[thingist] REBOOTING THE THING - some thoughts

Caspar Stracke kasbah at thing.net
Mon Jul 20 16:23:48 UTC 2015

Hey all,

long time to see.

the following discussion started 2 weeks ago at Wolfgang's place in 
Berlin  and we decided to put it into a bigger circle of like-minded, 
interested thing members....

I wantto quickly reflect on a few points.

There was a repeatedly stated desire not only from W but from many 
others, to bring back The Thing as an active platform for many different 
reasons and certainly for a number of different activities - A moderated 
(filtered)  event announcement board, art criticism, and a discussion 
forum for all who stay away from Social Media for the obvious reasons. 
But also for activities that would not replicate what all others in the 
world are doing so avidly.
Could it even possible become a mini Social Network for a like-minded 
community (and reviving the existing THING community) ?

A few points:

*secure yet subversive*
And along these lines we discussed pgp aspects, the beta version of new 
open source mail program mail pile and other alternatives to Google 
controlled  communication platforms that could be implemented.
Pit mentioned how one could link THING as a site/platform to FB without 
a full submission however not to bypass the option of making use of 
existing social media sites as springboards.

To paraphrase Walter, he mentioned that for him the importance of the 
Thing’s legacy was beside  the “pioneer factor”  it’s continuing 
uniqueness allowing political involvement and activity  on the web that 
was impossible elsewhere, and  he felt that this is an essential  aspect 
which could / should be continued.

But what else? How could all this be bundled in an unusual way, not to 
look  like a .gif animation happy hipster infotainment site but also 
not  like a dusty blog.
And speaking of the latter: The sad (Drupal?) interface of 
post.thing.net is for me a literal  PostThing.net ...bit of a  Dorn im 
Auge it make me already 5 years ago initiate (unsuccessfully) a similar 

*content? appearance? *
So besides the basic idea on WHAT and HOW this all should materialize, 
it seems relevant to ask what issues should be prioritized at the same 
time how this then should look like?
Regarding this Marc’s and Ruth’s Furtherfield was for me - not so long a 
go-  still a highly interesting model to study, although nowadays I am 
more and more questioning the self-imposed limitations that come with 
the strict focus on networked culture. I nowadays are more excited about 
an "all-inclusive" framework ....needless to say one that is somehow 
balanced between deep, witty art criticism, activism..and otherwise wild 
things  (i.e. a la  MOUSSE, etc)

*support structures?*
Pit brought up the possibility to find support right within the dead 
center of the commercial art world,  collectors and art patrons that 
could be won as sponsors.
We discussed how labor of love works for a limited amount of time for 
certain people and how essential a long form support structure is. W … 
sorry to repeat issues that are as old as THE THING, question is what 
kind of individual donation support can still be found in todays 
German/European landscape within such a multitude of cultural 
activities, crowd funding culture, etc.

Feel free to correct whatever I didn’t mentioned or sounds off.

It would be nice to hear from all others some key ideas, what anybody 
imagines the THING to  be like and also to what extend you could get 
I guess apart from an already forming work group re the technical 
aspect, among all mentioned aspects a second work group could think 
about interface design - and all of us should throw concrete ideas for 


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