NIMC Meeting Minutes 06.02.2011

2-part meeting held at Cuts Cafe, Leeds, 6th Feb 2011

Apologies: Marker – DOD
Present – JF/Ptg/NAB/JD/Jen/JM /S-/L-/E-/P-

Meeting in two parts – Cuts Cafe Discussion Session followed by NIMC monthly admin meeting

part one – open discussion on Radical Media and IM as a part of that…

Q: why do you care about radical media {e.g. someone might be interested in video, someone else in an issue (e.g. disabled rights) – those two could get together to make a video about disability rights…}
What interests you in radical media, and (if so) IM particularly.

JD – Interested in enabling people to publish their own news

Ptg: is a roadie – interested in hanging out with creative people and their guitars, or laptops, as appropriate.

Jen: – the mainstream media is by and about “white rich guys” – and non-“white rich guys” are where the problems and issues are, and who should have a voice to express their struggles.

JM: – Interested in video – powerful and empowering. Camera is broken. Keen to help set up facilities (so that, rather than following people around and videoing them, folks can actually use the skills, the equipment and the internet to gather their own (video) news.

NAB: – purpose: to give the voiceless a voices and to show – in the way in which we do this – the way in which a society built on our principles could work. Interested especially in DIY solutions to problems. A place where we can put our ideas into practice in an evident way – it can be seen what we do and how we do it. Refers back to history of Indymedia and says massive change is required if it is to stay relevant. Particular personal interests in Environmental issues, Bikes, Squats, among others..

JF: –Feels that things (articles) requires minimum no. of steps between planning, delivery and sharing of news -and “we” have to be a transparent layer where we facilitate people making their own news without interposing ourselves too much in the process.

S-: interested in alt media as mainstream media does not allow certain types of news and communications. Impressed by Mule/Schnews type solution – Indymedia good for actions and less good and that journalistic stuff.

JD: – IMC does certain things in a certain way, some good (open publishing/anon) – some less good causing folks to drift off. Need to tell people why IM is different to blogs etc. How to engage with current struggle to become an effective useful piece of this tapestry and become an alternative the mainsteam media. And what would the benefits be?

Jen: –The benefits would be comprehensible news…

JD: – Are there things we can do to improve readability (quality)

S-: can have both good (well-written) postings and open (off-the-cuff) stuff. People don’t want their stuff to look shoddy but if the rest of the site is shoddy then time-pressured folks will follow-on from that example and post shoddy content (and put their main written efforts elsewhere). The tech path to open publishing is already there – it’s the quality writing (and outreach which might help deliver that) that’s missing.

JF: – The principle is that we put up stuff which is the tip of the iceberg on an issue.

JD: – Open commenting can provide a good discussion but – in the end – does that make people want to come back?

JF: – What do we want to do now as a group? How will we achieve good quality articles and ensure that folks are getting the chance to tell their side of the story.

NAB: – JD mentioned pulling in lots and lots of radical blogs. Blogging is almost open publishing – easy to get het up on security. Best not to as people can get put off; advise about that issue without nannying too much.

S-: as long as IM provides the opportunity for open publishing then not a problem.

JD: – IM is secure and anonymous and that is an option worth declaring openly. There are many other options – so long as they give links back to us and us back to them. E.g. we can link to NetwX blog and have those feeds coming in. How do we make links? IM good at action reporting…

PTG: – so folks aren’t actually posting their action reports.

NAB: – not hard to do? we can just ask action blogs to let us have their content.

Jen: – and where would it go?

JF: – can tag by region – if we have more aggregated stuff

NAB: – pull in whole feed and apply moderation if required.

JEN: – “news from other places”

JD: – plan (talking to London Hyperactive team) – pull into database as “othermedia” then at the bottom where the…

S-: Re. IMC UK site – doesn’t like getting taken away from the site you’re on by links. Feels that it improves readability if everything is in the same format and consistent. Pulling in content…

JD: – (missed it, soz)

NAB: – might not be pleased if someone nicked my blog content. BUT, We should be supporting other stuff that’s happening.

JM: – worth thinking what other groups want – talk to them?

NAB: – might need vague guidelines around what criteria define the kind of groups whose stuff we might want to pull in, for the sake of transparency.

JM: – Better if “passively linked”

P-: Hello – was inspired by IM when he first saw it – possibility for anyone to post news was exciting. Confused on UK about regional posting. Lots of not-news seems to be being posted now.

JF: – we have some leeway in NIMC guidelines. Not all the things which appear on the site, despite complying with the letter of our guidelines, would actually be “wanted”

E-: what is hiding ?

Jen: – moderators (regulars who meet up) look at guidelines and if an article breeches it can be hidden. Mail automatically send to advise on mod-list. On our site “hidden” means no longer linked to and difficult to read (greyed out) without being totally removed.

S-: we should do more actions / outreach.

JEN: – have a lot of a news crew in Bradford…

JF: – coz posting is anonymous people only have the moderation list to look at the find out why their article disappeared.

NAB: – can also publish zines / audio / video – some people don’t know this, and it does provide one more level of complexity.

JM: – video – needs a status bar for uploads.

JD: – due to not knowing where posting is coming from difficult to advise poster of progress. But a solution is being worked on.

Jen: – need a temporary fix to let people know (by statement) that this will take time.

NAB: – thinks site is poorly laid out !!! Useability test results not done yet (fixes)

JD: – wants more RoR users – it’s not a sustainable solution just to give requirements to the Tech admins and expect them to be done..

Jen: – But while we wait for “radicals to become geekified” can we address these urgent issues?

NAB: – Learning Ruby on Rails – what does that entail? – is it moving a few lines of code or what.

JD: – just need (initially) to know about “views” in order to address concerns about the “look” and useability of the site.

JF: – will give it a go (the RoR “views” thing).

JM: – what do folks want from this meeting? because we can easily get lost in technobabble.

JD: – where is the toilet?

L-: Leeds needs a “Mule” – Luke can help with layout.

NAB: – YEP doing another issue soon. We should be in touch

JF: – news round-up was mooted – we could contribute a round-up for their next issue.

P-: What is hidden, and what isn’t? – Poor quality single-sentence articles sometime appear (refers to a particular recent IMC UK posting).

JM: – anti-capitalist listening booths – set up in City Centre to do some vox pops.

JD: – lots of stuff happening – lots of actions and people with ideas and concerns similar to us. Important to provide an alternative to MSM – go out ourselves and citizen journalists with access points and interviewing equpt and let people know. Need to be prominent and visible.
MSM do not live as we do nor desire change in the way we do. Between now and March how can we reposition ourselves in the melee from which we came?

Jen: – Stickers. DIY way to make them free? Just need some stickers…can get them printed.

Ptg: – gives up taking the minutes….makes brief statement to newcomers (and with particular reference to comments about needing to do more outreach) that we actually do go out a bit already and there’s only so much energy to go around BUT we do have a certain amount of infrastructure within our grasp so that tent/lights/laptops/audio/12v/kitchen equipment can be requisitioned if folks have a responsible-sounding proposal

part two:

NIMC admin meeting – JD/JF/Jen/JM/Ptg/NAB

Cyprus complaint

IMCs Patras&Athens proposed expulsion/removal on two grounds: technical/non-anonymity of posters (using a Blogger website) and editorial (posting/carrying personal details of one or more of the people mentioned in their articles). Do we need to respond further to this? Should we be supporting or joining in the criticism. Are they able to move to suitable platform?. How is their site being used? Interested persons to read lists: starts with the first posting here:

But you might also want to look at
If you have time on your hands.

New Moderators: DoD to be given moderator status.

Consensus Decision Making: we had a query as to the name of the flavour of Consensus Based Decision Making we had adopted. No one knew there were different names so, we think, in the absence of better knowledge, that the right response is to point anyone with questions at the link on our front page:

Some other decisions on and IMC Global level might command our attention:

This funding request {n.b. this is old news now – decision has been made}
Global Finance –

And this one from Links Unten – proposal for “IMC Germany” to have non-national name (deadline 28/02):

Forthcoming: Newcastle

Workshop – topic. Video – “what’s wrong with MSM” – max two sections of 20 mins – find out what people are interested in? will only work if 12 or so new faces (unlikely)

We want to do things which will leave behind a group doing stuff in Newcastle to improve on the alt-news provision in that area.

Can’t do first Sunday at NFN bookshop (site of historical IMC Liverpool Meetings!) – some other time at News from Nowhere. A Sunday in April.? T.b.c.

Meeting dissolves for the 2nd time.


Hey People

These are probably “notes” rather than minutes but I thought it better to stick them up rather than hope they improve by maturing slowly in the warm dark bowels my hard drive.

Feel free to improve.

(Jen/JF – I may have mixed-up your contributions to the discussion)

Probably need shortening before we post to the list??



Righty – I’m going to snip a few things out Minutes Part Two and post on the email list tomorrow. Last chance to improve/block/worsen.

I think Part One can probably stay off the lists – whaddya think?