In order to properly move to a working group structure, we probably need to recruit a good few more members in the medium term and in order to keep the project moving and growing, we need to be always looking for new people. Although we are reputed to have 17 members the active number is probably closer to 10. Therefore, we are going to have to proactively seek out new members.
We have also recently received a tremendous amount of criticism due to the fact that our collective lacks female participation. Although this is a problem with deep roots, we should attempt to address it by broadening the base of groups using indymedia, with particular emphasis on seeking out participation from organisations with strong involvement from under-represented groups.
Camapaign 1: Recruitment of new members
With the proposed new working group structure, it should hopefully be much easier for us to attract new people and train them in. They can join a working group as an apprentice and learn how to do the job, without having to dive into the ongoing debates on the editorial lists initially. We should, therefore, see this as an opportunity for us to expand our reach and to target groups in particular who might help us to be a more representative collective. I propose that we adopt the following plan for outreach in the coming period.
1. That we put together a recruitment letter which we sent to groups and individuals who have a good track record of using indymedia or have expressed an interest in it in the past. We will inform them that we have adopted our structure and that we are trying to expand our active membership. We will invite them to put forward individuals as members, explaining that these applicants will first serve an apprenticeship during which they will be trained in and will be taught the various skills involved in running a popular, busy internet news site. We could target groups such as: RAG, RAR and place particular empahsis on attrracting members from groups that are not well represented in the collective (women, immigrants, etc).
2. That we contact ex-editors and people who have been involved in the project in the past, asking them if they would be interested in taking part in a particular working group.
3. That we construct a membership form on the website which allows people to fill in a form and automatically joins them up to the appropriate working groups that they express interest in (this might actually be carried out manually by members initially, but we can automate it eventually).
Camapaign 2: Broadening of our Base
1. In order to further spread our roots into Irish society, I propose that we embark on an informational campaign targetting community groups, campaigns, and anybody working in the area of social justice, sending them a simple guide to "how you can use indymedia for your benefit". Explaining the basics about publishing on indymedia and how to contact us etc. We should also offer to hold training sessions for interested parties and note that we have a particular focus on getting individuals from under-represented groups to participate. We should commit to organising 4 of these training courses in the next year.
2. We should focus on ensuring that the documentation of the site is clear and easily understandable. We should test this by presenting a usability survey for readers to fill in, allowing us to detect which areas of the site are confusing.
* recruit back old editors
* mail out to activist groups offering places and training on working groups.
* mail out to community groups with quick blurb about how they can use indymedia for publishing.
* create membership form and easy guides to getting involved.
- 27 Sep 2006