IMC New York


The new mir website will incorporate a newswire listing of relevant blogs, syndicating their headlines (and possible a summary), which will link back to the originating blog. The following are documents and notes about the blogwire:

Blogwire Policy

The following is the current draft of the blogwire policy. Please review and insert notes:

Community Blogwire: We have added a new way for local, independent media producers in New York City to contribute to the NYC Indymedia web site. While open publishing remains the heart of this website, we realize that media makers and community activists have increasingly begun to construct their own "weblogs," which allow them simple and direct control over content. Using the power of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) NYC IMC has begun to syndicate weblogs and other community news sites that "feed" their content to other sites and news aggregators.

In some ways, this will move NYC Indymedia towards a new role as a local news hub, in addition to its current role as an original news producer. We're really excited by the possibilities provided by RSS, and over the next few days we'll be posting a longer feature on the community blogwire, what kind of content we're looking for (we're not syndicating everything!!) and how to get more involved.

With the launch of the redesigned NYC Indymedia website, we are adding a new feature to our site newswire -- the community blogwire. Using the power of Really Simple Syndication (RSS) NYC Indymedia will now be pulling headlines from progressive local blogs and other media organizations making use of rss feed technology. By clicking on the link in our community blogwire, you will be taken offsite to the website of one of the thousands of New Yorkers using the internet to advance causes of social justice. We will not be syndicating entire articles on the blogwire; rather, we will be pulling headlines and short summaries from other media organizations. We are looking to both democratize the New York City blogosphere and better integrate progressive publishers in the area into a stronger network of radical media makers.

What kind of blogs are we looking for?:

  • are locally produced (NYC and immediate environs) or concern issues of strong interest to the NYC community
  • are politically left
  • contain original content, not just reposts and links
  • have not produced material in violation of existing moderation policies (racist, homophobic, etc.)
  • content need not be merely political or social analysis. Arts, interviews, reviews and so on are encouraged.
  • we strongly prefer to syndicate news and current events sites. Sites that are largely or partly "personal diaries" will probably not be included.
These previous 2 seem to be contradictory. I think we should keep the imc focus on political news and analysis, and not include any blogs that are predominently 'culture'. Re: concerns around lifestylism and co-optation vs. DIY culture and entertainment. I support DIY, but I also think that's somewhat beyond imc's goal (e.g., 'non-news' has often been a reason for editors to moderate a post).-- patrick

When talking about culutral blogs I was thinking along the lines of the Welfare Poets blog (which we currently cant feed because of feed issues, I don't think the two items are contradictory (culture is political, after all), but we do need to decide whether the balance is appropriate case by case. -- chris

  • we also prefer sites that relate, in some fashion to the work of a community, a collective, or another type of social group.
There's been some various thoughts about individual vs. group blogs on irc, possibly opening up the blogwire to include individuals' blogs (those of political content, not personal). What do people think? --patrick

I think the question of group versus individual is tricky but not impossible to sort out. Generally, I oppose an outright 'ban' on individual blogs for a number of reasons, including the difficulty in determining them alluded to earlier. That said, I think when looking at an individual blog we can use a number of other criteria to decide whether or not to include: is the specific topic important to NYers and under-covered by NYC IMC; is the blog "news" or is it "commentary"; i.e., is it providing new information or hashing out already known info. --chris

I'd like to propose this addition: --patrick
  • the blog cannot contain advertising. examples of advertising are: banner ads, google ads (text ads).
I strongly disagree with this. The entire 'culture' of web advertising in the blogosphere is completely different than that accepted by Indymedia. Having this as a hard and fast proposal will exclude the vast majority of blogs, including those that for every other reason are our allies, are run by groups we want to promote, and are just as radical as IMC-- if not more so. We should, however, look at site ads on a case by case basis, and if the ads are obnoxious (i.e, the example of the Daily Gothamist below, which I agree with) that should be reason for not including the site. --chris

The criteria above should be seen as "general rules of thumb"; however, they are not exclusive and exceptions may be made to any and all of the above guidelines. In general, think about whether the blog for you or your group primarily contains material that would be published on our open newswire. We reserve the right to remove any site for the blogwire at any time.

While all policies should be open to revision ongoing, the less definition they have, the less change can happen through revision. I'd like to pinpoint our adaptiveness a little more on the spectrum of fixed vs. fluid, and use language something like the following (we could attach this to all policy docs): This document represents the current policy of the nyc imc. As with all imc policy, it is and should be open to revision and exception, given sufficient justification. If you feel a revision or exception is in order, please document your concern on the listserv by making a proposal for such. --patrick

Sounds good. -- chris

Note: Need a way to alert imc users that when they leave the imc site for the blog, they will not retain the same privacy (e.g., making comments anonymously).

Letter Sent to NYC Area Bloggers, 7/01/2005

Dear Area Blogger

In the next few days, the local grassroots media website New York City Indymedia will be re-launching with an additional feature: a "community blogwire" that will syndicate headlines (and possibly short textual excerpts) from local weblogs that we think might be of interest to the NYC progressive community. The blogwire will include headlines from rss-syndicated blogs that link back the original post on the original weblog; in short, we see that as an attempt to serve as a "hub" for the NYC grassroots media community as well as a generator of our own original content. Upon occasion, we will include a short (1-2 pgfs at most) excerpt of the rss-feed in the "features" section of our website, along with a link back to the original post.

We would like to include your blog as one of the weblogs we will be syndicating. If you would would be willing to give us permission to link to our site in the manner descibed above, please email us here or at imc-nyc-web (nospam) indymedia (dot) org and let us know that it is ok with you. Feel free to drop by the NYC IMC website at any time to see what we have in mind.


Chris Anderson and the The NYC Indymedia Web Team

Given that we can do this technically, let's insert something like the following: Please be aware of few ways in which being listed on the imc blogwire may impact your site. One is that your website traffic may increase considerably at some points. This can be a great thing, but this may be a consideration if you have traffic/bandwidth limits. Second, as imc is an open publishing site, unfortunately there will always be some abuse of the system. This means that you may receive spam and abusive comments on your blog articles linked from the blogwire. If you like, we can create a space on the imc site for users to comment on your blog post, to hopefully dimish moderation on your end.

Sure --chris

Proposed Blogs

Here is a list of proposed blogs and notes: Italics means that the blog has accepted our invite

NYC Organizations' Blogs

  • APOC: Weblog for the national organization Anarchist People of Color
  • No Land Grab: Information concerning Bruce Ratner's plans to develop an arena, apartment buildings and office buildings over privately owned and already developed land in Brooklyn
  • Wake Up Call: Blog For the WBAI morning show.
  • Left Hook: Radical student journal examing politics and culture
  • Visual Resistance: Weblog for the NYC arts and activism group, spun off the No-RNC Poster Project
  • Work Blog: Blog of the NYC based magazine "Work."
  • Hip Hop Music: Blog of WBAI producer and activist Jay Smooth
  • Hip Hop Lives Here: The weblog for the REAC Hip Hop Coalition, dedicated to encouraging and creating fair and equal representation of the diversity of Hip Hop Culture.
  • Riseup Radio: Blog for the WBAI youth show.
  • NMASS Media Project: Media blog for the locally based chapter of the National Mobilization Against Sweatshops
  • Puerto Rico Sun ( Puerto Rico Sun, a cultural news/photo blog aimed at empowering and informing boricuas.
  • Daily Gotham: Coverage of NYC politics from a liberal perspective
Daily Gotham: First impression is that I would not include this. Perhaps too overly-liberal, but they also have lots of advertising --patrick

Agreed --chris

  • Stay Free!: Cultural criticism and commentary from the publishers of the Brooklyn based quarterly magazine.
  • Peak Oil NYC ( Team of bloggers analyzing peak oil issues in NYC.
  • NEDAP: Weblog put together by staff with the New York City based Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project
  • Counter Recruiter: Counter recruiting project of the NYC Indypendent and staff of Democracy Now!
  • Indypendent: Blog for the NYC Indypendent
Indypendent: This site was referenced in the editorial policy discussion on this page, at the bullet point starting "All nyc imc websites will determine editorial policy...". While that discussion continues, I do not feel this blog should be included. -- patrick

Non-NYC Organizations' Blogs

Has content relevance (instance of independent media). Not sure what the difference is between their 2 blogs --patrick

Has topic relevance. Not sure if they have rss --patrick

NYC Indivuduals' Blogs

  • Starts and Fits: Local blog concerned with issues of NYC land use and transportation.
  • Lefter, Warmer: News and views from a lefty perspective, written by a female community college professor in NYC.
  • Big Cities, Big Boxes: Analyzing the impact of 'big box' stores on the NYC urban fabric.
  • Bike Blog: Covering issues of concern to the NYC biking community
  • Analyzes technology in NYC
  • To the Barricades: Anarchist blog in NYC area

-- ChrisAnderson - 02 Aug 2005
-- PatrickPatrick - 02 Aug 2005
-- ChrisAnderson - 03 Aug 2005
Topic revision: r8 - 04 Aug 2005, AlsteR
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