[AktiviX-discuss] about the alt.media research project

ionnek ionnek at aktivix.org
Tue Jan 31 12:52:38 UTC 2006

hi aktivixers,

since i was the first one to ask what's needed to get an aktivix list 
for a research project, I'd like to make some comments. although it 
seems that the discussion is finished now. It's only my personal point 
of view, not consensed with the alt.media project.

I am involved in indymedia, and have started to prepare a phd about  - 
well if I only knew!! It's about the merging of virtual and physical 
spaces, as I experienced it in many imc reporting efforts over the last 
few years. I've introduced the project on a few lists, see here under 

At the last lancaster knowledgelab, I was asked to participate in a 
research project on alternative media, and I think that's when I became 
part of the research group.
This raised lots of questions for me. After all, I am one of the 
indymedia UK people who are extremely wary of researchers rolling into 
indymedia - I doubt their motives, am pissed off about the assumption 
that indymedia needs researchers to understand its own processes, about 
the way researchers often forget to actually introduce their projects or 
only give a watered-down version of it, and then ask really meaningless 
questions that they could answer themselves if they'd take the trouble 
to just browse indymedia websites for a few hours.

And now i was to be part of a research project that might end up doing 
exactly the same. I felt unable to present the research project to 
indymedia or aktivix or anyone, because I wasnt sure how it would work, 
and what the others were going to do. However, I think the skills of 
researchers with a radical attitude can be very helpful in social 
movements, and in fact, I relied on university skills in a lot of my 
indymedia activities. More about that here:
And there are some fantastic researchers around imc uk - take Lee 
Salter, who jumps in whenever there are legal problems. Or read the 
papers by Jenny Pickerill, who worked with Australian imcs. Or look at 
Chris Shumway's paper who raises some still valid questions for the imc 

When the alt.media research project decided to set up a mailing list in 
the first meeting i participated in, it was clear that we were going to 
ask aktivix. Obviously - when I need a mailing list, I'm going to ask 
the project that I know! Especially if the mailing list is about (and, 
in my view, responsible to) that same social movement that aktivix is 
part of.

On the other hand, at that point, I couldn't give aktivix the 
information that I thought was necessary, because the project seemed so 
unclear to me, and because I didn't know most of the people's attitudes 
well enough. And I didn't know the aktivix new-lists-process either. So 
I just send a question to the request list. I left further negotiations 
to Sian, one of the people who started the research project. First, 
because she was in a better position than me to introduce the project, 
second, because I thought it would be good for the project to 
communicate directly with aktivixers.

While the aktivix-mailinglist was being negotiated, the alt.media 
project worked on a wiki:
During this process, things became clearer. The alt.media project 
consists of a number of sub-projects run by individuals, held together 
by some main questions around alternative media.
Some are more and some are less advanced. None of them, including my 
part, has finished a blurb.

just thought I owe you this clarification.


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