Please note that lots of information on this page is outdated.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This New IMC information page has been set up to help YOU* learn more about the Indymedia Network. This site is put together and kept up to date by various members of the network, but primarily by the New IMC working group. Our hope it that this information will introduce you to an overview of Indymedia but also to what to expect from the New Imc Process. This working space is ever evolving and is the first step towards understanding not only Indymedia values and the common ground that enables us to be a network, but also a bit about how the network itself works and what that means for each local IMC.

Please have your local collective or the group of people interested in joining the Indymedia Network read over the draft document So you want to start an IMC? before filling out this form. If you have questions, you can send email to the new-imc mailing list. We know that the process can be confusing for newcomers and we're trying to make it as open and transparent a process as possible. Please remember that we are all volunteers who work in indymedia and often are busy with our local IMCs as well.

* YOU does not refer to an individual person; it means the collective requesting to be a member of the IMC Network.

NETWORK OVERVIEW - THEORY AND PRACTICE

The strength of the IMC as a concept comes directly from its organizational structure; namely, a decentralized network of autonomous collectives whose shared resources allow for the creation of a social and digital infrastructure that is independent of state and market forces. It is our intention as a media movement to build out this structure so that, on the one hand, we have local IMC's throughout the world that are autonomous in their decision making while, on the other hand, we are united in a network form of organization that allows for collaboration on a level previously reserved for state and corporate interests. To the extent the network is effective in challenging abusive systems of power is directly related to our ability to create decentralized structures. It is our ability to be flexible and simultaneously united that has proven effective.

However, it cannot be understated that in order for collaboration to occur network wide, there needs to exist a set of guidelines and a process by which we all agree to work. Quite frankly, it is necessary to resist any efforts by a local collective, for example, that wishes to develop a non-participatory, top-down structure, or would like to create a corporation out of a local IMC. To this end, we have developed guidelines for network participation in the form of two crucial documents: the Principles of Unity and the Criteria for Membership. These documents, in a sense, are a pact amongst media activists that allow for the network to exist. It is under these assumptions that we are united yet autonomous.

NEW IMC PROCESS - HOW IT WORKS

So that you can know what to expect, here's a brief description of the current process that the New IMC Working Group follows. Because we're all humans and we rely on our diverse communication styles, this is not designed to be a perfect science, but rather to be democratic, transparent and flexible. This process has been evolving as we continue to improve the process and to incorporate helpful feedback from participants.

Please feel free to ask any questions you have that will help you through this process. You can either email the list or contact any of the people who have sent you either the general information or tech information.

  1. Pre-organizing: the first step is to talk with people in your community and try to get the sense if there is interest in forming an IMC.
  2. Look at the documents linked at this site (see below).
  3. When you think you're really ready to do some good organizing, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.
  4. Open a mailing list: newlist.indymedia.org
  5. O - R - G - A - N - I - Z - E !!!!
  6. With your forming collective, write a mission statement (see below) and editorial policy, maybe contact imc-tech@lists.indymedia.org at this stage.
  7. When you're really ready, and only when you're ready, reply to each of the membership criteria points one by one, and send to new-imc@lists.indymedia.org.
  8. Your new-imc contact proposes your site to new-imc, if no one blocks within 3 days, this is passed to imc-process; if no one blocks there within 7 days, you become part of the network and are put on the cities.inc list once your web site is ready.
  9. The fun begins. Get involved in the global lists and Indymedia discussions and decisions. Offer to work with other IMCs from your area or elsewhere around the world. Do good work.
  10. Change the world, for the better of course. We wouldn't expect anything less.

Full text of 10-step process

PROVISIONAL IMC NETWORK DOCUMENTS

These are the documents that you will receive once you have sent in the form and introduction below. The Principles of Unity and the Membership Criteria are the documents that we ask your collective to carefully review, comment on and send back to the New-IMC list. You should take your time reviewing these documents. This is not a casual step. You are becoming a member of an international network. And while we operate in a decentralized, non-hierarchical way, we are also part of a network that shares resources, solidarity and support. Hopefully these documents will give you a good idea of what Indymedia is all about.

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

These background and general information documents are useful for any new IMC collective and can be a resource for a long time.

THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THINGS

For a website to be an indymedia website it is essential that it supports open publish, that is to say, that anyone can publish. In order to have this, it is necessary to install certain software in the server. You or some one you trust need to have physical access to the machine.

There are several options as far as software is concerned, all equally been worth, each one with its advantages and disadvantages. Below you will find a full list of options, but the most used (as of April 2005) are SF Active, MIR, DadaIMC. If none of these convinces you, continue reading. In any case it is a decision that needs to be made by the collective.

You do not need to go through the whole new process to be able to use the software, if you have a server. You can begin to use it already, that is what it is Free for. If you do not have a server, you will be requested to pass the new imc process before getting some server space. What server you will be allocated to will depend on what software you decide to use.

In the lucky case that a neighbor and friendly imc offers you space in the form of "sub-section ", this is what we can tell you:

It is the most comfortable and easy option for a group with limited resources. You are not as independent as if you were beginning by your account; to begin with, you will have to use the software that they are already using using that group, and you will need to adopt its editorial guidelines or principles . You would have the opportunity to evaluate the used program and principles, and to choose to adopt it for your own imc once you have learnt from the experience.

You need to have a technical contact person. This person does NOT need to be an expert at all, it is enough for her to act as a liaison with the tech list (imc-tech a!t lists.indymedia.org). She will not be alone.

For the more advanced... if you would like to see what may be involved in maintaining a site, please refer to:

  • Software needed for an open publishing site,
    general page all - If you want to know about all the different programs and software packages that have been developed to run and support indymedia sites and what you can choose for your IMC then check out this site.
    • Discussion on what software package to recommend to new indymedia groups started in late 2006 but the rational discussion process stopped.

    • Some of the more active software packages for which you could likely find easy support (including a server) include: - SFActive - Samizdat - Oscailt - Drupal

    content management systems and Opinions and Experiences pages try to give some information to help you decide what codebase to use. However, these wiki topics are already quite old and probably outdated.

    Many more open source CMS can be found at Open Source Codebases

    However, these are not backed by indymedia (TM), i.e. there ae few people who know these and can share experiences, and they may need customizations to make them run an open posting web site and to offer the other features one might expect from an IMC web site.

    People may wish to check the imc-tech mailing list archives for more recommendations and send an email to the list asking for one. Such inquiries have always been replied to if people mentioned that they were planning to found a new IMC and gave sufficent background info on their tech collectives' abilities, experiences and size.

  • The Global IMC-Tech collective imc-tech@lists.indymedia.org can help provide you with servers and software setup or get you connected with people who can help you. Don't think you're on your own, we're here to help. If you have techies then we could use your help too.

TECH CONTACTS

In English

In Spanish

(etc.)

NEW IMC FORM

After your collective reviews the above information, please fill out the form below and answer the following questions.

NOTE: All information entered in this form will be publicly archived at lists.indymedia.org. Please provide only information that can be made public.

We'd like your group to draft up a statement or essay or short story (any style you'd like) that expresses why you are interested in starting an IMC in your city or region and why you want to join the indymedia network. Later in the process, when we send the application on to the IMC-Process list, we will ask for an introduction to your IMC. You can have this serve both purposes. Or you can revise it for both purposes (nothing is set in stone - we're hopefully always evolving this process and improving it).

Doing this will help us better evaluate your request. A short essay will tell us much more about your ideas for participating in the IMC network than just the form. This should be written with the approval of the collective who wants to start up an IMC.

Click for the form

Here are some examples:

Please note: Because Indymedia recently changed its internal email list system, these example links are all broken at the moment. Don't be put off by this, you can still take a browse through the archives of the New-IMC working group by going to http://archives.lists.indymedia.org/new-imc/ Just jump in and read a few posts, you'll see that people are friendly and the process is not so difficult!


Sat, 16 Nov 2002 23:31:47 -0500
new-imc@lists.indymedia.org

-- AnA - 13 Mar 2005, added intro to "the technical side of things", on the 3 software packages most used, and possibility to download the software, get a subsection in an existing imc and server space. Added contact and information pages provided by Alster

-- AnA - 27 Sep 2006 added links to membership criteria and principles of unity

-- AlsteR - 25 Jul 2007 - Fixed some email addresses and outdated web links. Lots of outdated information and external web links in this document, and in documents referenced here remains. Added a note saying so on top.

-- MarkB - 28 Jul 2007 - Fixed some more email addresses from @indymedia.org to @lists.indymedia.org and added imc-drupal-dev
Topic revision: r15 - 11 Sep 2007, BouD
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