Who owns your social network profile? — An Interview with Marc Worrell
(photo and interview: Ulises Mejias, Creative Commons 2008)
Marc Worrell (social network profile, personal website) is software architect and partner at Mediamatic, a hybrid enterprise/cultural organization in Amsterdam engaged in developing software applications for clients as well as exploring new media, art, and society through exhibitions, presentations, workshops, manifestations and all sort of onsite/online cultural events. Marc is the architect behind Mediamatic’s content management system (CMS) anyMeta, which you can see at work on their website. I interviewed Marc in the high-traffic kitchen area of Mediamatic on May 30th.
Ulises Mejias: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about the history of Mediamatic?
Marc Worrell: The Mediamatic Foundation was started in the mid 1980’s by Willem Velthoven and Jans Possel. I think they were still students in Groningen, in northern Netherlands. And they started a magazine about new media. At the time, new media meant interactive CDs and such, so they started incorporating that into their work. As Willem himself says, because he started writing about new media, people assumed that he knew a lot about producing it, which is not necessarily the same! So the Foundation grew a more commercial branch next to it, Mediamatic IP. This company did web sites, print design, more commercial stuff. It also made it possible to fund the Foundation a little bit, at least with office space, etc. There was another branch that focused on education: people learning how to make websites, editing, how to write for the web, project management around Internet projects, etc. The philosophy at Mediamatic was always that once you learn how to do something, you immediately make it possible for other people to learn how to do it, redistributing the knowledge. Then of course we had the dot com crash. Money just ran out for Mediamatic IP. It was decided to continue with some projects, like the Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands, but Medimatic IP itself declared bankruptcy. At that time Mediamatic Lab was started, as a partner to the Foundation, and that’s where we do our work today on social networks, websites, etc. for our clients, and where we do the implementation of the “strange” ideas that come out of the Foundation. Continue reading