German version "Anleitung zum Clusterbasteln mit Telecomix" : [link]
French version "Instructions pour copier Telecomix" : [link]
We want to be copied because we believe that there is no limit to how many activist clusters there can be in the world. Below are some instructions on how we did it. Of course, there is a multitude of other ways to do it. We want to share our experiences.
1. Throw a party with friends who share similar interests. Cook some food if you like, or buy some beer, it is up to what you prefer. Make sure you have internet connectivity and encourage people to bring laptops. Play music. Or, if you do not have a place to entertain, find a pub or internet café that you can meet in and bring your laptops too.
2. Start an IRC-channel and spread all over the internet that this is the place where stuff happens. Use a cool network such as Freequest or Anonnet. Get an IRC shell and dive in. "Your home is where your shell is" (who said that?)
3. Gather friends with various skills. You will need coders as well as philosophers, people who know politics and people who know Photoshop (or GIMP, because it's free
). Make sure your friends know also how to have fun, since otherwise you won't get anything done. Activism is not rocket science, so just spread out skills. Think multiplicity rather than expertise!
4. Register sites with cool names, like Werebuild.eu and Telecomix.org. Make sure people can find you easily. Write with slogans.
5. Become friends with important people. Contact politicians, bureaucrats, presidents, corporations, other activists, hackers, artists, etc. Do not have principles for selecting beforehand whom you speak to. Flirt a lot, but never do anything you would regret. Build trust, and make sure you work together. Politicians will need your votes, corporations will need your consumption. Understand that you are important, but do not become too self-important. Do things like watch movies together to keep your feet on the ground.
6. Install Mediawiki, Wordpress and use Etherpad. Also, fill your IRC-channel with bots. Share all data. Do not respect copyright! Do copy all floppies.
7. Throw more parties. Invent vocabularies. Speak like lolcats. Make music together, even if it sounds strange.
8. If you run into Internet trolls, troll back or make sure you kick them off your side of the internets. Or, be cooler than them, and make them join you (see, Troll them back) Do not let them make you sad.
9. Start new political campaigns often. Call them raids, operations, projects or any word of choice. Write instructions and tutorials. Make sure a total newbie can understand what you are going to do. Synchronize your work. Countdown just like a space shuttle takeoff.
10. Get together a list of clear and simple talking points, in the event that you have to "present" on the fly. Make sure that you have a few easy-to remember facts to back up your statements. Make t-shirts to spur conversations with random people on the streets. Rent an airplane with a banner behind it to get an entire city asking "who/what was that." Then station people on street corners to explain. Send people to the moon and spraypaint your URL on the surface. <3
11. Install an artificial intelligence bot (Cobe seems to work). Ours is called Cameron. Ask her lots of things. Quote Cameron in your conversations.
12. Translate stuff to other languages. Remember that the Internet does not care about nation states. You never know who will join you if you go internetional. Stamp your internet visa in your passport.
13. Statements are not only for stating things. Statements also makes things harder to forget. By sending out messages of events, activities and other tips you make them unforgettable and eternal. For instance, by making public reminders to people with power, you can change their agenda.
14. Even if you are fighting against horrible laws, even if your mission seems impossible to accomplish – do not be sad! Lulz are as important as change. Your goal can be serious even if you do it for the lulz. Remember to smile when you are in the middle of a stormy campaign.
15. Just, never be sad in general, it's not very lolcat-like.
16. Create a GIANT twitter network. Whenever you tweet something, have people retweet it, and ask their friends to retweet it as well....tweets multiply like bunnies. Always strive for "deep tweets", i.e. make people retweet your message all over the world. Get in the habit of making your tweets very descriptive but concise, so people do not have to click a link to know if they are interested or not, they will be able to tell by what your tweet says.
17. Don't be obsessed with doing things "right". Instead of thinking too much, tinker instead. Proceed by way of experimentation, try things out. If they fail, make sure to laugh a little, then try a different way. Collect experiences in your wiki, learn from the mistakes. Share all knowledge freely with others.
18. Totally go for it fearlessly, while boldly sparking and nurturing collective bursts of supercharged play, inspired creative inventions and spontaneous depths of strategic fun. Do not be afraid to appear temporarily foolish. (!) Inspire the body-politic to incarnate creatively via totemized teleportation-flows of datalove.
19. Make logos and have them look cool. Remix the logos of old government agencies. Use fractal patterns. In general, be a cyber hippie. Create symbols to dive in the channels. Be esoteric about botnet raids. If the channel splits, stay in the other side for a little while.
20. Organize without a clear leadership or membership status. Have anyone joining your discussions be a part of your cluster. If they don't agree, they will leave soon anyway. Organize like a gang or a pack. Don't use pyramidal structures or formalized positions. Be nomadic in thought and associate yourself with many others.
21. If it is within your means, travel a lot. Talk to people where ever you go, and tell them about what you are doing. Tell them to join you if they like the idea, thus creating a network within your country/region of the world, perhaps even internationally.
22. Be open with everything you do, but affirm opennes to the extent that you will spread esoteric rumors about your group.
23. Participate in mixed-reality video-streaming real-time of social-formations interconnected-at-a-distance-with netbound kinspersons. Visualize datalove formations and replications.
24. Make sure your overall goal is world domination. Just do not invade Russia during the winter.
25.Use Linux. Take Windows and Mac OS install CDs and use them as drink coasters. Or glue them to your ceiling shiney-side down, just to be cool.
26. Start your own news agency. Make news, provide it to everyone and make sure they spread virally on the internet.
27. Make communiques and fax them. Acknowledge that the telefax is the strongest communication media. Fax for lulz. Fax everything to everyone. Twice. When not faxing, make fax noises, just to seem like you are faxing. Consider the morse code too.Start typing up all your documents on type-writers, then scanning them and putting the images online. Use antiqueted forms of technology whenever you can, to be retro and ironic.
27b. ctrl + c
28. Join other activist groups. Invite them over and throw even more nice parties. Hospitality is imperative - your place is your friends place! And there is always a sofa to sleep on, where ever you go. Cluster!
29. When invited to parliaments and governments, be self-confident. Remember, you are Internet, they are merely politicians and bureaucrats. Talk to them about tubes, trucks, jellyfishes and faxes, they will not understand anyway. You are from the future. Make sure you tell them that.
30. Don't forget Kopimi.
31. When hanging out offline, keep using IRC-nicknames.
32. Love your friends. Without them, everything fails. Make sure to send a lot of data love in between you.
33. Feel and articulate imagined methodologies of planetary-oceanic-network-mind as telepathic-love connectivities enabling dramatic positive social change in the everyday world. Dream with move to AT&Atlantis, the Telcel World or just to became a jellyfish, that you are anyways. wat.
34. Learn new languages through twitter translation, translation bots in irc channels and by visiting activists in other countries. Say natti/buenas noches hallo/hej indistinctively. And remember that swedish girls is the grej!
35. Intertwine your projects and actions into the blogosphere. Find articles you do not like, then you write a critical reply and watch the comments accumulate. These comments will hopefully render more people writing about the issue at hand and it will be a good way to force concerned parties to create press releases or take back their statements. Do not underestimate the blogosphere.
36. Become friends with people in mainstream media. Invite them to your IRC-channel. They will be hooked in no time at all. If you manage to get governments and corporations into your everyday work, make sure you treat them nicely and work together with them. Get heads of state to join your etherpad editing sessions/IRC channels. Remind them you're the voters. However, if they betray you, make sure they know that the internet never forgets.
37. Listen to your Artificial Intelligence bot: "This is the dance floor; love is the structure of the overall agreement in the agreed text."