IMC UK Features 'How To'

*Note:* this page is only a draft based upon WwwFeaturesContent and needs to take into account points that have been (and are) raised in discussions on the mailing lists. _Note2: this page is suffering additions from -- AnA

An example:

What is a good feature?

The features in the centre column on the UK Indymedia site are typically highlights from the open-publishing newswire, the right-hand-side colum. They should be about issues of relevance to the entire Indymedia audience of the United Kollective regions and beyond. They can be composed by any one and proposed to the features list: imc-uk-features [at] lists [dot] indymedia [dot] org - as long as they refer to an article previously published on the newswire, and to which they must make reference via a link.

We usually allow 24 hours from the moment a feature is proposed, to allow for amrendments, objections and/or improvements. After these 24 hours, the feature is usually uploaded, in html, by members of the imc-uk-features collective.

Features can also cover an event or issue, and updating of the middle column occurs simulataneously with the event being reported. Covering an event on real time is agreed and prepared by the features list in advance.

They can also be be 'compilations' of events that and are covered by several regional IMCs, or 'syndications', features taken completely with little changes from a regional group but which have importance for the entire UK network.

What should be in a feature? - or how to propose a feature so well it only needs to be copied & pasted to be published

*Title kiss Not too long...

*Picture kiss Please provide the full URL of a picture to be uploaded for use in the feature, or ideally the URL of an image that has already been attached to a newswire article. The image will automatically resize to 160 pixels wide.

*Abstract kiss This is the part of the feature that will appear on the front page. It should be of relevance to the entire United Kollectives readership and understandable to all those that have not heard of your specific issue before. It is also the introduction and should give a brief idea of what the rest of the article is about. Including links to postings on IMCs and other sources of independent media are preferred, and it is best to avoid 'corporate' sources if possible. Overall, it should probably not be more than 150 words (more detail will be given in the main body of the feature if people are interested enough to click on "read more"). [note: some people prefer it as short as 50 words...]

*Body kiss This is the part that is reached when people click on "read more" - and, in fact, the abstract is also visible. There is no limitation on length. More links can be included here (including to more 'corporate' sources than are advised on the front page).

*Bottom links kiss Up to 3 links to other related websites. These will normally be incorporated into the 'abstract' and appear on the front page.

NOTE: If you include links to postings in other or to pictures, video and audio files, please mark them with an (photo/video/audio icon - NB. this link is not working at present).

Things to avoid

Some bad habits with images and links to avoid:

External images

Please never embed images from external servers into articles because they could be used for all sorts of evil stuff, for example:

  • IP logging -- who know how the other servers is set up? Images on other servers embedded in indymedia articles are in effect webbugs!
  • The image on the remote server could be changed to another image to change the meaning of the article (or changed to porn or a file that exploits a vunerability browsers... etc).
  • If the remote image were viewed in admin (if the preview function was fixed) if could be used for a cross site scripting attack to pinch the Mir admin cookie and hijack admin accounts...

If you want to use images not attached to the article you are editing then best attach them to a newswire post and then manually link to them using a relative address, eg:

    <img src="/images/2005/12/1234.jpg />

Fully qualified links in articles to other articles on the site are bad, eg links like this:

    <a href="https://publish.indy...">blah</a>

    <a href="https://www2.indy...">blah</a>

    <a href="http://www.indy...">blah</a>

Links to other pages on the site should always be started with a slash (/) like this:

    <a href="/en/2005/12/1234.html">blah</a>

This is because fully qualified links can cause these problems:

  • People browsing a secure mirror to end up on an unsecure one.
  • Links to break in the future because a mirror address might not always work.
  • People viewing the site via the publishing server and not the mirrors.

Back to ImcUk Back to UkFeatures

-- GarconDuMonde - 22 May 2004

-- AnA - 18 Sep 2004
Topic revision: r6 - 22 Mar 2008, AnA
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