The inherently decentralized and accessible nature of the internet has provided activists and underground press the ability to make their voices heard, requiring nothing more than a computer and a connection. Admittedly a little over naive, the potential for the Internet as an organizational structure has new channels for empowerment. As an academic research institution such as ours at UConn, we face challenges in attempting to document the digital documentarians. While we have one of the largest Alternative Press Collections in the country, our ability to capture tweets, status updates and blog rolls is limited. One important distinction to make regarding digital representation versus physical is the utter impermanence of these sources, particularly in an un(der)funded enterprise as many activist groups and presses are. Arguably, the physical print is also impermanent but the comparative longevity of print to a blogger site is quite drastic. The philosophical archival dimensions of thinking about these kinds of challenges remains rooted in the theory foundations which have transcended evolutions in media. A temporary remedy to this current problem in documenting underground press is to provide links to the digital representations of prominent sources and accessible organizations with a broad base.
I have updated the Library Guide on Introducing the Alternative Press Collection, by including a tab of Radical Internet Sources. This list is as imperfect as any sampling of the internet can be, however it will be continually updated and perpetually becoming. For an insightful view of the web’s virtual empowerment, see Lewis Call’s Postmodern Anarchism (Boston; Lexington Books, 2002).