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netweed is the creation of Clyde Smith with the editorial
involvement of Clay Richards.
The netweed story by Clyde Smith
netweed began with an idea for a "directory of alternative
culture" - radical politics, experimental art, stuff like that.
But when I finally got it online, my energy focused on the projects
hosted by netweed, so I called it a "project platform."
I also used variations on such slogans as "Resources for
Radicals" to encompass both the projects and the directory. Now,
netweed has developed to the point that my energies are focused where
necessary. I'm sure the labels and slogans will continue to
shift as I maintain the current esoteric blend.
So the hosted projects were the initial focus, both my hip hop projects
as well as Clay Richard's contributions as The
Postmodern Anarchist and John Dancy-Jones' ongoing activities
Paper Plant. And I am gradually building the directory by creating
links pages for specific categories, like the Anarchy
links. My goal is to grow netweed organically with some projects
eventually moving to their own domain and others staying rooted right
What's up with the name?
I came up with netweed while pulling weeds at my parents'
house in the summer of 1999, when the Internet bubble was expanding
rapidly and causing nutty projects to get lots of money. I was pondering
all that and imagining how I could join in and somehow my long-standing
interest in alternative resouce directories that began with The
Whole Earth Catalog got mixed in with netmania, weedpulling and
So it's not a pot reference, though I strongly feel that pot
should be legalized. The key to the name came from my thoughts
about weed structures as metaphors for revolutionary organization.
See I was pulling both English
Ivy and Virginia Creeper that had slowly taken over my parents'
yard. Some of the oldest ivy vines had grown inches thick and it covered
everything. When you pulled it up you had to get rid of it or it would
start sprouting wherever it was. That long term buildup till ivy was
everywhere impressed me.
But the Virginia
Creeper offered even more food for thought as it branched out
underground, sending shoots up into the air that attached to and crawled
over whatever it touched. And it was even harder to get rid of than
the ivy. I appreciated the fact that, though both plants had starting
points, they didn't depend on a centralized structure for support.
They could be broken off into many pieces and respond by becoming
more deeply embedded in the environment. And once you turned your
back on them they just kept on coming.
So pulling weeds, natural metaphors for social change, the Internet
and the World Wide Web, the Whole Earth Catalog, the fact that websites
are cheaper to start than print publications, rhizomatic
theory and other anarchopoststructural
musings resulted in netweed.
Where's it g[r]o[w]ing?
After that first blast of brainstorming nothing happened on the surface
while I slowly accumulated links and plotted in front of my computer.
I finally got online due to NC
Hip Hop Online and that story is briefly recounted at About
NC Hip Hop Online. That step sparked the first visible shoots
of netweed/project platform.
This current phase actually fits much of my earlier thinking of
a directory with associated projects, like a small alternative to
Yahoo, that gradually
expands and deepens, like the course revolutionary change is taking.
And perhaps, one day, there will simply be more of us than of them
and the weeder will have fallen. Till then, the
long walk continues.