Following the discussion on the Uk Network list here are some ideas for getting new volunteers involved in the London collective.
The idea is to organise a Imc volunteer day, offering a range of workshops.
Out of this we could get volunteers to:
- write features
- get involved in moderation
- use the site more effectively for their group
There could be an open help desk with printed information as well as a computer, to answer individual questions and do some troubleshooting. If there are enough people helping out and space, there could be a social room, where we show films about indymedia such as the Historical Reel and (((I))) – the movie.
Workshops on offer could include:
- 1 Imc London 101 – how to use the site
- 2 Feature writing training
- 3 Moderator training
- 4 Using Imc London for groups and campaigns and/or neighbourhood organising
- 5 Why Indymedia and not blogs, youtube, Flickr
Imc London 101 – how to use the site¶
- introduce the new features and functionalities to them
- find out what they want from a radical London news platform
teach people to
- report problems and suggest articles for featuring
- get in touch with us if they want to have dispatch for a day of action
- propose new features and give feedback about the site
- tell us what they like or don’t like about the way things are
Feature writing training¶
see the awesome features writing tutorial
see the New Moderator Process
- short intro into practicalities, this is so straight forward that it is almost a side issue
- mods have to be on the moderation list, this is were issues are discussed
- explain moderation controls on the site
- introduce irc
- concentrate on discussion around what Indymedia is, tries to do. Not in a frontal lecture, as this will never tell us if people actually understand what we’re trying to say, but in a real debate.
- use mission statement and editorial guidelines to check that all aspects have been covered
- keep communication channels going
Using Imc London for groups and campaigns and/or neighbourhood organising¶
everything around the groups pages, features, timelines, RSS feeds…
using tags, location tag pages, category pages…
Why Indymedia and not blogs, youtube, Flickr¶
security issues, ownership of communication tools…
I think that’s a great idea, but also veering off into an entirely different direction. While it would be fun to do a training day or series of workshops in media stuff, I was thinking of this as very Indymedia focused. I think there’s more than enough we can do around Indyemdia and Hyperactive and adding general media training would explode the framework.
Doing those kind of workshops would probably be nice as a kind of regular event, a series of events one evening a week where different skills are taught.
I suppose it depends on the amount of time available. Just, personally, I wouldn’t find a workshop built entirely around sitting at a computer pressing buttons very interesting. Ideally, a website should be intuitively built so that I don’t have to spend a lot of time or be taught how to use it.
Also, just 5-10 minutes spent on discussing what makes a good picture, video or piece of audio would be helpful, even as an aside. Lots of articles are posted without supporting media, which is a bit of a shame seeing how easy it is, and which also makes articles unnecessarily boring and makes more work for imcs when needing to feature something w/o pics etc.
In the age of smartphones, people are gonna get more into using their phone capabilities and hopefully directly uploading. It could be in a list of ‘proposed add-ons’. So you put aside 15 minutes at the end of the workshop and ask people if they want to learn something specific like ‘how to take a good picture/video/audio’, ‘how to mobile upload’. So not a required part of the workshop. But this is just an idea.
Also – a IMC London 100: How the site works. Could be part of the 101: how to use the site. A quick overview of what happens between when you bang your keyboard and press ‘publish’ and when you see the article featured or on the newswire, decisions that take place for this to happen. It can be tied in with the 101 – how to use the site.
Yeah, intuitive it should be, but it seems it isn’t right now. One of the aims of doing this, besides making people more comfortable with the site, is also figuring out what the problems are, which bits need improving to get to the point were it is all intuitive.
But explaining how it works is not only a technical workshop of click here and then there, it is also a political and tactical discusssion with the participants: why indymedia and not my own blog/youtube…?
One thing to keep in mind is that our generation is quite used to seing a website and trying to figure things out. But that’s not the case for everyone. Also, a lot of people actually do explain to each other in informal settings how websites work, including all the corporate ones. I think it’s not necessarily the case that people are comfortable with figuring shit out on their own, but rely on friends and stuff to introduce them to how things work.
I agree about the mobile phone thing. we really need to get on that case. Tumbles just aren’t being used very much, so something isn’t right there. But not using my phone for the interwebs at all, I’m not sure what it is or how to improve it.
As for 100 and 102, yeah I think bits of that can be part of 101. But we also have to remember that being interested how computers work and stuff, while it is always helpful, is not something that most people share. A lot of people just don’t want to know about this, or get confused, and prefer to just be told what buttons to press in what order.
really, this discussion should be happening on the public lists. talking about it here is a bit exclusive, a lot of people don’t regularly check crabgrass, plus there’s way less people on the crabgrass group than on the imc-london list. And while those lurkers on the list aren’t active volunteers, they’re probably the type of people who we would want to get to come to such a workshop ;)
This whole discussion can be pasted into an email if necessary.
To clarify – 100/102 was not really a technically oriented (i.e. how the database works or say how IPs are not stored on the server – interesting but perhaps a bit techy) but one that demystifies the IMC process a bit. So like a quick breakdown of the structure of how IMC volunteers coordinate to take care of the site. Or perhaps this could be an addition at the end of the workshop. That might go hand-in-hand with explaining how the site works, as the site was created with some sort of editorial process in mind, which might not be apparent to users.
i see, yeah that should obviously be part of that one, and most of the other ones as well actually. explaining were articles go first and how they get promoted or featured and how people can propose them for either, using the report this function or sending an email to the moderation list. also asking if people are interested in helping with moderation, we got this whole moderator process that we’ve never used.