It’s our turn

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh
18 July, 2017
Editorial: 115
Fecha de publicación original: 14 abril, 1998

Adventures are to the adventurous

From this week on, will appear on two sites in the Internet: at its regular electronic address and in Tanda, a new digital communications media in which, for the moment, eight publishers of electronic magazines will take part, all of them Catalan-based. Tanda is innovative, both as far as its presentation and its content are concerned. We, the publishing companies involved, have decided to bring our digital publications together in one place to create a new communications media, while still using our regular addresses. But, in Tanda, each electronic publication will become a section of the new publication entirely responsible for its own content. What this means, therefore, is that this is a publication without a central decision making body and whose editorial line is decided independently by each individual company in its respective section, two innovative features that change the way things have been ever since the Industrial Revolution in the world of communications.

In Tanda, while each company must stick to the basic internal rules for the running of the new medium, editorial freedom will not be affected at all. Tanda, as a publication, will only make sure that quality is preserved and give financial support or help with material and human resources where necessary. To this end, the new publication will have to raise funds and resources through advertising and other activities which will be decided in the future. We realise, of course, that this is not going to be an easy experience, as we are setting off down a road with no clear precedents and where, for the moment, there is obviously much more to be learned than to be taught.

Tanda is the fruit of long reflection, discussed in various editorials in, on the nature of changes in communications models as a result of the new dynamic imposed by the nets. In these pages, on numerous occasions, we have maintained that these changes will affect not only content, the type of information and the way it is transmitted, and therefore its scope. It will also change the organisational nature of the media giving rise, in other words, to a different entrepreneurial model which incorporates the particular characteristics and features of work on the net. If the Internet encourages greater cultural diversity, informative and cognitive coverage of a wide range, a circularity of knowledge among very fluid audiences, an interactive framework related to local community initiatives and a high degree of co-operation, all of this must be reflected, to a certain extent, in the media that operate in cyberspace themselves, both in their internal organisation as well as their exterior projection.

For example, one of the most obvious manifestations of this necessity for a change of paradigm is what we could call “the irony of competition”. While in the real world a company is more competitive the greater its capacity for excluding its rivals; in the virtual world competition is, on the contrary, based on the ability for establishing ever wider and more powerful networks of co-operation. The answer to fusion as a means of growth, and the buying up of competitors to assure oneself a position in the market place, is co-operation in order to extend oneself in the Net and anchor oneself in local social realities. What we are talking about here is organisation in the Net or Net-Organisation which, in my opinion, expresses the new paradigm for companies which will make up the industrial fabric of the Information Society.

Tanda is, to a certain extent, at the frontier of these movements in cyberspace. Our aim is to create a communications media which expresses, in one place, the cultural diversity, the wealth of information and experiences of a number of publishing companies in Catalonia. Those of us who have embarked on this adventure are navigating on uncharted seas. We are starting off down a road of apprenticeship, training and research. One thing that is clear to us however, is that no matter what the fate of this particular venture might be, the entrepreneurial design of the world of nets, where information and knowledge form the basic commodities, will not be that different from the proposals which have encouraged us to give birth to Tanda. And, even more than this, our aim, in this sense, is to encourage the proliferation of these kinds of initiatives because we believe the more and the better these are, the more we are all going to benefit from the added drive this will consequently give to the development of the information industry in cyberspace.

So why the name Tanda? Well, it’s very simple. The front page of this new publication will be produced each day by one of the companies involved in the new medium – we’ll take it in turns (“tanda” in Spanish means taking turns). Logically enough, this formula will be adapted to the characteristics of the founder members of Tanda, almost all of which are weekly magazines, although some publish more frequently. For the moment, this remains an open question. Tanda‘s own dynamic will tell us if we need to revise the timetable to respond to particular information needs by making chronological changes. In any case, in the front page of Tanda a summary of each individual publication will appear and a subscription-free bulletin will be mailed each week with a brief description of that week’s content. Tanda‘s logo is a tandem, symbol of the fact that we all need to pedal together, but not be in each others pockets.

The project takes off with nine companies, eight of them electronic publishers and one of them an advertiser (to whom we have given the job of making us all rich as quickly as possible so that we can move on to other new projects). The publishers are Acordia (a magazine about the world of music), AllFootball (news and information about football with links to all the world championships),, Extra!Net (an electronic bulletin on information business management), Lavinia (video and digital TV), Negocios en la Red (yes, there are people out there making money in and from the Internet), SICOM (news and analysis on topics related to solidarity and the Third World) and Web Juridico (information about the world of the courts, the legal system). And AreaIP which will be in charge of advertising.

The list of possible participants has not closed yet. The group might incorporate other companies in the near future to broaden and diversify the information on offer. Tanda isn’t a closed circle, but it is a seminal point of departure for learning and research and we will be attentive to what it has to offer us from this perspective. Welcome to the adventure.

Translation: Bridget King.