A blog does have to have a first post, right? Well, here it is! The blog component was programmed from scratch so I made some test posts to make sure it had all functionality working properly. However, this is the first 'official' blog post. While this post starts off the blog, there probably won't be any new posts soon – not until there's new artefacts published anyway and that might take a while.
The first blog post
In the Fabresoft blog you might see a slightly more personal approach than on the rest of the site – introducing artefacts, explaining things or venting ideas. I started Fabresoft back in 2008 when I created a funny little joke game with Seviss. I struggled with finding an accurate but amply encompassing concept of a what Fabresoft should be though. There are a few questions that I thought had not been fully answered when it comes to the practise of 'modern' publishing in the internet age. One of them is how independent voices could express themselves in a D.I.Y.-fashion, and still be considered on equal footing (or at least equal ground) with 'produced voices' from the industry and publicly established professionals. I think this is still a major issue. How do we present and distribute artefacts such as music, games and jewellery? How can authorship be expressed without greed and paternalistic wishes to over-control it, as seen in the case of the media industry's push for copyright extension with DMCA?
What publishing system could we be headed towards? A totalitarian one, centred around the commercial model of a strict industry producers—audience relation? Or could we move towards a system that allows more people who want to culturally express themselves to do so freely? As it stands, the cultural industries have managed to keep a status quo in many regards.
The internet has certainly meant a democratisation of the publishing process. We see many more individual voices reach a global audience. But a big part of D.I.Y.-culture is fan-culture, mirroring the established cultural cannon rather than being truly independent voices.
Fan-culture is an important expression for many people, but D.I.Y.-culture cannot only be given recognition when it's dependant on the established cultural cannon. Fan-culture often 'dances to the tune' of cultural memes, promoting a mono-cannon where culture part of the cannon is all people talk about. For independent D.I.Y.-culture to be considered as legitimate as established culture, both have to be distributed and presented in the same way. This is largely driven by the consumers and I think publishers should try to adapt. Recorded music used to be bought in shops, then downloaded from the internet, and now streamed from selective, proprietary services. Again, the industry had the most to say when it comes to the terms of these services. These proprietary distribution services can be difficult or impossible for D.I.Y.–culture creators to distribute through and might require considerable fees to even be considered. Films, desktop software, and mobile apps are being distributed in similar ways. And if independent, cultural expression isn't seen as much worth, these selective services will become even more restrictive and require higher fees.
Independent culture has risks and for distributors to host these voices comes with responsibilities, responsibilities distributors might not be willing to shoulder. We all know that mobile app repositories are flooded with scammy games, the web has tons of malicious software and hateful text, images, and videos. These tarnish the reputation of all non-industry produced culture, increase 'walled-garden' tendencies on distribution platforms and segment the established cultural cannon as the only legitimate one.
Successful commercialisation is becoming the only way for independent culture to be considered culturally legitimate. Should it be so that creators must sell their work in order for it to be culturally legitimate? Obviously not – cultural expression is so much more than that. How can we marry the human desire to express oneself with the desire to be heard and contribute to the human legacy? Independent publishing should present new culture in an as approachable way as possible, in order to promote multiple cultural cannons as norm, with both established and D.I.Y.-culture in them. This is the approach Fabresoft promotes, rather that claiming to adhere to an alternate cannon of isolated sub-culture.
I think it is important to reflect on the landscape of publishing, and strike out a path for creating outlets for folk-culture, integrating sub-cultures into global society at large, and legitimising D.I.Y.-culture. I think independent publishing can solve all of this, by stepping up and showing its worth.
The current distribution channels clearly separate between different forms of artefacts. I believe this is detrimental to expressive freedom, so that's why Fabresoft is a transmedia and transsubstantial label. Fabresoft is not a publisher as of such. I was inspired by netlabels for music in the way they host and present music without taking ownership away from the artists like major record labels largely do. By presenting, crediting and contextualising artefacts by putting them on a label (or 'a label on them', for a more accurate metaphor) I believe Fabresoft does something different from regular publishing. That is the concept that makes Fabresoft unique.
So I hope you are able to culturally express yourself fully if you feel like it, and if you can't, that it'll become possible in the future.
Ah, it's quite late now. Thank you sincerely for reading it through. If you are interested in putting your artefacts on the Fabresoft label, you can contact me.
Posted by Blueberry on Fri 20th Feb, 2015 00:18 EST
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