"The more proprietary, predatory, and puerile a place the web becomes, the more committed I am to using it in poetic and intransigent ways." (J.R. Carpenter, Slow Media)
Are.na is a tool to process the present, organizing the permanent I/O of living with the web.
It's less about Are.na's features than about the fact that their usage is loosely defined. It is software asking questions about the ways it should be used.
It requests activity, asking us to come up with new systems of contextualizing and building sensible structures. It opposes collecting (and mindlessly staring at) inspiration.
In that sense, Are.na is a reminder of the Web we Lost. A tool without one clear appliance, a framework to build formats on. It's both part of a desireable future and a callback to the free, unprofessional and poetic web my generation spent its youth in.
(Compressed & translated version of https://electricgecko.de/2018/arena)