Mattl and I, but mostly Matt have been pushing for some time to move forward Autonomo.us. Its back! I worked with my pal MRAY to create a nice new logo for the project some time ago back when we were coming up with http://ostatus.org and http://federatedsocialweb.net logos at Status.Net
Evan made a nice send off post where he recounted some of our recent past (myself included):
The so-called autonomo.us group, which clustered around the domain, had arisen from a group of people who were convened by the polymathic Benjamin Mako Hill in March of 2008 at a “mini-summit” for the FSF on the subject of free network services. We ended up producing a blog, a wiki, a mailing list, and a few episodes of a staticky podcast.
One of the biggest achievements, and one of the things I’m proudest of being involved in in the last few years, was the Franklin Street Statement. (Despite the current font, it was not actually written by Benjamin Franklin, but is named after the street the FSF offices are on.) It lays out some ideas about what we think is important in enhancing users’ autonomy in the face of an increasingly cloudy world.
In July of 2008, I launched identi.ca and the codebase that has become StatusNet. I’ve founded a venture-capital-backed company, hired a dozen employees, and written tens of thousands of lines of code. Along with running a company and a free and open source software project, I’ve helped start ostatus.org (the open social stack) and the federatedsocialweb.net effort at the W3C.
And, unfortunately, autonomo.us has suffered from the lack of my, and others’, attention. Blog posts and wiki updates have become rare, and the mailing list running on my personal server went off the air a couple of years ago and was never revived (despite repeated pleas from others in the group).
With everything crazy happening in China, Arab World, Syria, and even good ol’ USA wikileaking and all, the threat of mega powerful interests consolidated in the hands of small few people (corporations) representing millions of people around the world across jurisdictions is frightening. I don’t really want to publicly talk about the personal things going on with my friends around the world right now, but these threats are real. When your friends and families lives are threatened, its changes the rhetoric of freedom to reality, a call to action! The efforts towards creating Autonomous Free Network Services is supremely important. Its not just nationalism. The lack of user control and autonomy over one’s own destiny, costs lives.
I’m ground support right now. I’ve spent the last two years traveling the world, talking about these topics in most every conceivable place on the open plane ticket project (that is a kind of joke). My conclusion from working on Free Software, CC, Status.Net, projects in China, Singapore, and Syria, is that the most important proof of free network services succeeding comes from business wins.
Thus, I work hard on Fabricatorz LLC every day, making successful projects with a free network service builder, Aiki Framework, spreading the message of Sharism globally, and building Qi Hardware so we don’t get locked out of our hardware future.
We have to do our parts to not get locked into facebookatwittergoogleappleooza. Right now, please support the work we are doing towards Libre Graphics Meeting 2011 in Montreal. The wins come from the specific real world projects we do that get people together to solve actual problems and stop the hand waving.