The iCommons mailing list appears to have been deleted. In memory of its passing this is a short post made to it on Apr 9th 2008 in reference to its increasingly corporate turn...
How to build a Bottom-Up Social Movement (c) iCommons.org 2008.
(This is a wiki, please add your own 'improvements')**
(This is also a blog please add comments)***
1. Set up corporate structure and legal entity status.
2. Appoint (not elect) members of the board and employees.
3. Set up lots of mailing groups to 'discuss' issues with the plebs who want to get involved.
4. Start building a bureaucracy.
5. Start writing corporate policies on all aspects of iCommons activities.
6. Stop people writing in 'unofficial' English on the website.
7. Notice point 6 gets everyone really angry.
8. Delete point 6 and announce as a major iCommons strategy that all English is welcome.
9. Create corporate booklets and PDFs filled with lots of PR-type messages. Model it on the million of company internal magazines by ensuring content blandness levels remain at maximum.
10. Announce lots of things all the time that nobody really cares about (e.g. our website now supports people reading it). This gives the impression of the action and velocity of a major movement.
11. Hang about with the corporations, think about getting into bed with them. Listen to them flatter you.
12. Talk about 'pragmatics' and how important business is. (see point 9 about corporate PR)
13. Get into bed with business. Find it really cold and that they don't really care about you. Cosy up even more. Leave companies little messages under their pillow. Give unrequited love to companies. Still they don't care about you. Start leaning over backwards, adapting policies and procedures that make companies happy. Companies now realise that actually you can be useful as a PR exercise, they start noticing you. Feel exhilarated and excited that companies love you. Companies now treat you like a door mat.
14. Start worrying that unsuprisingly people most people think corporates are boring beyond belief and it puts them off iCommons.
15. Announce that iCommons is a Bottom-Up Social Movement that really cares (tm) about what its plebs really think.
16. Start organising huge jamboree conferences and invite lots of corporations.
17. Announce that the plebs have a voice.
18. Develop a secret strategy for soliciting bids for next conference.
19. Announce that the plebs have a voice.
20. Show corporate video at conference to widespread laughter and disbelief.
21. 'Double code' response - iCommons can laugh too.
22. Now sew up the deal quick before any of the plebs complain.
23. Announce new conference in most expensive country in the world. Welcome everybody to come along especially the plebs who can apply for mean-tested benefits from the beneficient corporate masters of iCommons.
24. Continue announcing corporate-like strategies in the hope that corporates see you as one of them and give you even more money.
25. Stuff the board with as many corporates as possible to ensure 'continuity', 'fairness' and 'equality' of everyones voice.
26. Develop bureaucracy. Start talking about leadership and vision.
27. Announce that this wily-nily posting information on the iCommons interweb system is a danger to life and security of all people. Something Needs To Be Done (tm). Announce corporate copyright strategy, everyone will assume it is a parody or joke of some type, but actually be deadly serious using lots of faux-corporate jargon about content, legitimate usage, having a 'conversation' and such like.
28. Set up mailing group to 'discuss' issues with the plebs who want to get involved. Secretly hope only the very weird ones who don't post much join it. But just in case restrict the discussion to the most arcane and boring aspects of corporate copyright policy that only the criminally insane and copyright lawyers are likely to find interest (and, it has to be said, a lot of common ground).
29. Ignore posting on said Mailing List as the people who contributed are not lawyers anyway and they have all sorts of nutty ideas about 'sharing' culture rather than developing five point programmes for copyright sharing policies.
30. Announce plebs have voice.
31. Enjoy said expensive jamboree, waltz with lots of corporates around. Suddenly notice every-one looks the same. Wearing the same grey suit. With the same grey eyes. Talking in the same grey voice about 'copyright infringement', 'policy considerations', 'creating value', 'creativity' and 'excitement'. Notice no excitement in the dull of lead eyes. Walk around in a daze wondering what went wrong. How it all seemed so exciting at the beginning. So much colour and craziness, artists, musicians, designers... Then remember the dark warnings of Mary Howitt...
32. Will you walk into my parlour?" said the Spider to the Fly.
33. 'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
34. The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
35. And I've a many curious things to shew when you are there.
36. "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain,
37. For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again." ****
39. That's it.
40. The End.
** To prevent any unofficial changes the wiki function is only available to those who are registered board members of iCommons Ltd (or associated Companies) and who have read, understood, taken the 2 hour exam and passed with at least 80%, and/or have a legal qualification at least equal to that of someone very important in iCommons.
*** Blog comments are restricted to those who can understand the arcane licensing restrictions under policies and procedures, section 42, clause 12, and are either current board members of the iCommons board, or else have the words 'essig' somewhere in their name.
**** See http://www.earthlife.net/chelicerata/spid-fly.html