SoS is a request tracker - a software system that enables users who want to ask questions, report bugs, or provide feedback to system administrators or the members of a working group. It allows members of the work group to see what requests have already been dealt with by other members of the group and which requests still need to be followed up on. It uses email and a web interface to provide a convenient way to keep track of and to follow up and reply to the users' requests.
What are Queues? What are Tickets?
A queue is the place where all requests for a service are collected as Tickets. Each queue has its own mail address, and for Indymedia's SoS, they are in the form firstname.lastname@example.org, where queuename is the name of the queue/tracked service.
A ticket is created for each request sent to a queue. Each ticket has its own unique number which appears in the subject header of any emails or automatic notifications sent in response to the request. To follow up the request (if you have more providing more information relating to you request), you have to keep the ticket number in the Subject (just using the 'reply' function of your mailer will do that). Otherwise you will create a new ticket/request.
With the Web interface: Go to http(s)://sos.indymedia.org. Login (or register first) and follow the link 'New Ticket'. Choose in the 'To:' field the right place to send the request, fill in the Subject and Text fields with precise and useful information and hit 'Submit' when you're finished.
What happens then?
Depending on the configuration of the queue, you may receive an automatic email saying you have created a new ticket in the queue and will have to wait for someone to take care of it. Queue administrators will be notified by mail of your request. Each time an admin does something with the ticket you submitted, you will receive an email. You can also go on http(s)://sos.indymedia.org to follow its state or send something more about it.
Where and how can I find the right place to send my request?
Once a group/system has decided to use SoS, it is the group's responsibility to provide its users with the correct email address to send a request for that group. If you can't find the correct details for the group, you can try to search in the web interface (http(s)://sos.indymedia.org) to see if a queue exist for this group. You can find a list of them in the 'To:' field of the 'New Ticket' creation form. You can also contact the group by IRC or on its mailing list, or even trying to join us in #sos chan of IRC or in our mailing list.
Note that there is a naming convention for queues e.g. the queue for the listwork working group is named Listwork and has the email address email@example.com assigned to it.
I have a request but don't see a relevant XXX@sos.indymedia.org nor any XXX in the 'To' field of the Ticket creation of the web interface
If this is the case, it's likely that the service or group that you want to request doesn't use SoS. You'll have to find another way to contact the right people. A good way to do that is either to go on IRC and find a channel dedicated to the service, or search for and send an email to their mailing list.
How can I get an account?
Go on http(s)://sos.indymedia.org and fill the register form. You'll receive an email with your password. You can then login at the same URL and configure your account by following the 'Preferences' link.
I lost my password ...
Go on http(s)://sos.indymedia.org and fill the lost password form, you'll receive a new one.
I see a PGP Key field in my preferences. What is it used for?
SoS is able to verify a signed message or to decrypt an encrypted one. For this to work, you need to upload your public key to its own keyring. To do this, export your key in a file and use the PGP Key field to upload it. If you wish to encrypt mails as you feel your sending sensitive data, you can find SoS public keys on keys.indymedia.org. See KeyServers for more information about using public key encryption such as GnuPG or PGP.