Open Occult Networks: Where to go from here?

2009-09-20 15:18 in Articles by Anton Channing

A while ago, about the time KIA was entering version 4 I wrote an article giving a history of KIA’s progress, entitled ‘KIA Network, Forum and Wiki Integrated‘. I mostly intended this as a promotional announcement about how KIA had evolved to encompass a social network, a forum and a wiki with single sign on (a big achievement for me at the time, as I’d been planning it for years), but I also gave a look back on how KIA had got to where it was back then, including its logo history and name changes.

One of the things about KIA has always been its openness, and whilst I am not aware of anyone taking advantage of it yet, the fact the logos are released as creative commons, means anyone so inclined can take them in modified or unmodified form, and use them in their own projects (provided they release any modifications and redistributions on the same license). This was to facilitate the growth of KIA as a decentralised movement that didn’t revolve solely around activities on kiamagic.com. However this hasn’t happened as far as I’m aware, and I’m left wondering if its even necessary. Probably a valuable contribution regardless of necessity.

The reason is that free open occult network already exists and doesn’t need to revolve around any particular image, flag or name in order to exist. KIA can be seen as a small part, or node, within an already existing open occult network that spans all cultures across the globe. Another such node within this network might be Free Illuminism (aka Congregational Illuminism). This describes itself as a bottom-up, decentralised open system, non-hierarchical and non-authoritarian. They say that by doing away with hierarchy, they do away with the pointless politics that can prove so much distraction in the work. They say they have ‘an ever-growing number of sincere and dedicated Illuminists who have voluntarily come together in free association with each other to work in unity, openness and peace.’ This sounds good to me, and rather in tune with what KIA has been trying to achieve since its inception. To me, KIA and Free Illuminism seem eminently compatible, to the extent they seem like different names for the same thing.

Other examples include the growing number of open source occult resources and wiki’s on various occult subjects that can share content with each other via permissive licenses.

Perhaps the importance of KIA within that network relates to the importance of what we do together within it. How well it delivers something of value to its participants given the effort of their contributions. This of course leads to the question ‘what do we consider something of value?’ We may have to answer that each for ourselves, but to really take things forward some kind of consensus on where to from here may need to be reached. This may include common esoteric projects as well as simply developing more features for the website. Back in its early days, KIA didn’t shy away from big collaborative rituals that spanned the world. This may or may not be what we are looking for today.

Another thing I have been looking into lately is the idea of hosting user websites on subdomains of kiamagic.com. The idea behind this was not so much to monetise KIA but to raise a fund that could be used to develop KIA further. This would likely be in the form purchasing the development of plugins for Elgg, which KIA would release on a GPL license. I have ideas for not yet existing plugins that would be great not just for KIA, but for all Elgg websites, but I don’t have the time develop these myself, nor the money to pay for them. Which is why I got the idea of a development fund. Of course, subdomain websites are not the only means by which money can be raised for this. I conceived of it as a way of giving something back to those that contribute.