Netcrowds

Collective actions and collisions on the net.

Archive for the ‘books and research’ Category

The pre-era of the netcrowd: from Tiananmen 1989 to Manila 2001 – revolutions of the devices

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After Tiananmen informer phone blocking 1989, my research interest with the netcrowd arouse again as late as 2002. There were some cases in-between indeed. For example Graham Meikle has covered in Future Active (2002) how Seattle demonstrations were organized extremely fluidily and self-repairingly in 1999. Howard Rheingold introduced in Smart Mobs (2002) the case of Manila – peaceful revolution with sms.

However, these cases were more or less well-organised spectacles by new social movements (NSM) than actual cases of the netcrowds. On the other hand, they *have* many similar features that later emerged in netcrowds cases, like self-repairing autonomous cybernetic systems. Also the Tiananmen faxes has to be put into this branch: NSMs using nu/lotek innovatively and self-organized themselves like distributed networks – or – the net 🙂

Obvisously, there might be many other cases, but these three are the ones I have spotted so far in this level of activity.

So, cases of Tiananmen 1989, Seattle 1999 and Manila 2001 could be treated as the pre-era of the actual netcrowd phenomenon. Also, NSMs have opponents, shared beliefs and other distinctive features like Daniella della Porta and Mario Diani have classically defined. Netcrowd in most cases lacks everything of the definion of NSM. Anyway, I put in that time – just after Millenium – all these case to the same trough: hacktivism in the material world enhanced with physical bodies and flexible devices.

That was before the #myyrmanni case. I suppose that no-one of the over 2 000 participants had ever experienced anything that kind Internet Hunt (invented by Rick Gates) before. But that time Internet Hunt was for real.

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How Piratpartiet.se is linked on the Internet – a graph w IssueCrawler

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The trial is going on in Sweden against The Pirate Bay. It might be interesting to see how the official party wing – Piratpartiet – and its www site is connected on the net.

Graph 1: How pirate party www sites were connected in April, 2007.

Original 1200px img dl here (1,2mb png)

I made this SNA graph about piratpartiet.se in April, 2007 with IssueCrawler, a very recommendable and free SNA tool on the net invented by Govcom.org and its director dr Richard Rogers. I cover IC issues later more, but the basic idea of this tools is, that it crawls voluntarily made www links between the www sites. So this (human-made) www linking indicates, that people who make links, somehow appreciate the sites to they are linking. This means that you can make at least slight expectations which kind of people or movement is making these links.

The graph shows at least that Piratpartiet.se is much more networked than to piracy issues only. There are heavy connections to issues like wikis, copyrights, open source etc. and that indicates that people in the party are more keen about the overall issues than just swapping commercial files for free.

The Piratpartiet.se graph is a part of my article Pirates in politics – internet piracy as individualised politics (2008). It was published with deeper analysis about the Swedish piracy movement itself in Net working / Networking: Citizen Initiated Internet Politics (Tapio Häyhtiö and Jarmo Rinne eds., Tampere University Press 2008). Introduction about the anthology in facebook.

The anthology Net working / Networking itself is some kind of quite interesting update to the net activism issues nowadays handled previously in the dawn of hactivism in another anthology: McCaughey, Martha & Ayers, Michael D. (eds.) (2003). Cyberactivism. Online Activism in Theory and Practice. Routledge, New York.

Written by kariahintikka

March 6, 2009 at 10:23 pm