The year of living hectically

Luís Ángel Fernández Hermana - @luisangelfh
23 October, 2018
Editorial: 249
Fecha de publicación original: 9 enero, 2001

What’s done is done. For what still has to be done, advice

Five years have passed since’s first editorial. I could just repeat many of the things I said last year this time as we entered our fifth. However, looking back, 2000 has been, without doubt, the richest and most intense period in the short history of this magazine. It’s as though we have been bouncing up and down in a cocktail shaker all year producing rich brews of many different kinds of flavours and colours. If each of the four years before could be seen as the equivalent of the Internet’s 7, then 2000 has been so concentrated that its value is incalculable. This is one of the reasons why we decided to inaugurate our 4.0 version today. It is living proof of the intense maturation process we have undergone since that first editorial in 1996, and what has made it possible, at the same time, for us to initiate so many new projects on the Net.

It feels as though over the last twelve months we have zipped through our teens, youth and adulthood several times with marriages, divorces, changes of religion and big shifts thrown in. Further proof that no-one should ever make glib comments about things being “like this or that” on the Internet. Or, to put it another way, it confirms our belief in the importance of analysing and reflecting on tendencies on the Net, an activity which forms part of’s genetic code.

The changes started very early on. At the beginning of the year there were just three of us in and now there are about one and a half dozen. Between one figure and the other, considerable effort has been made to create the basic structure of an Internet company, both from the human and technological standpoint. Neither have been a bed of roses. Expanding the culture of the magazine from such a small group to the large and diverse one it has become, has been an extraordinarily enriching experience and ….. a rather tense one too. Apart from continuing to be faithful to our policy of publishing own content which is original and exclusive to, in just a few months we got two more en.medi@s up and running, the virtual debate spaces for the creation of knowledge communities which we first initiated in 1999 with’s en.medi@. One of them, en.jornad@, deals with next generation information technology. The other, Liderarte, is aimed at discussing personal change and decision-making in the rapidly changing world we live in.

Regarding en.medi@, we have often been asked what our secret is. How it is possible that these virtual communities function at a quality level so uncommon on the Net. The secret, of course, lies not just in having a team of moderators to keep an eye on them, although this is a fundamental part of how they operate. This already happens, in fact, on many moderated distribution lists. But the results are not the same. As far as we are concerned, the internal job of constant learning and systematising the task of online knowledge management, is just as important or more so. We spend a lot of time at workshops, which almost all of the staff attend, studying, analysing and rethinking as many times as necessary, the way that we run the en.medi@s. This has enabled us to develop an innovative methodology directed at fulfilling fixed objectives. The idea is not to set up yet another forum where users can discuss whatever they please.

In a relatively short time, our professional profiles have been put to the test and we have learned to manage these virtual spaces based on material generated by the users themselves. Our work as managers, our contributing of materials from different perspectives, and the way we share the knowledge produced in these different spaces, has put us in a privileged position as far as the creation of online knowledge management networks are concerned. The task of reproducing en.medi@ by “simply opening distribution lists and putting a good moderator at the helm” is thus considerably complicated. There are already lots of examples of these kinds of forums on the Net. Loads of money has been invested in them but they languish like the dinosaurs after the meteorite fell.

In we have always maintained that the most important change the Internet affords is the possibility for participation and interaction. If these take place in a suitable environment, information systems grow and become enriched. The results are there for all to see. en.medi@ puts forward a new way of organising work online, of tapping individual talent and taking full advantage of a collective intelligence platform distributed online. So, we have made our main concern what seems to us will be the key factor of the Information Society – the generation and management of knowledge in a shared communication environment-.

en.jornad@ worked as the online phase of’s I One Day Conference held on 27 October. A number of advanced systems for the visualisation of complex bodies of information were presented at this event giving us the opportunity to take a peek at the future of the Net. We gained many things from the Conference, both intangible, like our friendships with the speakers that came from the USA and Italy (Lantrip, Martí, Vogel, Rao), and tangible, such as Inxight’s amazing hyperbolic tree which will map the way through our web in its 4.0 version as from today. Slowly but surely ,we will learn to “tame” it until it becomes an essential tool for those that consult our archives.

The 4.0 version of is still in what we could call its beta phase. Changing all our data bases will take a while longer. However, the new structure spread over various webs –the magazine, the company, en.medi@, the nodes and the archive– points both to the diversification of our activities, as well as the orientation of the company on the information market. Some sections are already operating as they will in the final product, such as baraz@, the en.medi@ designed for’s Masters in Digital Communication, a project we inaugurated last year and whose second edition, to be launched in March, will deal with demand from Latin America.

None of this would have been possible without the help of the great team we have consolidated over the last year. Things have gone so fast that some of them are no longer with us. Others continue to show such enthusiasm for this project called that our success is guaranteed. The party on the 12 January is dedicated to all of them and all of you out there who have been following our progress over the years. As always, we will start off by discussing this thing called the Net and then we will have a drink to refresh our ideas. Because there is still lots to be done and we would like to do it with you. It is also dedicated to those that thought we deserved to be among the “500 Most Powerful Spaniards” list published in the newspaper “El Mundo” on the 7 January. Because, for us, the secret of power lies in creating networks with you.

By the way, don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party. La Malla will be broadcasting the debate on TV via the Internet and publishing an audio-visual version on its web later.

Translation: Bridget King