OxIMC meeting 2011-09-07
1. Minutes of last meeting and action points.
- There were no minutes from last time, Action C to put them up. He apologised for his failure.
- M reported that he is going to speak to MB about the gentrification of the Cowley Road. He will report back next month.
- G reported that he was going to speak to some groups and they have a set of questions but no-one to ask him to.
- O wrote the feature on the suicide at Campsfield. O also had found somebody to do translations.
2. New web site
Last meeting we said we'd set a separate meeting to talk about it, but we failed to find a convenient date for everyone. We set 1/2 hour aside in this meeting to discuss the topic.
- - technical issues and fixes.
- - editorial policy
- - logistics
C proposed that we talk about the editorial policy first. M introduced it and G explained the issues of the current site. We went through the various matters as they arised, roughly in this order:
There are not enough features on a regular basis and most of the ways to date that we've tried to tackle it, have worked, but not brilliantly. We have features and newswire and promoted newswire... and perhaps this isn't entirely the best mix...
C says that the rule is that features have to be proposed on the features list, and not that there have to be two newswire articles to support them. J says that there might be a hierarchy issue, given that features are more prominent than the news. G pointed out that we have links to tell people how to contribute a feature, protecting against hierarchy could be defending ourselves against a problem that doesn't exist: almost cutting our noses off to spite our faces. C said that the other side of that perhaps we ought to consider making the newswire more prominent at the expense of the features. O is up for changing the approach to features, making them less objective and longer, if that could improve the number of features.
b. Syndicated content
M proposed to syndicate the content of local groups in to the web site. J questioned that it would by-pass editorial policy. G said that articles could be hidden from feeds. O was okay, so long as it was lower down than other stuff, C agreed with that. O said we ought to have some guidelines on what could be included. P asked whether we could remove it post by post, G said yes. G questioned why it should be considered to be lesser content than stuff promoted directly on the newswire. O thinks it would be good to remove posts by post, but also to be able to remove an entire feed. They envisioned that we wouldn't have to weed through a feed post-by-post, but keeping it less prominent would avoid the editorial need. J's reservation was about Google de-ranking, C said don't worry about it. M clarified that the articles would be titles that link to the originals. M also said that he thought it would help to make the site more of a hub for Oxford activism - a Daily Info for activists. G said he'd like to keep the possibility open to mixed syndicated articles with newswire posts. G wonders if we'd over complicate things with all sorts of different types of content, C reckons you could resolve that using design.
c.1 O having a feed from mayday, btm or other regions. the wider network. G wants the idea
c. Opinion pieces
We discussed the possibility of opinion pieces being a section as prominent as features, with anyone allowed to contribute, but that content would have to go through the features list for approval.
J is opposed because of the clique issue. O would have an object if the promoted news wire was the default main thing on the front page. O would prefer to have the open newswire as the default. M queried whether there really was a hierarchy due to the open nature of the way we operate the editorial collective. O said that he thought there was a hierarchy, because people aren't able to attend, but that we should aim to be as open as possible and to be as non-hierarchical as possible. G summed up by saying there was no right answer to it.
We discussed whether the site has to be specifically oxford-centric, or where it can deal with wider issues, but from an oxford perspective?
We already have that kind of policy, where a person who was from oxford could contribute articles from their oxford perspective can contribute. O thinks it needs to be explicit even if it's slightly tenuous. G thinks news and events should have a definite Oxford basis, but opinion pieces and features could be wider.
C said we might have to have a mechanism such as contributors - e.g. qualified reporters.
J asked for clarification as to whether the aim is to get more content, G clarified that it was mainly aimed at improving the richness of the content.
O said he felt that it should be possible to tighten the rule again if we need to. C said we could have restricted opinion pieces with logins if we needed to, down the road.
C, G & P say that they wouldn't bother writing an opinion piece if it wasn't going to be on front page. M said that couldn't they go into the newswire, C suggested that we ought not to do this and have a stricter policy in the first place rather than changing it.
Newswire postings could continue to be as there are, but opinion pieces should be promoted to their own feed, and moved to a features-like section.
All: we think we could consider slackening off on what the definition of Oxford is, and to allow opinion pieces according to the editorial terms above.
f. Technical aspects
M and G explained that the new site was coming along. C asks is video working, M said not quite, P asked what video formats can be uploaded and whether HD could be uploaded and if we use embedded video from other video sharing web sites. M said that the codecs are handled by ffmpeg, so nearly all. We discussed how big the videos ought to be and were concerned about the abuse of free server resources, so that we'd have to have limits.
M reported that the last screening got 30 people and raised about 60 quid. The next film is going to be H2Oil
and some Taking on Tarmaggedon stuff, we thought it might be a bit depressing and that Dirty Oil might be a better film. M to suggest this to G from ToT
4. Features, eviction coverage.
- M has his gentrification article.
- O wants to write one about the social centre, we all agree with that.
- G is going to do some video tomorrow, and will write a bit of an article about it.
5. New IMC
Reported that there are various people translating the application materials into Spanish. Deadline for translations of the application materials should be ready by 21st September, after which we shall machine translate what's next.
We should do a feature on the fact that a new person actually turned up after 9 months of personal lobbying!
7. Next meeting
We discussed the possibility of making it the second Wednesday of the month so as to allow us to attend the Drupal Users Group meeting, as we're planning to move to that CMS. There was some support for that idea.
- 22 Sep 2011