Hello new IMC,

Hello and welcome to the process of becoming a local IMC! This is a message from the "new-imc working group," one that has formed recently to address all the applications from around the world from groups like yours that want to become an Independent Media Center. The new-imc working group is a group of Indymedia volunteers from around the world have come together to start communicating with the aspiring IMCs, helping them develop their applications and technical capacity, working with them as they put together their mission statement and editorial policy, etc. We're sending this message to you because you've expressed interest in starting an IMC in your area. You may be representing a well-organized group composed of many independent media makers who are all ready to join the Indymedia network, or perhaps you just sent a note to this list by yourself before doing any organizing at allto ask what forming an IMC means. Whatever the case, we're here to help.

So, welcome to the new IMC process. Every IMC is an important part of Indymedia, a network that is, we believe, an increasingly essential resource for people who have important things to say that the corporate media won't dare broadcast. As a local IMC you will get a lot from the rest of the network -- advice, encouragement, offers to share resources and almost every kind of help you can imagine. As a local IMC you will also have a responsibility to be an active part of the network by sharing your wisdom, energy and any resources you may be able to spare, as well as by participating in the global organizing working groups. Being part of a network as vibrant and ever-expanding as Indymedia is a real commitment. It's also a lot of fun. Usually. Okay, almost always.

We'd like to start by sending you four documents for you and your new IMC group to read. Each will come in a separate e-mail today:

1) "Global Indymedia Overview." This a list of most of the active global Indymedia e-mail organizing lists in order to give you an idea of how global Indymedia operates.

2) "IMC Membership Criteria": This is the most recent draft of a document that lists the requirements for being part of the Indymedia network.

3) "Draft Principles of Unity": This is draft of the things upon which local IMCs agree so you can see if you agree with them as well. We should also soon be able to send a proposed charter for the Indymedia network.

4) "Indymedia FAQ": This is a list of frequently asked questions people have about Indymedia and answers to those questions.

Lots of things to read, we know, but all important information. We will be discussing all of these proposals and documents as they develop on the imc-process@indymedia.org e-mail list. Once you have become familiar with Indymedia and would like to participate you can join the list by going to http://lists.indymedia.org, clicking on imc-process and following the instructions. You may also view the list archives through that same page.

Please take a good look at the documents with your organizing group. Especially pay attention to the draft of the new IMC requirements.

WHAT'S YOUR FIRST STEP??

Your first step is to ORGANIZE. Forming an IMC in your area is like starting any organization. First figure out what independent media activity there already is in your area and start talking with as many independent media makers as possible about what forming an IMC would mean. Do outreach to people you know, to people you haven't met, to people in many different parts of your community. Have open meetings, make grand plans, talk talk talk about what kind of organizing you'll have to do to maintain a sustainable IMC. If you'd like to open an e-mail list to make your organizing easier let the new-imc group know and we'll contact the working group that opens Indymedia e-mail lists. Two things to start thinking about from the beginning are your ongoing relationship to the Indymedia network (who at your IMC is going to be interested in participating on an ongoing basis in global IMC working groups?) and your techincal capacity (can you find your own server to host your IMC so the overloaded IMC servers don't have to do it? who among your group knows or will be willing to learn the techincal aspects of managing your site?). Right now the http://process.indymedia.org site offers some information about how people have organized IMCs in the past, but that information is quite incomplete. A couple local IMCs are working on "how to" documents; we'll let you know how to access them when they're complete. In the meantime, feel free to ask the new-imc group anything at any time and we'll try to help.

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE READY TO JOIN THE NETWORK?

When your group feels organized enough to consider becoming part of the Indymedia network the first thing to do, if you haven't done so already, is to fill out the form at http://newimc.indymedia.org. The form asks you to send some information about your IMC explaining why you want to join the network. That will let the new-imc working group know more about you.

Your next step is to look again at the draft membership criteria which we'll be sending you today. Please respond to new-imc@indymedia.org, letting us know how many of the criteria you have fulfilled and what kind of help you need to fulfill the others. The new-imc working group may ask you some questions to fill in gaps in the information, such was what kind of outreach you've done and what kind of projects you're planning, but the questions are pretty straightforward.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT??

If your responses to the membership criteria document indicate that you're ready to join the network the new-imc working group will ask you to send along a PERSONAL INTRODUCTION. This is bascially a letter from your IMC group to introduce yourself to the Indymedia network, something perhaps a bit more extensive and personal than the brief statement you may have made while filling out the new-imc form. You can write about your reasons for wanting to form and IMC, what projects you have in the planning stages, what your vision of independent media may be . . . . You may also want to have individuals who are part of the organizing introduce themselves. You should include some contact information for your IMC such as the general e-mail list, a tech contact, a print team contact, etc. When we have both your membership application and your personal introduction ready we'll send your application to the IMC-PROCESS@indymedia.org list. If no one on that list opposes your application within a week, you will be able to be listed on the Indymedia sites as an IMC.

Let us know if you have any questions whatsoever, about the new IMC process, about Indymedia, about anything. We will use the new-imc@indymedia.org e-mail list to communicate about your application; you may participate in the development of your application by communicating with the working group by e-mailing us at new-imc@indymedia.org and/or by following the discussion in the list archives, which you can view through the http://lists.indymedia.org page (click on "new-imc@indymedia.org").

Thanks so much! We're really looking forward to hearing from you, and of course to working with you for a long time as part of this exciting, inspring and sometimes exhausting experiment!

The new IMC working group

new-imc@indymedia.org

-- PseudoPunk - 14 Jun 2002
Topic revision: r2 - 30 Oct 2002, BartMarescaux
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