[Imc-london] group page functionality, features
mara at aktivix.org
Fri Jan 29 04:30:03 PST 2010
Hey there, and nice thoughts that!
chickpea at aktivix.org wrote:
> 2) Group page functionality:
> There's a document already on the London IMC site (which I can't find
> the URL to now, dumb!) called the 'IMC consulta' which is a form for
> general comments on site usability etc. This could be adopted to be
> more specialised to the groups page, emailed out to the groups already
> with group pages and forwarded on to other people. It might be better
> though if this form is online as opposed to a document. So my question
> is: how long would it take to throw up a temporary form page? (one of
> the programmer geeks can tell me...) Or is this something to be
> avoided because of spam robots and stupid annoying comments?
First off, the docs can be found on the Indymedia London group page
(http://london.indymedia.org/groups/indymedia-london) or in the
crabgrass group (https://we.riseup.net/imc-london/imc-london-consulta).
I tried using the crabgrass survey tool for this, but sadly only users
who are members of a group can fill it in. It might be interesting to
look at anyway:
Also as crabgrass is ruby too, maybe the geeks could look at that tool
if we were to have something like it on hyperactive. Although, I'm not
convinced we generally need something like it. Maybe it could be worth
it to talk to the crabgrass folks and see if there's a chance to get the
survey to be used anonymously as well? Crabgrass seems like the better
platform for doing something like this.
(I think jimdog was going to work on the group page at some point,
making them all customizable somehow. We came up with a mock up for
group pages at the design meeting last october, you can see it (and some
other wireframes, feedback and input welcome) at:
https://we.riseup.net/imc-london/wireframes minutes of the meeting are
> Another idea is to make the site functionality and wanting to improve
> it an actual featured article for a couple days or so, something that
> is inviting/actively encourages comments from site readers and users.
> I think it's important to point out the 'hidden' work that goes on
> sometimes - a lot of that includes admin, cleaning stuff up,
> moderating, site building...Dunno if this has been done already? It
> could even link into things like people are mobilising around stuff,
> and with the election coming up we need to think in advance about what
> we want the site to do for us.
Occasionally there have been navel-gazing kinda features, also the main
snippet is a good place for this. Check out the Indymedia London group
for Indymedia related articles (as opposed to the Indymedia London
Features group, that collects features made BY Imc folks, the Indymedia
London group is supposed to only have articles ABOUT Indymedia) and
maybe the snippet history gives an overview too, though that's not nice
to look at (https://london.indymedia.org/admin/snippets). Also snippets
might have been edited and original content lost.
Overall there isn't a lot though and I like the idea. It might also
motivate people to get involved, we currently don't explain what kind of
work needs doing, which actually could help getting people interested.
We have been planning to do a large call out and trainings for more
moderators (not admins (1)), but never gotten around to it. We did agree
on a process though: https://we.riseup.net/imc-london/new-moderator-process
I guess the ammount of moderation that needs doing right now doesn't
really need more moderators though.
> 3) Features:
> Not sure how the process goes for suggesting features? Can someone clue me in?
> David Mery is interested in writing a detailed article on the DNA
> database, possibly something in relation to the recent stop and search
> ruling and subsequent reaction from the Met. Does this sound at all
> interesting? Not hugely topical but he's keen to do it.
first of all: if anyone wants to write something, they should totally
just go for it. after all, we're an open publishing site :)
about proposing features: the UK way of doing things is that features
have to be proposed with a 24 hour deadline during which people work on
it together, request changes, add info etc. In London we decided we
wanted a faster turn around of features, ideally have a new feature
every couple of days. So basically, if we see a well written article
that has a couple of images and links to background info, we just bump
it up to featured. (Also hoping that when people see their article in
the most prominent spot on the site it'll encourage them to post more)
If non-mods see an article that they think should be featured, they can
propose this by either using the "report this article" function or
sending an email to the imc-london-moderation list (be aware that if you
use the 'report' function, we can not respond in case we have questions).
now there's one exception where features would be proposed, this happens
by emailing the : If someone puts a lot of work into a feature or for
some other reason wants it to stay up for a certain extent of time, this
can be done by ticking the "stick at top" box. This has to be proposed
to the imc-london-moderation list with an end date. When one feature is
"stuck at the top", it is still possible to feature other good articles,
which will go directly to the 'subfeature' spot (the little boxes with
the four older features right below the main feature) while the proposed
article stays in the main feature spot.
There are a couple of features an article has to have in order to be
featured (quoting from
Features are well written reports with some background information and
at least one image. A feature will most likely revolve around a major
campaign or current issue that is of wider interest, and link to
previous posts on the same issue, thus "pooling" the available information.
We aim at a quick turn around, with features changing daily instead of
lasting weeks. Any well researched and written article can be turned
into a feature, it might be yours, if you put in the effort.
(end of quote)
More concise: Good quality writing, a picture and a good abstract of a
couple of short paragraphs, fitting well in the feature space and
including some links, ideally to alternative and not only corporate
sites (Hint: if you want to link to corp sites, publish the site you
want to link to as other media item and link to that one)
(uh, folks, I just saw the the features blurb in the Editorial
Guidelines is totally out of date and reads like the UK one. Maybe we
should have one of those working afternoons again, where we all sit
around with computers on our laps and work on the site, static pages and
stuff? I think a few things may need updating by now.
Sorry for this huge long rant, but writing it made me realise how we
have all these ideas and concepts behind the site that we developed in
long discussions, but totally fail at communicating most of that. We
totally need to do something about that.
I had the idea to make some video tutorials (how to tumble, how to
create an account and group, how to write a feature...) but find it
really hard to work on it on my own. I'm happy to do the video site, if
someone wants to help with the scripting and voice over part.
> The Free School is up for an article about free schools to help
> publicise the upcoming one at the start of March. That's a bit more
nice, sounds very good. they might also be interested in the groups if
they're not using them yet. it would also be great if they would
document what happens at a given freeschool, have pics, texts and
reports from workshops, maybe some audio or video. If they used a group
and tagged things (like lfs03) it could develop into a neat resource of
information. (We're always happy to do workshops or one on one tutorials
for using the site)
One thing I didn't mention above is that, if an article was written by a
logged in user, an admin needs to feature it, but the user can still
edit it at any time later on. And if the article is part of a group any
member of that group will be able to edit the feature and update it.
> Essentially dissident island comes across folks up for highlighting
> some aspect of their campaign and it's mostly topical so I was going
> to try and start encouraging and liaising with people to write
> features that can be published in good time. Is this a good idea?
Yeah, that's great. But really, we don't have this feature process very
much. Getting people to use Indymedia more is a great thing, what we
mostly need to do I guess is tell them what we want from a feature, and
how to propose existing articles for features.
Wow, this turned into an epic email. I might have too much time at the
(1) While admins have full access to the site, hyperactive allows for a
more 'sliding' level of permissions, and we can easily give people
moderator privileges, meaning they can promote and hide, but do not get
access to the full admin interface. We originally thought about this as
a low level entry point, getting people involved and then obviously
bumping anyone who sticks around, somes to meetings etc up to admin.
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