I picked up Lovink’s book Networks without a cause quite by chance in the library the other day and discovered him talking about ‘organised networks’.
Most participatory platforms emphasize a model of weak links (think ‘friends of friends’) that attract a community just to ‘hang out’, conveniently for the corporations that exploit our social relationships. Organized networks should be seen in opposition to these social sites and are based on people joining together for a common purpose, building strong-ties among dispersed people, and bringing goal-driven organizing to the internet.
This is stuff I’ve been thinking about, though I’m wary if people just see it as a techno-fix for failing institutions. Orgnets.org adds an important corollary:
+ communication within networks is about relational processes not representational procedures.
Here is Lovink talking about the book. He’s a bit er, um. The book is better: