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Dublin - Event Notice
Wednesday November 02 2005
01:00 AM

Monthly Indymedia Meeting

category dublin | indymedia ireland | event notice author Sunday October 16, 2005 18:24author by Indymedia Ireland Editorial Group - Indymedia Ireland Report this post to the editors

Regular Indymedia Meeting in Dublin

Venue: EENGO Office, Camden Street, Dublin 8. (Above Bounty Stores, Opposite Ulster Bank).
Time 8pm

From November 2005 onwards, the Dublin Collective of indymedia Ireland will host a regular monthly meeting on the first Wednesday of every month.

All welcome. Come along and get involved in indymedia.

author by RobbieSpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I used to be enthused by the idea of indymedia real world meetings. Now I’m not so sure. My revision is not just down to the novelty wearing off or the realisation that me and most of the users have not been able to make it along, and likely will not be able to in the future.

Indymedia right now, is a web-based operation, and is likely to remain so at its most effective. One of the beauties of this is that any of the minority in Ireland who have access to the net have equal access to the decision-making processes of indymedia.ie. People can feel even more inclined to ventured a risqué viewpoint, under a pseudonym if they wish, because labels don’t matter so much as what is being said.

All this has immense advantages which are interfered with when the collective tries these real-world meetings.

Real-world meetings are exclusive: not everyone can make it (there probably wouldn’t be room if they could).

Real-world meetings tend to hinges on top-of-the-head stuff, not too much room as net for considered deliberation.

Is its purpose to talk about things – this can be done more democratically and effectively online.

Is its purpose to ‘get to know you’ (touchy feely type stuff) – this could introduce the perception of cliques in the collective, even within those who attend, depending how different people hit it off…

Likeability/personality stakes can be a hindrance when it comes to getting’ stuff done, or expectations of favour. I'm not talking about my disposition here, but experience of and observation of dynamics - even in the past week.

What was the outcome of the last meeting? Where are the minutes?

Indymedia tends to be Dublin based, so to what extent are people outside Dublin (or even outside the country in isolated pockets of one) missing out on more general debate and tendencies.

The indymedia ‘brand-name’ debate last week raised questions of whether indymedia should be defined by itself or others as a working concept or as a group of people (an identity).

Online, it is an open process. I have apprehensions that the real-world meetings will push it more towards the group/identity camp. If people want to meet in the real world to organise a local project or just chill, they might find this helpful, but why does it need to be under the auspices of the Editorial Group.

It’s better, I suppose, than the ed group meeting formally in private, but I hope ye understand some of the above reservations.

author by M Cottonpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The day/date of the meeting? I thought there was a social get-together on the 5th?

I agree with a lot of what Robbie says above and think real world meetings need to be considered carefully. If they are to be held, it would be helpful to always agree an agenda for them online beforehand and for the meetings to be tightly run and kept to the point. Discussion of issues not on the agreed agenda shouldnt be allowed. Accurate minutes (have the minutes of the last one been posted btw?) need to be kept - or the discussion could be recorded and then posted on Indymedia afterwards.

What about one of these chatroom type fora - people could log into at an agreed time? This would be much easier for people who dont live in Dublin. Something like this could be used to supplement the meetings - or those of us who cant get to Dublin everytime could have a pre meet in a chatroom which could then be fed into the actual meeting. All too complicated???

I agree also however that it is a good idea to meet up informally as often as possible just to chew the cud and get to know people a bit better. It can be very hard to interpret people properly through online contact alone. The other major problem is that without some other form of discussion forum the editorial list is very limiting for general debate. As soon as something goes beyond the ordinary one or two liners about practical matters, a lot of editors object to discursive emails and say they are too time consuming. Ive found this very limiting at times as a comparatively new contributor who doesnt live in Dublin, there isnt much scope for talking things over.

author by iosafpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 13:34author address barcelonaauthor phone Report this post to the editors

But I'd like to take this opportunity to extend joyous and felicitious regards to those who do and don't in equal measure. I am not convinced that a "real world" meeting may properly address one of the common concerns of users, as expressed by Miriam (in Cork) in the comment above - " It can be very hard to interpret people properly through online contact alone". The indymedia project is about text and what is stilled termed "news" (that residual meta-narrative of political effect & cause mixed with human interest natural disaster reporting that we receive almost exclusively from 5 global "entertainment" corporations).
The primacy of the online text ought mean that no charismatic or inspirational explanation or justification of text (&/or other media forms) in any real world context counts as a proper explanation of its online purpose. For that reason decisions or proposals made at "real world" meetings ought be seen in a certain very critical light on the email lists both before and afterwards. { Until the stage that we all get webcams and video conferencing and cerebreal translation implants and have a proper "cyber get-together" :-) }
And naturally there is a concern that much of the readership and potential contributors to the site are not in the "catchment" are of "dublin indymedia". We have to appeal to them to report, and write (primarily) on what they consider "news" in their local areas and communities. (e.g.) the county of Offaly can not be too far down the road from Dublin, yet has only produced two articles in 4 years. The "offaly problem" might be approached by some as a reason to talk about "outreach". But I'm not convinced that that works.
Each imc site develops its own style and its own solutions to "regional" questions such as the "offaly problem" and we can not forget that "indymedia" like democracy can not be imposed. It springs from the autochthonous celebration of new technology and literacy. It blooms forth from a decent primary school education and ability to string sentances together. It flourishes on praise and solidarity but wilts under centralised pretension.

Comrades, Colleagues, Yer-man, Sisters & Brothers! Mammies & Papas!
"if we are to solve the Offaly question once and for all , we must never place the ne-plus-ultra on editorial, general and other proper imc email institutional lists debate".

author by Paul Baynespublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 14:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi all –

Just a quick response to Robbie: I’m glad you’ve opened up this debate, but I don’t agree with some of your points.

Contrary to what you say about 'considered deliberation', I think that plenty of the comments on indymedia are ‘top-of-the-head stuff’. I would hope that people come to the meeting prepared, having given some thought to the issues that need to be discussed. I also think that talking about certain things online is inefficient. While I have sympathy for Miriam’s position, I think that some of the issues which we have had to discuss on the email lists could have been much more efficiently dealt with in person. Unfortunately that is not always possible, as people are geographically dispersed.

One of the things that was discussed at the last meeting was the possibility of setting up regional indymedia groups. There is already the basis in place for a Belfast group, and it would be great for people to set up groups in Cork and Galway and even Offaly, to deal with the ‘Offaly problem’ that is at the forefront of all our minds.

Physical meetings are essential if indymedia is to diversify and grow. This should not compromise any of the positive stuff that is continuing on the web. I am thinking of ‘in addition to’ as opposed to ‘instead of’. As Robbie alludes to, the internet is exclusive also. Why should we restrict growth and diversification on the basis of a narrow view of what indymedia could become?

I don’t see why anybody couldn’t hold a meeting about indymedia. There is nothing to stop a group of writers or whatever getting together to co-ordinate writing a series of articles about a certain topic for publication on indymedia, or to print off and distribute stories from the indymedia newswire.

Robbie: “Online, it is an open process”.
I believe it is an open but limited process, and I don’t understand why sustaining that process should mean restricting physical meetings. It doesn’t mean that the process will become closed – it just gives an opportunity to grow and diversify the indymedia project with a view to ultimately making it more effective and accessible to a wider slice of the population.

author by seedotpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 15:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As someone who generally makes the real world meetings but agrees with most of the comments by M Cotton, RobbieS and (the grammar using?) iosaf I don't think the real world meetings will have a huge impact initially on the website.

What they will do is ease the interaction of the website with the real world - from paying the bills to proposing, discussing and approving projects. The agenda is generally designed to get people to put their hand up and say they'll do something in the real world. All the screenings and distro's and new software and mobilisation support are discussed at these meetings - much more than any of the text or media that make up the standard experience of indymedia here. The lack of accessible real world meetings impacts on these issues.

Unfortunately the planned social / meal thing for this Sat seems to be cancelled which is a pity, as there is a need for this type of event as well imho, but the only real need for full engagement in indymedia will remain:
a) literacy
b)internet literacy
c) access to a computer
d) access to broadband unless a masochist
e) ability to use mailing lists, wiki's, content management systems, mail filters, html mark up
f) understanding of netiquette
g) many hours per day online
h) RSI proof wrists

see - we're not exclusive at all ;-)

author by M Cottonpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Im thinking about a number of practical and developmental issues that Id very much appreciate being able to discuss adequately (e.g. the development of an arts/fiction place on the site for theatre reviews, poetry, short stories. A young adults forum of some sort perhaps; an education section and whole bunch of other stuff).

Are we saying it's a pity that those outside Dublin wont be able to make the meetings very often but there's nothing to be done about that? If the editorial lists are no place for discussion, what then, do we do if we live in Cahirciveen? We can't meet up and we're not allowed to use the ed lists. Do we chunter ineffectually amongst ourselves?!?!
:-)

Unless or until the level of interest in the site from regional centres like Barcelona, Clonakilty and Offaly are able to sustain their own local centres, I am asking the Dublin group to be as inclusive as it possibly can about critical decisions. Robbie is right that the online forum is the most open and transparent means of communicating.

A few issues are being conflated, possibly. Creative input is a matter for individuals themselves - singly or in groups so long as existing editorial guidelines are observed. Developmental, financial or strategic decisions are another matter and need transparency and consensus.

author by dunkpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it would be possible, with a little bit of effort, to set up an imc-ie meeting channel on the streamer p2p network used for last weeks live stream, with that in place those unable to physically be at the meeting could still participate. it is possible to set these up with webcams and cameras.
issues such as secrecy etc do pop up, problems can be ironed out. it could be an experiment worth pursuing
last weeks stream:
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72507&condense_comments=false#comment126428

author by Davy Carlinpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 18:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been following various such discussions and debates - re Indymedia Ireland recently and -

-I think that this is a very useful and informative debate and discussion, in which I have found myself nodding with various points from 'ALL' contributors who have made such to date.

Indeed a number of important questions have also been raised in which I would be interested in seeing replies from some Dublin heads.

I may come back when I have time to pen a more detailed post to some important issues raised, but in the meantime following this one closely.

On the point 'there is already the basis in place for a Belfast group', Yee can count me in to lend support and time for that practical suggestion. D

Related Link: http://davycarlin.allotherplaces.org/
author by eeekkkkkkpublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 19:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

with facility (like normal) for private and public conversation associated with indymedia.ie

The editing of site experience as experienced through the editorial lists can get a bit lonely and robotic at times.

A chatroom would help on that front as well as with some of the problems sketched by miriam above. It would also allow live interaction with/between readers.

Can we get one?

Does an irc chatroom involve adding a lot to volunteer labour? I have no idea what the problems associated with them in terms of trolls disruptors etc are.

If communication is restricted to at minuted meetings and archived public lists communication can get a bit 'heavy' - Ie one wrong thing said is there in b/w forever.

Also I am pretty sure it was agreed somewhere along the line that a thread would be open each month to discussing matters generally to do with indymedia ireland - organisation - ed policy - the whole 9 yards.

Perhaps this should be the default for minute threads from the new improved regular monthly meet?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Wed Nov 02, 2005 20:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is a good idea. But it does involve at least one person acting as a moderator. In order to moderate it easily it's necessary to use IP tracking so that abusers can be kick-banned automatically. We could sign up for a channel on one of the freenode servers (see URL below) as we are involved with Free Software (Oscailt) and are arguably a "not-for-profit organizations and for related communities and organizations". I can't remember if the not-for-profit bit means that they want us to show 501(c)3 status (which is US-speak for a government certified tax-exempt non-profit), but about 4 years ago I registered a LUG group very easily with them.

Related Link: http://freenode.net/group_registration.shtml
author by RobbieSpublication date Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:09author email robbiesin at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

1. Real World Meetings (RWMs) ought not have an air of formality.
MC: “Creative input is a matter for individuals themselves - singly or in groups so long as existing editorial guidelines are observed.” Spot on. I would say the same about RWMs. Controlling what can be said at formal RWMs runs counter to indyethos. It’s formalisation itself, I’m unconfortable with.

seedot: “What they will do is ease the interaction of the website with the real world - from paying the bills to proposing, discussing and approving projects.” Where’s the accountability if the formal stuff isn’t proposed, discussed and approved online. In my experience of projects, the planned ones get put on the long finger, and the strike hot iron ones are the best. If the best projects had to wait for approval, they’d never get done. If this is what’s meant by redjade’s ‘dictatorship of the doers’, that’s practically preferable.

Screenings will be online as indymedia vies with mass media outlets; (different ethos of course). There’s nothing to stop anyone from getting together to discuss the details of fundraising, but why does this have to be formalised? Distros? Is that like a disco? I wouldn’t like to see indymedia become like a club with all the assumed identities that usually entails.

PB: “…doesn’t mean that the process will become closed…making it more effective and accessible to a wider slice of the population.” If a person’s only access to indymedia is through a ritualised talkshop, then a better outreach idea would be to record them, or get them to record etc. It need not be be that complicated.

Formal RWMs may seem the thing to do, but they’re unnecessary and conducive to the generation of elites. The internet is perfect for a formal democratic, reflexive, adaptive and transparent model. We can tweak it if needs be, but moe of that later. How can formal RWM structure avoid the personality-based bitchin’ that afflicts all organizations who are confined to the real world in decision-making process?

re Dunk’s point about pootentiall straeming RWMss for inclusive participation: my constraints aren’t so much geographical, as temporal, so online or real world, I can’t make commitments. Hence, participative streaming related to a specific event makes little difference for all the effort that’s involved.

2 (a). Tweaking the Online Model is all that’s needed.
MC: “It can be very hard to interpret people properly through online contact alone”. All communication is an art rather than a science, and net communication included. I reckon textual/emotional misreadings will be at least partially alleviated by multimedia additions to the site in time to come. Each medium has its pros and cons, and maybe there’ll be a bit more stories done in text, audio and video; the author will decide depending on contingencies and personal taste.

Sure, Paul, much of the comments are quickfire (good that there’s an editorial filter to hide such newswire stories); but although I’ve seen quick-fire on mailing lists, it is the exception.

Still only a minority have internet access, but more people are going online everyday. It is spreading at least, as fast as television was in the 60s, but it’s potential is far more enabling.

2 (b). General Issues Forum
Another mailing list might be a good idea. I would prefer this monthly open publishing of comments, or a chatroom, but with so many issues on the one thread, points might get lost.

I don’t know what IRC is yet.

3. Regional Groups:
Tendency to be urban-based. Rural regional groups might only be practical online, and I don’t see why urban groups shouldn’t be any different, formally at least.

Perhaps, regional groups could be set up as mailing lists, so that anyone could get involved easily, and people could co-ordinate coverage of events as they arise at short-notice etc.

4. Insum
Whatever synergy indymedia gets up to, it is web-based. That democratic networking is its strength, and indymedia wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for it. I hope real world meetings continue to the working and creativity of indymedia.ie, but let them be good craic and ad hoc, rather than ritual formalities which are staid and unaccountable.

author by M Cottonpublication date Thu Nov 03, 2005 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By definition most meetings in Dublin can only be attended by a minority of contributors/editors etc. Informality in everything could easily result in unmanageable chaos and give rise to the exact thing you want to avoid – cliques and groups that aren’t accountable.

“ “In my experience of projects, the planned ones get put on the long finger, and the strike hot iron ones are the best. If the best projects had to wait for approval, they’d never get done. If this is what’s meant by redjade’s ‘dictatorship of the doers’, that’s practically preferable.”

I think this refers to ‘creative’ input rather than the administrative issues which really do need as much consensus as possible?

“There’s nothing to stop anyone from getting together to discuss the details of fundraising, but why does this have to be formalised?”

Because the way it is done has a direct bearing on the nature of the whole project. The recent fundraising effort was exactly in line with the ethos of the Indymedia project – an appeal was made for donations up to the exact amount needed to keep the show on the road. Once that point is/was reached, the fundraising stopped. Id be concerned if anyone suggested a more commercial approach without my knowledge and I suspect a lot of people would feel the same. We need complete openness and transparency around this issue in particular and that implies a much greater degree of formality, necessarily. Otherwise, how would we know that Chekov wasn’t going to the Bahamas for Christmas on the proceeds?

“The internet is perfect for a formal democratic, reflexive, adaptive and transparent model. We can tweak it if needs be, but moe of that later.”

Agree wholeheartedly with that and would prefer to see as much decision-making and discussion centred on online discussion. Formality in the real world is really about openness and transparency – establishing a clear record of how and why decisions were made.

“ How can formal RWM structure avoid the personality-based bitchin’ that afflicts all organizations who are confined to the real world in decision-making process?”

By sticking to an agenda agreed online beforehand by as many people as possible as a matter of respect to the majority who cannot be present – but only when dealing with practical/admin issues. By minuting/recording those meetings and posting them online asap for comment. This is the only way you can secure the trust and involvement of as many people as possible and is the next best thing to the wholly online discussions which are there for all to see. It is informality around decision making that gives rise to the bitchin’ and personality cults. Pretty sure Im repeating myself but for creative purposes informal meetings should not be a problem, and the ‘strike while iron is hot’ projects needn’t be affected at all.

“2 (b). General Issues Forum
Another mailing list might be a good idea. I would prefer this monthly open publishing of comments, or a chatroom, but with so many issues on the one thread, points might get lost.”

This is probably a lavish request but might it be possible to have a sort of mini Indymedia for editorial issues? Subscriber access as to the present ed list?

author by RobbieSpublication date Wed Nov 30, 2005 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having read the minutes a few weeks ago, it became clear to me that real world meetings are ideal for the nitt-gritty details.

Fair play to anyone who gives of their time to make it along, and hope it's not all too serious.

Re: Miriam - seeing how much things are open to interpretation is an example of democracy of the doers. Flexibility's a good thing too.

author by Miriampublication date Wed Nov 30, 2005 21:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I dont live in Dublin and hope the fact I cant get to these meetings is not interpreted to mean I am not a doer?????

I dont care about much where Indymedia is concerned except that it succeeds in its primary objectives. It seems unlikely that it can do that on the basis of so-called real world meetings that can only ever be attended by a group of about 6 (?) people. It must be pleasant to be able to attend those meetings - and fair play to those who turn up to do the business. But lets not pretend that they are even remotely representative of the very much larger Indymedia collective contributor/supporter group.

Something needs to be done about this, if Indymedia is really serious about its stated objectives.

author by ge wa ou a datpublication date Thu Dec 01, 2005 00:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just wondering, ya know like.

author by Chekovpublication date Thu Dec 01, 2005 01:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'tis on next week of course. All welcome.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=73240
author by seedotpublication date Thu Dec 01, 2005 03:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Proposal: The Indymedia meeting is followed by an IRC session where the minutes are posted, explained and discussed. This takes place within 48 hours and last for at least a stated 2 hours.

Discussion: attendees at the real world meeting - including whoever chaired and took minutes of the RW meeting should be (mandated?/encouraged?) to attend. This will give an opportunity for remote eds and other contributors to have their say in real time and will be fully open. I would look at using something that allows a moderator to block postings from anybpdy disrupting (possibly without kicking them off the channel?).

Tally: me

(For any nonsubscribers, this is the approved proc to get something done on the IMC lists. I presume it can be used here. I have no idea who can vote ;-)

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