IMC UK Autonomous Collective

This is somewhere to work up a proposal for a "virtual" or "floating" autonomous UK collective for the web site. This is in many ways what we already have -- almost all the people doing admin on the UK site are not involved with one of the collectives using non-Mir sites, Bristol/South West, London, Northern England or Scotland, sites which have been through the New IMC process. Northern IMC deleted all of its MIR log-ins, thus distancing itself from the admin tasks needed to maintain the wire.

Here are some more wikipages about a VirtualCollective.

At the Network meeting in Bristol in April 2010, no-one present at the meeting indicated that they wanted to close down the UK open publishing newswire, or stop having features in the central column. However at previous network meetings there had been proposals to close down the newswire (The Italian option) and on the email lists, one IMCista had talked of a front page which would be generated by RSS feeds from local IMCs and "requires no human intervention".

Also proposed at the Bristol meeting was a working group to find a way to generate RSS feeds from the non-Mir sites to the UK site newswire.

As there was consensus that the newswire and features would continue, along with a call for proposals on how the network should be structured in the future, it is clear that there needs to be a decision made about how the UK newswire and features should be maintained.

In the 6 months from November 2009 - April 2010, a total of 15 people reported at least one hide on the moderation list. In addition another 9 IMCistas participated in discussions on the features list. The majority of those who contributed to either list are not part of a functioning geographically based collective. A few other individuals provided technical support.

To date, the main tools for collective discussions and decisions about the UK site have been the features list, moderation list, process list and tech list and two non-publicly archived lists (legal and contact). Whilst local collectives can find ways of meeting fairly easily, the logistics become more difficult for collectives that have wider geographical areas (such as Northern). The UK Network has only managed to meet sporadically in the last few years, and it took several months to organise the Bristol meeting, which was eventually pared down to one day, which limited discussion. The 24 people who have actively contributed to the maintenance of the UK site in the past 6 months are scattered over a wide geographical area.

It is clear that IMC global lists are 'virtual collectives' which cannot easily meet face to face, and it is therefore not unprecedented for decisions to be made by 'virtual collectives'. If there is a push towards a more formalised decision making process, which aims to exclude voices not actively involved in a collective, then it seems clear that a way needs to be found to include the voices of those who are actively involved in maintaining the UK site, and other individuals who maintain local pages on the Mir site, but do not have regular meetings or 5 members in their collective. The UK collective also needs to be allowed to be autonomous -- the people running and maintaining the UK IMC site need to be allowed to do this without having to have every decision ratified by every IMC collective in the UK.
Topic revision: r7 - 23 Jul 2010, MrDemeanour
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