Un message aux amis (à propos d'Internet)

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Un message aux amis

On parle partout des difficultés de l'économie électronique (e-économics); on parle aussi de l'éclatement de la bulle boursière liée aux valeurs commerciales d'Internet. Bref, on vous dit qu'Internet est très malade, après avoir annoncé ce réseau d'information comme le messie. Mais cette appréciation est uniquement économique; elle est faite par le système globalisé de l'économie et du profit, qui a lancé Internet pour en avoir des profits immédiats, qui s'est précipité sur la poule aux oeufs d'or et la laisse aujourd'hui groggy après l'avoir dépouillée de tout ce qu'elle pouvait donner.

Pour nous, bien évidemment, Internet est complètement différent, tout à fait autre chose. On a par ailleurs (voir notre texte «Notre samizdat globalisé», dans cette même rubrique Analyses) affirmé depuis longtemps qu'Internet est un outil exceptionnel pour la transmission d'informations indépendantes, dans une époque où la grande presse, — la presse audio-visuelle et la “presse-papier”, — est pour l'essentiel aux mains de conglomérats de la communication qui n'admettent de véhiculer que les seules idées de l'idéologie dominante. En ce sens, Internet a été un formidable progrès pour la pensée indépendante, et un effet négatif inattendu de l'initiative prise par le système globalisé. C'est le “second” Internet, celui qui n'a que peu de rapports d'orientation avec Internet/e-economics, celui qui est entièrement tourné vers la politique, dans le sens de la contestation des démarches officielles. (C'est ce second Internet qui a permis, encore récemment, cette année dans tous les cas, les mobilisations et manifestations de Sao Polo [l'anti-Davos] et de Québec, contre le “sommet des Amériques”.)

Le constat, aujourd'hui, alors que les économistes enterrent (sans doute un peu vite, mais là n'est vraiment pas notre propos) la e-économics, est sans aucun doute qu'Internet/réseaux indépendants se porte bien. A preuve de ce constat, le message adressé le jeudi 24 mai par le site AlterNet.org, qui annonce une nouvelle formule mais surtout donne quelques informations significatives sur la vie de ces réseaux. (AlterNet.org est un site de la gauche dissidente, extra-parlementaire, américaine.)

Voici ce message :


Dear Friend,

We don't communicate directly with you very often, preferring to let the

content we publish on http://www.AlterNet.org speak for itself. However,

we're proud of some changes we're about to make, and we want to share

the news with you.

Next Wednesday, May 30, we will reveal our newly redesigned site, with

easier navigation, new features, more opportunity for action and new

partnerships. We will also shift sending our headlines to you from

Tuesday night to Wednesday night.

You may have the impression that the Internet is on the ropes. That's

the picture the media is portraying in light of the burst NASDAQ bubble

and the failure of so many dot-coms. But nothing is further from the truth.

Internet access grew by 16 million in the last six months of 2000, as

women, minorities and families with modest incomes continued to surge

online. The Internet is looking more and more like the rest of America,

and people are networking, sharing information and provoking debate

there like never before.

We're proud to report that AlterNet is at the center of this Internet

resurgence. Our traffic has increased 500% over the past six months, and

our community of people like yourself who receive our headlines has

grown to more than 14,000. Just the other day 43,000 people showed up to

read a particular article about the Schmios, a mock advertising award

ceremony held in New York City.

As some of you know, AlterNet was the news in March when a provocative

article by a white writer, Tim Wise, charged white denial in

understanding the causes of recent school shootings, particularly the

one in Santee, California. Striking a powerful chord in the

African-American community, the article exploded across the Internet.

Many people reported receiving it from dozens of friends and colleagues.

Wise himself received more than 7,500 personal emails. The LA Times,

Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and other papers wrote about

the phenomenon.

This is what AlterNet does best -- we quickly and nimbly publish

provocative and smart news people can use. A big addition to our new

site is the ''Content Files,'' which will begin by focusing on five

compelling issues: the drug war, globalization, environmental health,

media conglomerates/media criticism; and human rights struggles in the

USA. In these Content Files, issues like the one Tim Wise tackled will

make up the weekly mix.

You probably agree with us that there is a lot at stake in this

political period of regression and insensitivity to values and goals we

hold dear. We will work hard to make sure AlterNet is a place for

constructive analysis, information-sharing and mobilization toward a

more humane and informed society.

As you may know, AlterNet.org is part of the non-profit Independent

Media Institute (IMI), a public-interest media company. Happily, IMI's

other projects -- WireTap, our webzine for socially conscious youth

(http://www.wiretapmag.org); the AlterNet Syndication Service, with 150

print and web clients; and SPIN, which has trained several hundred

grassroots and advocacy groups in communication skills -- are all doing

well. You can reach all of them from our frontpage, http://www.alternet.org.

We will touch base with you once more on Tuesday with a few more details

about some of the changes you will find on the site. Then Wednesday

we'll have our new look and an expanded array of content we hope you

will find stimulating and useful. Please don't hesitate to write us at

info@alternet.org. Just put one of our names in the header if you want

to reach any of us individually.

Thanks for your support,

Don Hazen, Executive Editor

Tate Hausman, Managing Editor, Syndication

Tamara Straus, Managing Editor, Magazine

Leda Dederich, Creative Director

Kelly Virella, Associate Editor

Kristina Canizares, Associate Editor

Alicia Rebensdorf, Associate Editor

Lisa Zwirner, Business Manager

Octavia Morgan, Deputy Director, IMI

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