A more personal internet service

After reading Doc Searl’s post on The Personal Internet, it resonated exactly with the principles we wanted to encapsulate in the Artocalyse – a community of IndieWeb artists I helped to launch in the last few weeks.

First off, there is no login for visitors. Everyone is free to read the full site content, ad-free and algorithm free and with no tracking of any kind. I have no idea which posts you read, or which artists web site you click through to.

But also, (and uniquely I think for a content platform), there’s no login for artists either. An Artocalypse artist logs into their own site to post and their content will appear via RSS on our website. We have a discord server for the artist to collaborate on expos if they wish, but soon we will have an email mailing list for that purpose.

But the most interesting part of Doc’s post was his work on contract – a way for first and second parties to agree terms of a relationship. He’s trying to create a customer commons protocol which will be as revolutionary for contracts as creative commons was for copyright.

One of the fundamental principles of the Artocalypse is that artists control their content. That’s why they upload to their site not ours. However, in agreeing to the terms of membership , they grant us a non-exclusive, revocable licence for us to display their work on our website.

That allows us to take an RSS feed and include it on our site and feeds. Note that the artist curates their RSS if they wish. Some of our artists give a feed which contains only a very small subset of their posts. If an artist feels they no longer wish to do that, they can withdraw the licence at any time and still remain a member.

We did this because we heard consistently that artists hate how out of control they feel when uploading to social media. That they don’t know what their content is used for, and whether they can delete it from their systems.

We also want to educate our website visitors that just because an artist displays public work for you to read, does not give you a right to use it in any way. You must seek the artist’s permission if you want to do so.

I’m interested to see how the work on customer commons develops. It will be great to see an “artist contract” emerge that can be used in the protocol so that artists and service platforms can be clear about how the artwork will be used.

For now, I’m feeling comfortable that we have the right structure in place that is transparent and fair to artists.

Read more on this topic . . .