The problem with "platforms" and the present day internet
Other services and social media claim to be "neutral platforms". The lie that internet users (useds) have been sold is that social media and other "platforms" can serve as a new "public square" where all are welcome to contribute, and services like Spotify, Bandcamp, Etsy and "social" media, claim to be neutral platforms for artists and creative folks.
In reality, these "platforms" are private property - corporate entities which need to make profit. They will always put the interests and profits of the owners above those of their useds. That means, they will manipulate us, scam us, rip us off, brainwash us with propaganda, whatever they need to do to return profits to their shareholders. If the public ever has a problem with the "platform's" actions, that company can simply tell its useds "if you don't like it, get off my property".
Aside from the myriad negative social impacts of the terrible behavior that this system not only allows but incentivises and requires, there are also profoundly unjust and devastating economic impact on "users" as a class: Our data is monetized, and every minute spent on "social" media is money in the pocket of companies that sell your data to advertisers and who knows who else...
Useds don't see a dime of the billions made off of their data being sold this way. All they get in return is buggy, slow and incredibly insecure apps that they only use because the companies maintain what should be an illegal monopoly on the market ("everyone else uses x, so i don't have a choice").
The situation is almost worse when it comes to "creative economy" platforms/services like Etsy, Bandcamp and Spotify. These companies merely hire some script kiddies to write up mostly copied-pasted code over a weekend, and then sit back and collect millions of dollars in fees, all while pretending to "give independent artists a platform".
These companies are just a new version of the age old scam of paying artists with "exposure", instead of reasonable compensation for their hard work and years of study and practice - all of which, if valued appropriately by our economic system, would allow them to make a decent living. Instead, most artists live in poverty and debt, and this is seen as "normal". Being an Artist is accepted as a guarunteed path to poverty, to being scammed and undervalued for your work is "normal" in the "creative economy".
Think of what sort of a sick, perverse society treats its own culture as a commodity, and treats those who create that culture as disposable. Arts and culture are for most of us, what makes life worth living at all - whether it is fine art in galleries, fashion and clothing, live events, comedy, television, music and entertainment or video games and so on. When we come home from a grueling work day, we want there to be something that makes it all worth it.
Cybergrunge.net exist in opposition to all of this. The site is maintained by webmistress Ellie Voyyd, and supported by the CGRU Collective and its users. We don't have a specific vision of what the future should look like, but we know things have to change, and this site and associated projects are part of the process of building alternatives that can provide services and hopefully, better yet, inspire people to build their own.
Cybergrunge.net is a web service, not a "platform". The site exists to provide resources tools and services to artists and inspire people to be creative and question the way the internet and society as a whole operates, and inspire alternatives to failed institutions - for instance building connections between people and communities, rather than connections between "users" and advertisers, private companies/properties and algorithms. We encourage and do what we can to support the free (as in freedom) exchange of cultural work and collaboration between artists and creative folks.
We do this by offering the site and various apps and resources to the public free of charge (gratis), as well as small grants or expenses coverage via our non-profit collective, CGRU.
If you believe in this mission, you can support us with a one time or recurring tax-deductible donation via OpenCollective. You can also support us by sharing the site with friends, adding your music or other multimedia creative works and encouraging others to as well.
We also appreciated feedback on the site, and are open to collaboration and working with other collectives and individuals. Contact Ellie, (the webmistress) if you can contribute html,css,js,php to the project or have ideas.