[Imc-uk-process] additions for network meeting agenda: new imc software, imc uk server
ionnek at aktivix.org
Tue Oct 31 16:06:10 PST 2006
Additions for the agenda of the network meeting - to plan how and where to get a
new server; to have a session about plans of global techs to develop a new
indymedia software (or cms - content management system).
the long version with links:
There are a few additions to the agenda for the network meeting. They came up
during the last days on imc-uk-features and imc-uk-tech. I repeat them here,
because I think they are very important. It is all about the tech
infrastructure of indymedia.
1) NEW INDYMEDIA SOFTWARE
First about the new cms, the new imc software. Andi brought it up:
and Yossarian proposed to make a non-technical presentation about what's going
on, then we could discuss it:
I strongly support this. When indymedia started in 1999, nobody knew of blogs,
people couldn't just go and publish on the web, the active software was cutting
edge and so was open publishing. Now technology has moved on, tons of blogs to
be got for free. But indymedia is still special, afaik its the only blog-like
project that his hugely and globally collective, not just an individual or a
handfull of people. I think it's important for us to explore new tech
solutions, and the possibility to hook up with the blog scene, with rss ses of
topics or local sites (mickfuzz and stuart talked about this recently), with
trackbacks and all that stuff.
And I think this new cms effort is not just a tech issue, we can all contribute
to it, it's our strength that in indymedia, the boundaries between techs and
users are not as hard as elsewhere.
During the July 2006 "techmeet" in Sao Paulo, Brazil, people from both the Mir
and SF-Active dev teams got together to discuss a number of CMS-related issues.
One of the main topics of discussion was a proposal for the future of the
indymedia CMSes. Here is a summary:
Another development is the concept of "social software", the idea that the
movements need a platform more like a radical "myspace", with blogs and sites
and communication channels that can be anything from completely public and
completely encrypted. The riseup collective is working on such a platform:
Does this make indymedia redundant? Or do we have some social software already
with the chat, the wiki, the lists etc? Or are we going to change indymedia?
Here are a few thoughts about this, scroll down:
2) NEW IMC UK SERVER
There is a strongly supported proposal on the tech list to talk about our server
set-up during the network meeting.
chrisc proposal for tech / server discussion on network meeting 30 Oct 06
zak agrees to have a tech session 30 Oct 06
I strongly support this. I also would like to ask the present techs to give us
non-server-admins an introduction. Tell us what needs doing in order to get a
new imc uk server, to speed up the website, etc. Tell us about the options,
tell us what you are discussing.
The reason I am so much into an open server discussion, in which
non-server-admins can attend as well, is that I see the urgent, pressing need
for more autonomous servers. This is the main outcome I took back from the
"digital struggles" stream at the pga meeting this summer.
The movement needs autonomous servers, badly. There are quite a few, in
different countries, really cool projects, from riseup to nadir, from boum to
autistici. But there are by far not enough of them. And Indymedia is in
constant need of server space and functioning collectives that maintain them.
People who know how to do it, and are willing to learn. Even central
applications like the twiki (docs.indymedia.org) have been known to break down
for months! Whatever the reasons are, i think we need to learn better how to
run our own autonomous servers, technically, socially, collectively,
politically. And the best way to learn it is to get one and try it out.
I noticed during the "digital struggles" that the existing autonomous server
projects are trying to connect with each other, but this is not an easy task -
different politics, different views on tech, but a very strong will to work
together. I talked to pp from each project and found out that each one relies
on its own support structure - social movements, lawyers, press, media... So -
if we as indymedia uk want to strengthen this network of autonomous, political
servers, we need to build one, complete with local and international support
structure and all.
I also noticed that many of the people who run autonomous servers regard
indymedia more as users, not so much as "fellow techs". And if I am not
completely mistaken, there were no heavy server techs from indymedia at that
meeting. Yet I think that indymedia is a node in the global autonomous
political server infrastructure, and we in the uk are able to do our bit to
make it stronger. For example by setting up a really strong mir server to host
imc websites that run on mir.
I talked to different people about what they thought about an imc uk server for
mir websites etc. The general response I got was always similar. Get a server,
work on it, build your own support around it. People were reluctant to give
views on where they thought this server should be hosted, which countries would
be good, which legal structure would be best. Every group has their own model,
they all have advantages and disadvantages, nobody thought that their model was
easily transferrable to another country, another collective, another political
situation. What counts is to work on a server, learn to run it better, make
connections, swap ideas and experiences, move it around if necessary.
So - I think at the network meeting, we should find a way to get a server, work
out what it should do, see who will be working on it, make a decision about
where to host it, put it on the imc uk process list, see if there are any
refinements, and go ahead and do it. Fast. And I think it is important that us
non-server-admins are involved, and support the decision.
Why do I think servers are so important? Well the last weekend, again. The
uprising in Oaxaca. Thousands of people defending the radio at the University
against tanks, helicopters, army, paramilitaries and police. With their bodies,
not much more. Indymedia servers were part of the technical infrastructure to
broadcast this radio over the web. The media technology was worth defending,
see here a live translation from the radio broadcast in Oaxaca last sunday:
<luna_> we call for people to come to the radio building to keep us on air
<luna_> in ths heroic, peacefull and popular resistance
<luna_> we also call for water, food, blankets
<luna_> so they can keep their resistance
<luna_> the confrontation in tecnologico carries on
<luna_> police against people
<luna_> front to front"
I think we have a responsibility to chip into the global infrastructure of
political servers, as local collectives and as a wider network. Because we can.
Here are a few links about the state of the current plans to buy a new imc uk
yossarian/zak/mish proposal 6 Jun 06
gdm proposal 1 Aug 06
gdm next steps 17 Sept 06
gdm stating that his bloc was processual 30 Oct 06
jebba, andi, yossarian assuming that we can move on to get a server 31 Oct 06
3) SHOW AND TELL
look fwd to see you this weekend
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