NOTE: On Sunday, April 6, several imc – alternatives volunteers who are interested in designing the site met in IRC to start moving forward. We decided the first step toward developing a site would be to solicit thoughts about the “sitemap,” which is the general structure of the site, i.e. what will go on the main page, what will exist in subsections, what will go in subsections of those subsections….

We are going meet again in the #alternatives room on the server on Sunday, April 27, 9pm U.S. eastern time (which is actually Monday morning, April 28, at 01:00 GMT). Between now and then, please edit this page, adding your vision for the alternatives site’s sitemap.

Michael: I created a Features Page for collaborative ranking here.

Overall vision of the IMC – Alternatives Sitemap

  1. Main Sections:

General Ideas about what the site might look like:

Jay’s Ideas about what the site might look like:

We have also talked in passing about different levels of user logins. Right now I envision an anonymous, non-registered user being able to post and maybe comment to the solutions-wire, as well as view users’ and organizations’ own public personal pages and e-mail them through the site. Registered users will be able to add to the knowledge base wiki and participate fully in the networking components, including being able to view users’ and organizations’ non-public home pages (i.e. stuff they designate to be just available to alternatives site users). I currently envision another group of users that have a level of access that enables them to be the editorial collective/admins of the site. I’m not sure whether I’d rather see all registered users have the ability to edit features on the front page and category pages, or if that should just be for the editorial collective/admin users.

Michael’s Thoughts about what the site might look like:

When I have thought about “Alternatives” I have imagined that the site in and of itself would represent an alternative vision, or visions, of what an IMC site can look like and function as, how it could continue to evolve as the needs of the community evolve and change….as the times and technologies change. To me, Alternatives represents a wide-opened gateway to introduce the public to new, innovative tools and resources. So, in other words, I don’t only think we should be a space for discussing or announcing alternatives, but exploration and leading by example(s).

Responses from Jay:

Michael, these are great ideas. As we move toward solidifying a sitemap, I think we should start with really basic architecture and build up. A lot of the ideas you have are for features we should eventually add to the site. To get closer to mapping the site, what I’m going to do is go through the list of features and suggest where they might fit within the basic structural sitemap I suggested. Here’s a first shot at it:


— Some block organizing tools stylized from the yahoo front page, such as center left block.

—A new more visual java approach to the city list would be nice, more like a globe that can be rotated and zoomed in, with imc’s instead of cities. This could be in addition to the old method, and within one of the top yahoo-like tabs

— Customizable front page for registered users, like my yahoo or igoogle.

— A ticker-tape headline/alert banner above top horizontal menu, instead of the block method on phillyimc. This would allow for more headlines or other important news blurbs and given today’s advances could be visually appealing and interactive.

— Weather from weatherunderground….we should strive to provide things mainstream people look for, and also just try and provide more than the usual political fair in order to expand the audience, but also provide various levels of information. Jay’s note: I’m not sure the alternatives site needs to try to be all things to all people, but we should definitely talk about what kind of features we need to add to inspire people to spend use the site as one of their main destinations.

— Blogs, definitely blogs Jay’s note: in addition to the open-publishing "solutions-wire" we could have a "solutoins blog-wire" with headlines from alternatives blogs

— Frontend page that links with the crabgrass tool by providing info to users such as inbox messages or recent emails.

— a simple log in. I don’t think it has to be huge, but can simply be a hyperlinked “Log in” with a page for logging in.


— a wikipedia-like feature for resources/history, possibly somehow connected with the crabgrass public wiki documents/pages, and readily searchable by multiple methods.

— Skill-shares and Labor-exchange (Crabgrass will actually have these as features, I believe)

— aspect (could be an integrated part of want-lists)

ON CATEGORY PAGES and throughout site:
— Video-sharing: Essential for any IMC, but in this context would provide a great documentative aspect to the site.

— Photo-sharing/galleries and slideshows:

— Forums


— Deep rss feeds

— Certain parts of the site aligned with editorial standards to get picked up by the various news aggregating services out there, like digg, wordpress, yahoo, google, etc.

— The ability of users to personalize rss feeds for live bookmarks by tags/topics of preference.

This is just a first pass. We can pin things down better as we go forward.