Swans Commentary » swans.com May 8, 2006  



Swans 10th Anniversary


Ten Years Of A Swans Rebellion


by Eli Beckerman





(Swans - May 8, 2006)   Before the dot-com boom, there was Swans.com.

The concentrated power of print, radio, and television was giving way to small people like Gilles d'Aymery and Jan Baughman and their revolutionary new medium. Monopolies on ideas, and the commercialization of those ideas, were going to have to make room for the democratizing impact of the World Wide Web.

Of course, it would not be long before the "Information Superhighway" would be utilized to its fullest profit-squeezing potential. Even small, decentralized efforts would succumb to this trend, and buy-outs and conglomeratization would expedite the process. Just like the endless stream of "socially responsible businesses" getting bought out by socially destructive businesses, the space for dialogue, debate, dissent, thought, activism and advocacy has been twisting itself into a corporatized knot. Want to fight for social justice? Sign up at social-justice@yahoogroups.com! Every inch of the Web had to justify itself in dollars, and soon nearly every inch of it did.

But not every inch.

Swans.com has embraced something completely distinct -- that to not play the game, one must not play it. Swimming against the current ain't easy, but the preservation of this non-commercial space is crucial. The spirit of collectivism at Swans provides a clear contrast to the compartmentalism of the Blogosphere and general individualism of American society. Keeping it going for 10 years is nothing short of a small rebellion.

After the dot-com boom, there was Swans.com.


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Internal Resources

Special Issues

Patterns which Connect


About the Author

Eli Beckerman on Swans (with bio).



Please, feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, please DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Eli Beckerman 2006. All rights reserved.


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This Edition's Internal Links

Ten Years On A Superhighway Less Traveled - Jan Baughman

Taking Flight: The First Ten Years - Alma A. Hromic

Swans At Ten - Milo Clark

The Revolution Continues - Louis Proyect

The City On The Hill In Ruins - Deck Deckert

Musings From The Black Swan - Charles Marowitz

Sow Resistance, Reap Justice - Michael DeLang

A Review Of Prior Thoughts - Philip Greenspan

Keeping The Flame Alive - Various (but Unique) Swans Contributors

Inside Swans' Engine Room - Jan Baughman interviews Gilles d'Aymery

On The Anniversary Of Swans - Poem by Gerard Donnelly Smith

Untitled - Poem by Swans (Jan Baughman, September 10, 1997)

Just call it Beta I - Gilles d'Aymery (May 1, 1996)

Beckett At A Hundred Or Who's Celebrating Watt? - Peter Byrne

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art12/elib024.html
Published May 8, 2006