Automat Svět should be considered for the moment as being a construction site. It is incomplete, unstable, and experimental by nature. Some of this will likely remain for the time being, some of it will settle rapidly, and some of it will, with any luck, continue to be a part of what this intentionally unconventional platform is designed to be.
Submissions are meaningfully open in the sense that we welcome writing and multimedia from people who feel they understand what this project is about. Since what it is about draws upon a number of less well-known of the concepts from the history of personal computing and publishing, this may become clear to most potential contributors only over time. It is my hope that zines such as this, running on free and open source software, might help to pool the talents and the reach of writers and creators who might otherwise each be writing blog posts and creating videos which, if they succeed at all, do so through the help of algorithms and huge corporations which do nothing for the commons we all rely upon. In the future, many or most submissions will likely be made in formatted text files which may be handled with git. Templates for these files with instructions of how to format them will be made available in time. For the moment, it may suffice to write an email with details of author, content license, and either the text of the post (markdown is good, plain text is fine), or, for video and audio, a link to host or similar.
In terms of writing, form is important (though I am still getting my head around it myself and my first drafts at the very least may be formally unorthodox). Much of the writing on the internet is written with no notion of form. Here, different post types are distinct on the database level (you will typically see them in the url) and submissions must acknowledge this (if only by opting for the generic 'post' tyle). Some of these forms are less well-known than they once were; the feuilleton, for example, here often represented as the Czech 'fejeton',1 is typically familiar to regular readers of magazines and not otherwise but, as such, and with the declining circulation of traditional magazines where form is to some degree determined by layout, it has declined with them. Though many blog posts may resemble the feuilleton in both intention and tone, the absence of the infrastructure of editing and the overwhelmingly amateur nature of production has inevitably meant that the erosion of many of the features of the form. Arguably, the same has happened with criticism and the essay.
One of the hopes of Automat Svět is that though it is possible to argue that to date Creative Commons has often seen flows of money move from creators to the media giants and, primarily advertising hawkers that pass for publishers, community Creative Commons zines could help to curate and syndicate writing, video, and audio, develop writers and creators, and help to develop the fruits of their labour. Granted, this is based in large part on an infrastructure of free and open source software development which has not always distributed money and resources equitably, and I for one have not yet made any money for my many months and years of work here. Still, it is to be hoped that we have reached the point where we can see how little some the biggest and most powerful corporations on this earth are serving the needs of our communities. Our tools for this work are at this point far from ideal, but we have them, I plan to both use and discuss them, and if neither myself nor most of us are using them to their full potential, the alternative, using the tools that have only led to conflict, the enclosure of the commons, societal and ecological collapse, and rampant inequality, is no longer an option.
The fejeton has been rather popular here. It has been practised by such writers as Jan Neruda, Karel Poláček, Karel Čapek, and Ludvík Vaculík.↩