IRC / after Telnet but far more accessible) in the early 90’s was the basis of social networking today with many of the same features… nick, chat, private, #chans, direct file transfers. The networks developed a hierarchy & were managed by users with trained & earned status based on trust, respect & capability. Again the moderation & security was from the community – an unusual gaggle of geeks & freaks with this Anon & his wife aged mid 30s regular respected citizens of the AUSTNET IRC Network. We provided two collocated servers on fast connections in New Zealand & the USA.
10 years ago we recruited & commissioned young code hackers from AUSTNET for exciting commercial projects demonstrating new broadband & fiber technologies. Generally these kids used a common dial up connection & could only imagine the results we would achieve at the largest Internet Exhibitions CeBIT & NetWorld on massive connectivity & bandwidth; the coders were all obsessed & stayed connected to 50,000 simultaneous users on up to 15 servers around Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada & a couple of stray ones in Europe. The AUSTNET IRC network was very well moderated & controlled & had little problems with pornography, abuse & such; more as a chat network or gaming chat in safe environ’ with the original conservative & christian values of AUSTNET founder Rogery with Seecs, Kwahraw & Sunflower was offset by the almost abusive & direct attitudes of CA & Boss Man, 6 legends in AUSTNET history; there were hundreds of rooms with users & bots in all of them, each user finding their own group of friends & taking advice from IRCops or trusted ASD “helpers”.
Since 2000 the internet & mobile services have delivered all that we imagined & without disappointment as one of the main factors of the advancement has been in product design – our media tools are now functional & beautiful. Broadband & WiFi have changed & motivated the way we interact with media & communicate; we have got “wasteful” with bandwidth as more is available; & our media has become “disposable” & flipant with Youtube, Vimeo, Flickr; Facebook released in 2004 & now has a population that is difficult to comprehend – $800 Million active users with an average of 130 friends & a total of 900 Million objects like pages & groups; 350 Million active users access Facebook through their mobile devices.
There are common factors of concept & development in social media.
– First is community – there is no society without community;
– Second is enthusiasm, collective talent obsesion & passion.
so what’s up?
The internet by many accounts is about to be heavily regulated, censured & monitored… we’re told that freedoms & privacy will be lost. Historically this would signal a time of creative & technical innovation that would result in new communication & social media technology from established & fragmented communities.
Consideration is required in the conceptual, philosophical & creative aspects of the relationship of user & media in future communication & media technologies. In the present media environment questions of copyright & ownership of media will be a prerequisite consideration for any creative development (maybe the ultimate motivation) but ease of access & creative commons style licensing will be just as important. However, present technical & physical constraints of the internet with the limitations of our biased & learned perception will effect any new technology concept.
In any event there will be three simple motivations in this creative process: social media; community; & ethic.