Table of contents :
At the USSF in Atlanta in 2007, an Indymedia caucus identified technical issues as a major bottleneck to the continued growth and viability of the network, especially regarding diffusion of skills and knowledge. The Tech Retreat and Skillshare, which will (hopefully) happen in the Spring of 2008, will try and address this problem.
The original proposal
posted to: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-us/2007-July/0716-ly.html
*A Proposal from the **IMC Caucus at the **United States Social Forum :
IMC Tech-Retreat & Skillshare for Spring '08*
In July of 2007, IMC activists from all over the US met at the United
States Social Forum in Atlanta to discuss the main issues facing
Indymedia centers today. Over and over again, the question concerning
technology came up. Who has tech skills and who doesn't? How are we
giving back to the techies that give so much? How is tech knowledge
being distributed, decentralized and shared? What is the role of tech in
different IMC's? How can our IMCs be more tech sustainable? What can we
do to democratize tech skills so that all can share in the creation of
free, radical media?
We recognize that IMC techies are currently overburdened with the amount
of work that goes into maintaining the network. Yet, at the same time,
there are many IMCistas who have expressed interest in being trained in
the technical aspects of running Indymedia sites.
Therefore, we propose a technical skillshare retreat for IMC techies,
IMC volunteers, and outside tech activists interested in learning about
IMC infrastructure. We propose Spring 2008 as a date for this
convergence. Ashville IMC in North Carolina has generously offered their
space for this convergence, yet we will hold off on picking the location
until other US IMCs have given their input.
The goals of this retreat are to grow the base of people with IMC
technical skills, with a focus on promoting greater gender and racial
balance amongst techies, making the network of IMCs more sustainable,
and decentralizing technical knowledge amongst the network. Besides
being a tech-share, this 3-5 day retreat will also be social, relaxed
and geared towards facilitating conversations pertinent to Indymedia
activists today. With plenty of cookies and delicious food, this is a
retreat you won't want to miss. We hope to fundraise to bring the people
who can share their tech skills as well as the people who want to come
With most IMC techies in the US being men, we hope to learn from the
Brazilian IMC model where techies consciously focused on sharing their
skills with the women of their IMCs, who were then able to teach others
what they learned. This model of learning in order to teach, and
teaching in order to learn is what will take our movement forward.
Through solidarity fundraising, we will take the initiative to make this
Our Proposed working groups:
We welcome suggestions on workshop proposals, technical needs, outreach
strategies, or pretty much anything. As well as IMC software specific
workshops, other forms of tech skillsharing are welcome too, such as
radio, photo, video, and other computer skills. We hope to especially
share knowledge of open source and free software technology.
Let us know if you can help out or join a working group. This will only
work if IMC volunteers from around the country step up to make it
happen. Please contact* tech-retreat at indymedia.org* to get involved.
Technology is fundamental to our movement, but it is not our movement.
Our movement is people, working together in solidarity all over the
world to create the autonomous media infrastructure for the new world we
wish to see. But building autonomy is a long and arduous process, and it
can't happen in isolation from each other. Sometimes, in Indymedia, it
feels like we're all alone. But we're not. We have the power, skills,
knowledge, strength, and motivation to make this network work. So let's
And remember: Don't blame the tech. Be the tech.
- USSF Indymedia caucus
Ideas for workshops/structure/locations
Groups to reach out to/emulate
In terms of strategies for dealing with the gender issues (glad to see
this is such a high priority), it might be helpful to contact people
involved with the genderchangers / eclectic tech carnival - I know
there's at least a couple people involved in North America. see
1. Database integrity testing in advance of major elections
2. Securing upload scripts
3. DOS (when the right wing starts to attack)
4. Debate - methods for stress testing available IMC softwares
5. Drupal - has anyone actually finished one of these, and what do the
GPUs look like
6. RSS impact on IMC standards. (are RSS feeds the ultimate clique)
7. Wiki, can it survive in the wild on an IMC
8. SSH, do you give it to the designers
9. SFactive & DADA what do they need
10. Training videos... who wants to make them
* Asheville Indymedia (need space details)
* Baltimore @ 2640 http://redemmas.org/2640
(Proposed) working groups
* The Mad Penguins
(network of hacktivist groups throughout the west coast.)
(cascadia anarchist tech skill-share)
Things to Check Out
* The Organic Internet
: What exactly is the Internet and what role does it play in our movement for social change?
- download the PDF version of the book
- 22 Jul 2007 - Added "Things to Check Out" and Organic Internet, Mad Penguins, CATS and 'br' line-breaks.
- 19 Jul 2007 Added initial content