UkNetworkMeeting2008MinutesSaturday

Table of content :

Saturday Morning

Challenges we face

technical issues, what is possible, web 2.0

political interactions: group involvent, ownership of the sections

internal proccess, are we a collective

survey, ask groups. maybe they have issues with what indymedia is and does.

Process.

Seems there is no process. There is no decision making structure?

We use different channels to make decisions/communicate, like irc and lists, like features process, wiki, messages in admin.

We make decisions on features list, and face to face meetings. The admin pages and wiki are channels of communication not decisions. irc is blurred - we make certain decisions there, some times admin consult on irc whether to hide an article or not.

For controversial decisions, in bristol they don't use other than fact to face. This would be problematic for a spread network like uk imc, where we don't manage to meet every 6 months.

There is no process in uk features list. Answer, there is, 24 hours to put something up, (other deadlines for other proposals), and if there is no voiced dissent, the decision is made.

Proposal to set up new list to moderate. And rename features to something else.

Concerns: 1. The uk features list is not a functioning forum for people concerned with moderation. 2. If we create a separate moderation list, the spectrum of people involved is narrowed. 3. Seems a technical solution to a political problem. 4. Technically, renaming a list can take time. 5. The new "uk-newswire" list was already proposed in Sheffield. Considered a techno solution for a political problem.

Proposal to create a new imc uk list and invite every one in features list, rather than rename the list. To the new, moderation list, only can be subscribed people already contributing in a constructive way.

We agree: We keep the features list for features, and create a new one for moderation, imc-uk-moderation. Rules for getting on the list to be discussed by those who will moderate it. It is still an open list but with strict rules for abusers, and there will be clear guidelines to be able to post and to subscribe to the list. We do not want outside noise. And those guidelines need to be clear in the subscribers information page of the list. Rules to be discussed informally. Still open list, with moderators.

Saturday Afternoon

A new proposed look for imc uk site.

We look at a new look of the site that people from Nottingham have prepared.

In the current site, Mir creates static html pages, and it gives small interactive things you can do. When some one clicks on the link to the promoted wire, what they see is an html file generated of the front page. It has low overhead and it is simple to set up with mirrors, because it is easily archived. The default option you choose to display is stored on your computer with a cookie.

We give some feedback on the site as is presented:

The proposal lacks in pictures, just texts, titles of articles not easily browsable.

There is only one very short article on the front - concern for global days (or week) of actions, when there is a feature per day. The order of the reports now is irrelevant, so if there are multiple reports over days of action they can be towards the top.

We haven't imported newswires from other sites like york or bristol, should incorporate this as well.

The implementation of this proposed design would not take much work in the back end of mir because the proposers know that mir people are already involved in other projects, although this is good because it is not too much work in back end but playing with what it is already there.

Looks like it is only 2, 3 collectives present on the site.

Looks like lots of (too much?) information, topics, and difficult to choose from them. Not clear what areas in indy you can go to.

topics are hardly used.

It is possible to click on any item and getting automatically to the region where that item was generated.

As default, show most active regions. - this is objected too.

Proposals for this new design:

(we all agree that we do not want the current design as it is, there is consensus that we need to improve it. this is a possible way forward)

Include functionality for user to be able to pick region and topics and use cookie system for user to implement. Passed.

Promoted wire to stay in the open newswire, so there are two wires, one on the right, which is the open newswire with all not hidden articles including the promoted ones, and the promoted wire in the middle column with only the promoted articles. Passed? (sorry didn't have this very clear, please edit).

Add a ticker to upload news ... Passed.

Other press \x96 to be called \x93reposts\x94.

Move the photo of the date further up to make it more prominent.

Proposal to remove the word \x93other\x94 for sites like Bristol or York \x96 with reciprocity of links. List to be in alphabetical order not in order of what server they are hosted in.

Regions not as a drop down list, so they are one click away. Regions to be listed by activity.

Topics to appear as \x93topics\x94 header and for the list to appear you need to click on \x93topic\x94. i.e. one click away.

Regions lists to have all uk geographical regions and clicking on that region to take you to a page with only with wire posts relevant to that region.

Clicking on a link to take you to the local page where it was posted, limiting the ticking options to one region only. Then there would be 3 newswires: uk, local and international.

As it shows that it is not practicable to redesign a site between 40 people, we empower the sub group that has already done all the work for a new design (currently online here) to make decisions on the redesign, and every one can give them feedback and participate.

Saturday Evening, 4-6

How we make decisions, the process, and the discussions we have recently been dealing with.

Process in which we make decisions. Proposals:

To have two lists to deal with what goes on the uk site: one list for the features in middle column, features, and a new one that we are going to create for discussing moderation (hiding), the moderation list. Passed.

Proposal to come up with a new guideline against personal abuse. Passed - the exact wording will be discussed in the process list.

What happens when we disagree with the hiding of a post.

Moderation - difficulties we have had in the past months.

We separate into smaller groups. Feedback from groups:

Articles disputed \x96 we should hide them while the discussion goes on, provided they're disputed within the collective, not outsiders. Should define "members" and "outsiders"?

Disputed articles should be shown, because we want to encourage people to publish, hiding while discussing is discouraging, so we should have them up. We also do not want to kill debate, because debate is not necessarily a bad thing.

Articles should be left up, possibly flagged and disabled for comments.

Articles on dispute should be kept off the newswire. Obviously an issue with long term disputes.

Bristol cleared off people not part of the process to facilitate better people involved discuss. Lists should be notified of all hidings.

If you are actively involved your voice has more weight than if you are not.

A standardised process would solve the problem if it wasn't mixed with the political queston of where we stand. We talked about process in terms of blocks, (example the atzmon post), proposal to hide, proposal was blocked and because we can't have a counter block there was no other option for people who disagreed with the block than to leave the whole network.

Trying to summarise the feedback from the groups:

1. whether article should be shown or not while on dispute 2. indymedia needs to find where it is coming from politically, or how to work together if we come from different political backgrounds.

Proposals

Articles in dispute to be left on the wire but when opening it the reader sees that it is in dispute and the reader needs to click again to read it.

(explanation to this proposal...)

A post is disputed when an admin hides it and another admin un-hides it and the first one objects to the unhiding. Also when an imc person is passionate enough to block whether an article should or not be hidden. We do not need to define what is an imc person now but it is worth looking at it in the near future. For now, what makes some one \x93active enough\x94 would be things like writing a feature, cleaning the wire ... do regular contributers count? (feeling is most contributers' contribution is positive). Bristol has a criteria, like coming to a number of meetings.

An imc person can put an article in dispute, and when it is in dispute you need a second click to access that article, and is discussed in moderation list, which will be an open list with firm guidelines. Passed.

(from now on there is no formatting, sorry too tired)

Sunday morning

web 2.0 - The use of the web has changed radically since broadband is broadly available. What it can offer to indymedia. There are a few proposals from Bristol. Before these proposals, we want to know what indymedia is nowadays for ourselves. The following is a round of people's current vision of indymedia.

- Great, specially for big actions and its reporting. Also local news, and for groups that otherwise have no access to publish anything, it is an activists' resource.

- Together with the people who fit kitchens, toilets, indymedia is one more resource. Also a web of communication channels that connect lots of movements. In a way a political organising tool, and for development of political concepts.

- A network, and that's the more power of the thing. People from all over the world can be informed from what is going on. It is not a free speech site. The first reason for its creation was the inadequacy of mainstream reports, the presentation of news stories by citizen journalist is the best way to represent what happens to them. Individual groups putting an effort in the presentation of their own to their own tribe, indymedia is the common ground for all.

So many websites around, and every one can use them; indymedia is a tool for activists from activists. We can have a forum but that's not the main aim, it is a tool for activists.

The open publishing side \x96 still is what we do.

An organising and reporting tool. In case of evictions in Europe, very evident from what you read that people would organise in indymedia and also report back.

Strategy in the way we present ourselves has evolved, some decisions on presentation could be reevaluated. Like not presenting that we have partners like schnews is not matter any more, we can be open about our links.

It is not a free speech site, it doesn't need to be, it has a strong political agenda and it is a direct action itself, we set up a media centre in a city or the middle of a field, it is an action itself, contesting right there the way in which capitalism works, it is direct action.

Connection network, it is a living thing, a living network that evolves with the times and technologies. It is information and also based on social issues and people and it should go with people at the same time. It can reinvent itself. While being an information network.

It has got a dynamic of a group and should exploit this possibility.

Participatory news site and the outplace to communicate for activists. Dispatch with info on the day of actions.

information to activists.

Democratising of media outlets.

Reflection of inward looking of activism. The way we are a guetto and how we look. It has got to get beyond our groups, it can be a lot more, if something is viewable on the net it has to be more accessible by other people as well. We have an influence on what happens politically. Every one can open publish in other site, but there is something different in indymedia to offer.

Grassroots, radical, collaborative open publishing, and every of those is equally important. Project has grown so much it is difficult to keep it in the same place, different people think different things. Sometimes there are comfilcts of interest between people and that is why it was proposed to split it into sub projects.

Don't agree about indy is not a free speech website because never heard argued that it is, at lesat not in uk although maybe in usa. For some people who are not here today indy is a resource run by other people that they can use to get their ideas and actions across. There have been reports posted by animal rights activists who are massively repressed do need use it, antifascist activists, in the past phsycological campaigns ... they use indymedia, some indy activists have problems with that but their voices are not here because they are not indymedia activists. Also activists in london against war in iran, reposts in other sites, sees indymedia as a platform where to alert other activists and have articles republished that the mainstream media do not publish. These people are not coming here but we provide a service for them as well.

Want to have a revolution that can change society, and the media has a real role for that. Indymedia can be a lot more, we can look at how to develop social power for the streets, for people .. to make that happen ... part of our role is to get a new wave when there is a \x93crisis\x94 of participation.

People are able to tell their stories. This is not about individuals with blogs, but being part of something bigger.

Useful to learn about different movements and struggles, and it is been a part of development of social activism, and empowering to get involved locally. Indymedia has appealed, and getting people getting interested is also a kind of activism.

Primarily a tool for social movements to communicate. Would like to see as something accessible to a wider audience, this is achievable in a local level. Should be more about reporting than the leftists' opinion voicing ... Positive direction to link with existing alternative media.

Has a dual role to communicate between activists and also to open up to non-activists, to widen up. Also the way some movements use the mainstream media, and would like to know how they see the difference between using them and indymedia as well.

As a rehearsal of post-capitalist society, and it is already showing that the end of capitalism will not be the end of our problems.

Educational tool to technical skills and political tool and a way to be with people in your same boat when you go somewhere where you don't know anyone.

Summary of the round ...

resource for the movement, stress on the reports and the anonimity, we are not neutral , we do not offer a platfrom for anyting but we do have an agenda. Citizens taking control of their own media.

Tension point: the network and decentralising the network because we have become too big, maybe break it down? who our audience is, wehther you audience is guetto, or the wider, or both, they are three different strategies for each target audience.

We are a democratic media site, and that differentiate us from blogger or myspace.

New server

Has taken longer than expected, but it is now in the colo in manchester. The plan originally was and still is to set it up for a mir production server, once it is ready to act as this, the techie people will move all sites from traven on to this new server, called strummer, strummer.indymedia.org.uk, named after Joe Strummer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Strummer. Once all sites currently in traven are in the new server, strummer, they will then rebuild traven in seattle and then move the uk production server only back to traven.

So at the end of this process we will have a few sites having their production server in strummer, in the uk, and the traven being the production server just for the uk. There can be space for other indymedias to have their production server in strummer as well. Should revisit possibility of virtualisation of it. Useful to run virutal servers on it, like for the calendar development. We have got the money to get another server so it would not be the end of the world if we don't do virtualisation, but this will be revisited in the tech list.

Future of web 2 for indymedia.

When indy started people couldn't publish easily, now it is ridiculously simple, now we are not the only game in town any more. We do some things that we do that others don't, like defending anonymity. There are people who use blogger instead of indymedia. They have their own guidelines as opposed to the collective, indymedia guidelines they have to abide to if they don't want their post hidden. Youtube is simpler and user friendlier than we are for videos ... Bristol talked about this and have proposed: Bristol indy to have a blogger site. Or a blog aggregator, but it places a tension. This takes us back to, who is the audience, do we just aggregate other media and use as a portal? As we are providing a service, it looks like the users are demanding good service, with a consumer approach not getting involved. Bbc allows you to publish but they are not going to invite you to discuss their guidelines or to complain if something is not published.

blogs aggregation is exciting, and doesn't need much space.

Doing what we are already doing at the same time as implementing more things is a way of preserving what we want to do.

News aggregation - Sindication from other sites or even blogs ... good automatically having updates coming from their site.

An aggregation site doesn't necessarily host content, it takes feeds like rss feeds and pools into the site and allows people to view and search on them.

We need to remember that many people like what we do as we do now, specially groups that do not have their own site.

Can run a survey / consultation.

Having a survey goes together with the consumerism idea of providing a service, so we should be dong it in a different way?

Yossarian presents the history page and the calendar he's developed.

It allows the user to register. Not giving personal informatin. People can go back and edit their own content. If we know a user of the site, we can give them the ability to, say, hide only, or edit videos only ...

+++ agreed that the uk site will adopt the calendar system once it is finish.

the calendar is more than just the calendar, is what london plans to implement for the london site, have it as the site. For groups to have their own space too.

Syndicaton would then becomes necessary / makes sense.

We \x96 uk indy- need to syndicate from the Bristol site we 're not even doing that.

In london we need to make political decisions before implementing something like this for the london site. We've been frustrated with mir for a while and this is why we have tried this out, to see what is possible.

Easy to have a clear remit just on events rather than also videos and articles.

+++ Decided that we implement this events system that yossarian is presenting to the uk , mir site.

-- AnA - 09 Feb 2008 -- DaveBass - 10 Feb 2008 -- AnA - 11 Feb 2008

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Topic revision: 15 Jun 2010, ChrisC
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