Are.na is a web-based community centered around collaborative research and creative thinking. Unlike other social media, it promotes a calm and productive experience designed by and for artists/designers. Are.na creates an unparalleled platform for creativity, research, collaboration, and the spread of ideas.
Are.na is entirely user owned and ad-free, creating a platform virtually devoid of capitalism. Through its seemingly complex but actually very simple process of connecting “blocks” of information to channels, it acts as a sort of visual roadmap. This roadmap, if utilized correctly has the power to completely contextualize the internet.
Are.na works to create knowledge-based communities that develop deep webs of relevant information that can be accessed by anyone on the site. This spreading of mass knowledge promotes the ideas of decentralization and mindfulness.
Are.na challenges the idea of exclusive property by allowing for a network where anything and everything can be connected and effectively “owned” by anyone. This supports many anti-capitalist ideals by creating essentially an entirely free and open “marketplace” where nothing is bought or sold but rather just available. While there is potential for “premium” upgrade, Are.na can be utilized to its fullest potential entirely for free.
I have no doubt that the people behind Are.na designed it as a tool to promote social change and potentially anti-capitalist ideals. I do think, however, that its primary function is as a creative organization tool. That being said, Are.na has immense potential for anti-capitalist change in the ways we share information, learn collaboratively without the need for institutions, and gather like-minded individuals.
This image shows the network that centers around the channel “meta are.na” creating a web of information based specifically on the platform itself: