After three years of (semi) regular existence, wherein we have touched on
topics ranging from Terms of Service, Smart Cities and Immateriality, it is
now high-time that the Pervasive Labour Union zine <http://ilu.servus.at/>
takes a very close and serious look at the universe of the alternatives.
Alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube: you name it.
What do these alternatives look like? Sure, plenty of services advertise
themselves as "The alternative", but are they really all they claim to be?
What are the requirements of a 'true' alternative?
The Pervasive Labour Union zine already broached some of these topics on
its Special Issue with the Homebrewserver Club on XMPP - "Have you
considered the alternative?" <http://ilu.servus.at/issue9.html>. To follow
the HBSC’s strategy, a premium should be put on alternative approaches,
not on any specific alternative apps.
We need federated social networking solutions based on open standards that
are able to communicate among themselves, regardless of the platform being
Looking forward, what the new issue intends to achieve is a broader, more
in-depth look at the field of The Free Network, which, according to Sean
Tilley's article on the topic
includes both The Fediverse and The Federation networks. These networks are
comprised of projects such as Diaspora, Mastodon, GNU Social, etc. Which
protocols can and are being developed to achieve interoperability between
the different alternatives? How do scale and trust influence the field?
What are the forces at play within this realm and how to engage with them?
With this issue, we propose not only to collect a field guide of sorts, but
also to open up the discussion on the alternatives and how to tackle the
challenges posed by network effects, scalability and financial viability.
As always, we welcome:
- Texts (max. 1000 words). Texts can range from satire, theory, poetry,
propaganda, educational etc. to personal rants;
- Images (illustration, photo montage, photography, etc.);
- Any other creative interventions that you might consider fit with the
DEADLINE: February 5th
You can submit your contribution to lidia(a)majesticmoo.se,
lidia.pmr(a)gmail.com or nikos.vv(a)gmail.com