new applications for new struggles
A discussion. Notes have not been formatted into anything much more than chronology. To be edited?
Introduction text for thoughts Indymedia 2.0 are on the wiki: http://stamp.poivron.org/MeetingNotes/IndymediaTwo For anybody who want to read 3 paragraphs on why we need collaborative tools, not individualist ones.
An introduction to crabgrass: http://stamp.poivron.org/MeetingNotes/CrabGrass
- Not a critique, but harsh, of Indymedia
- How do we use the new ways of writing, such as tagging, social networks, blogging... without falling into the trap of atomisation
- This is what we want, not what we think it is possible
- How can the software better reflect the way we want to organise? And how the way we organize should reflect in software?
- this is a discussion among users, indymedia collective members, and programmers.
No troll please. ie. language flame war.
past discussion: Brasil tech meet - link - the meeting was of lots of maintainers of some of the Indymedia code bases, they want to move onto developing one new codebase "Indymedia 2.0" http://cats.revolt.org/cats-vii/indymedia/
However the two feature lists for Indymedia 2.0 from the techmeet and the CATS meeting look more like a list of things we are trying to have now, but in a actually working form (that would actully be indymedia 1.0) So how can we think in a wider range.
Current code base is more than 3 different CMS kept alive but very few people.
Discussions divided in two:
- What we need _now_?
- Totally new features
- A newsletter, with little room for discussion
- Space for people to discuss what they are working on
A short summary from a prep meeting, as written up on: http://stamp.poivron.org/MeetingNotes/IndymediaTwo
Indymedia is dead
The problem is in another place, when Indymedia started it was activist doing something they needed when it started. Indymedia for what it was has been done. Transforming it into something else with the same name is no use. We are now in a different phase,
- Indymedia is quite "stable" a window for publicity of things they are doing, primarily the "newswire".
- So how do we make the newswire more useful,
- and on the otherside what kind of new things can we do to foster and help the new way struggles are happening. There is a decline in subjectivity and an new subjectivity coming. What are people, including those currently doing Indymedia going to do...
- Atomisation reflects they way people are organising now, this is is a new way struggles are happing, so now we need a new way of making these struggles into something different.
indymedia was a collective newswire, shared and used by a lot of differnet ppl. how it is used now is quite stable, basically a window, giving ppl publicity for what they are doing. (1) what do we need to make indymedia a better newswire (keeping it as it is, but technically better)
We use social networking tools all the time: wiki, irc and the pub They just aren't tagged like MySpace
Defence of Indymedia 2.0 as an idea
web 2.o is marketing hype, but also some real new thigs going on
- breaking down between users and readers, ppl who are participating in reading also participate in helping to navigate and draw people to content they might be interested in.
- reputation: linkages among humans rather than just a rating. the linkages build community, and people behave to defend their reputation and relationships built over time.
- use of folksonomy, where people can share their tags/topics for content
- instead of levels of priviledge, let people edit/post/contribute. everything has an audit trail, and everyone has a reputation. if you don't like the changes, it can be undone. reputation keeps people from being irresponsible.
Tagging, Web 2.0 - individuals or groups
Indymedia 2.0 should mean the list of features on the cats site. The wider discussion is something else that shouldn't be Indymedia.... Introduction to Crabgrass might be good here:
Crabgrass, very very different from indymedia. the focus is on decision making, but the interesting overlap with a discussion about indymedia 2 is the idea that there are both individuals and groups of data streams, and relationships and process between the two. - http://stamp.poivron.org/MeetingNotes/CrabGrass
We are interested in "building politcal units to start the struggle from". Before Indymedia started activists were using mailing lists, then the site arrived they moved there and developed the way they were organising there. http://stamp.poivron.org/MeetingNotes/IndymediaTwo
Problem: Making decisions on-line Problem: Too many e-mail lists Interest: Modeling the way groups interact Developed from a common conversation in several groups
As a contrast to Indymedia where the focus is transparency, the public face openness. Cragrass, private communication, back-end organisation. Democratic Decision making - coming from US organisations with empowered spokespersons; there are many models for the "democratic decision making". Group relationships: the fundemental way you meet the site is with the groups you are involved in, and the way those groups are related. Security - easy to use but with a level of privacy not available with tools already available like e-mail and wikis (this has lots of technical considerations). Messaging - importance of communication, but don't just want chronological information, we need to be able to slice it in different ways. Easy to use too!
Development phases listed are different now. New people, and groups joined in too.
There is a lot of thought about the way people organise, we want to make a DARC part finding out about how they are so you can find this knowledge too.
The democratic model for decision making can be varied. There are some NGOs doing good work, this could help link them to the member base, and work toward more direct decision making.
The model isn't to map out what other groups are doing? or just the public bit? it is first of all to map out for the organizations themselves what they are doing. in addition they can decide to share information, like getting listed of organisations in a specific city.
Similarity with the Indymedia discussion is that it works on the communication tools folksonomy grouping etc. but is quite different in that it is private back office communication.
Q: Who is the target user base? A: Is our goal to get everybody to sign up, or just the groups who want it now and help developing it? That's still open, and probably somewhere in the middle
Q: The messaging component. How will this be set up, will it build on an existing protocol? A: It is all internal within the website. There are others interested in additional ways, formats, of sharing the information.
Q: One-One One-Many A: Simplest would be list of comments, main discussion and side discussion. Side discussion can have documents, public one-one, etc. It would be clear who has access to discussion, and clear who has taken part in a discussion. The discussion would be based on which groups were taking part. You could invite groups into the discussion. example given with a spokescouncil and related groups...
Kill mailing lists
Q: Live chat too? A: No reason not to make content 'instantly' updatable. Breaking down the difference between mailing list and irc. Not like a BBS, more based on clean content more like IRC.
Q: How do we deal with people with on-line access? E-mail allows people can be off-line to work with e-mail. Experience of difficulties using irc and wiki as they require you to be on-line A: The problem with technical solutions is that it does and will exacerbate the digital divide within your organisation. Installed clients are not going to happen soon, huge job. E-mail is easy and insecure, want the secure for the most possible as easily as possible.
There is an issue with more installations out there.
Q: You said it yourself it is a security nightmare. It is giving a false sense of security. You will have new people putting stuff on a site using their insecure windows boxes. A: There is no such thing as securtiy and we can do our best. But it would be better than what we have now.
Q: The question of what information you should share. The thinking about content. A: My goal would be people don't enter any "real..." information, but they will, I don't want them data mined by the NSA.
Q: To make a decision you need real information, where is the next campaign focused? A: A lot of people think you can't organise online because of this problem.
The social problem... mailing lists are being misused. We don't know how this will be misused, but it will be. Technical solutions don't solve the social problem. The DARC part is recognising an understanding of what people do is important, looking at social solution.
Focus back on producers and consumers of information. The difference of distribution of information. Every blog is an Indymedia, it is a newswire. Lots of data streams, and widespread. Indymedia was able to sumarise data streams, this came from the discussion in the mailing lists.
We need a tool to make a trusted network of information sources. This network of should be able to push and pull information.
Is this the process Delicious makes? No it's different
People making their own rss feeds means you get lots of individual sources. How do we collectivise this? Heart of this is making data streams, community events groups, customise them better for what individuals want - so you can select specific bits of a stream. So how do you feed back into the process, if they are blending out information, having it invisible, how is this a process for change?
We have to accept there is an information overflow, so each individual does filter, we have to give users the oportunity to filter what they want, tags are a good way of doing things.
Internet is used as a source of information - Indymedia? Crabgrass is for building up networks.
In the time of too much info, we need the editorial collective, but without the creation of allowing people the oportunity to filter information someone else will.
What was exciting about indy? it was something people could participate in, real space and virtual space. how can we make magnet like that. we have back office social networking tools - it is quite exclusive and with a clear identity. what if indy organised within others spaces would that change
two problems, indymedia is not seperated from the movements - that is where problems began, media making collectives existed already. spaces with lots of people using it to different degrees it is solidified in a set of social and relational dynamics it wants changing. how do you change it
we are in a phase were less and less people are doing stuff? to push people into changing something new takes a lot of energy into organising, with a new group, with something clear, would be easier the energies there are there to make change at the moment is too much
there are different collectives with different energys and views about changing. if people have ideas they want to try it out they should
we are discussing how to move within our collectives so view is from there
Q: are you aware of the alternatives.tikimedia.org projects? A: it's an abomination Q: it sounds very similar to what you are talking about, sorry http://alternatives.tikimedia.org
The tools we need for media are not what we are going to get by hacking together half-baked tools (projects that already exist?) we do have the number of people to make these tools.
Q: language english only A: muliti-lingual, language is not the only issue. it makes sense for people to organise in different countries. "that sounds great for how people organise in north america", it's a tool for "our" own organising needs, we will get something that is usable to try out, then we can get feedback - simple version for this start of next year, from there it will probably change
A side note:
MOPS keys shared - everyone has one bit of the key.