ReindeR Rustema on Mon, 19 Nov 2001 22:50:45 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> thesis on Amsterdam's Digital City: "Rise and Fall of DDS"

Hi Nettime,

Geert asked me to post an announcement here that I wrote a thesis on 
DDS. You can download it in 5 different formats at ranging in size from 1MB for RTF to 
96Kb as doc for your Palm handheld.

The thesis is an historical study in combination with an evaluation.

The history of DDS is cut in four periods: the experimental 10 weeks 
in 1994, the transformation into an institution in 1995, the 
competition with the internet in 1996-2000 and finally the 
commercialisation. You should know that DDS became an ordinary 
discount ISP a few months ago and completely dropped any commitment 
to the public domain.

The 4 periods are evaluated in relation to four themes: social 
cohesion, third place, freedom of information and democratisation. 
That is 'third place' indeed, and not public place or public sphere a 
la Habermas. A minor but hopefully interesting difference.

What I have learned from writing this whole thing is that it is 
incredibly difficult to institutionalise whatever collaborative 
'space' in cyberspace if you want to do justice to the beautiful 
internet culture. You know, the old fashioned one, with a 
gift-economy etcetera. If you want to do this you can at best make 
sure that the protocols and software licenses you use are open, free 
and compatible and decisions are made on the internet itself in 
discussions. The problems really start when you come up with 
interfaces nobody but some central authority can alter. Like in the 
case of DDS and their WWW interface. An on-line community also should 
not grow to big. At best it should have a few hundred members, but 
once you want to become as big as possible (why should you? to 
attract advertisers?) the whole community falls apart.

Anyway, that's what I learned from this study but if you read it 
yourself you probably will get lots of other and/or interesting ideas.

I tried to avoid difficult words as much as possible (English is not 
even my first language, so that helps as a crap filter) and there are 
some entertaining parts. I hope.

It's 77 pages to print from the PDF, but if you leave out appendix 5 
and 6 (which are in Dutch) you need only 60 pages. I don't know how 
the difference translates into dead trees.

About me: I am somebody. In the beginning of 2001 I launched the idea 
to buy DDS as inhabitants in order to resue it. This resulted in an 
association with the name Open Domein (Open Domain) which is now 
trying to live up to the old DDS ideals. One day something 
interesting might grow out of it I think.


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: