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Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Indymedia Real World Meeting

category dublin | arts and media | event notice author Wednesday June 07, 2006 01:11author by Robbie, 1 of - IMCauthor address Dublinauthor phone 087-9166890 Report this post to the editors

Open to all Interested People

This Sunday evening, June 11th, 7:30 pm., upstairs in the Lord Edward Pub near Christchurch.

All regular Indymedia readers, contributors,and editors, as well as social justice campaigners , are invited to a meeting of indy-heads.

There are two main reasons for the meeting. The second is to get get to meet the other heads and chill. The first (chronologically speaking), is to discuss how regular/trusted contributors can be more involved in the IMC, either through formal rights, and/or an increased sense of ownership.

For those interested in the philosophical/practical stuff, 7:30 is when it kicks off.

For those just interested in the craic are welcome to come any time they like.

For those unable to make it (whether through distance or other committments), your ideas would be very much welcome and we hope that the real world meeting will add to your indymedia experience (apologies for the schmulz:-)).

author by Anthonypublication date Wed Sep 13, 2006 04:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

as posted to the imc-ireland list on Tuesday 13th June:

Personal Thoughts:

The meeting had been announced a week ago and a pub had been decided on as the venue. In my experience, pubs have never been good venues for productive meetings. Meetings in pubs usually have to deal with background noise from other pub customers, smokers getting up to go for a smoke every few minutes and decreased manners, consideration and rationality as the amount of alcohol being absorbed into the bloodstream increases.

However I didn't think that was a big deal as I figured the pub would be grand as a venue for an informal chat at the end of a summer week-end. For the 3 years that I've been involved with Indymedia - outside from being a contributor - I've never known meetings to attract more than ten people and I wasn't really expecting the occasion to be anything more than an informal face-to-face chat over a few drinks.

However others wanted a proper meeting to discuss certain issues and in the end, we had something which fell between the two: The gathering was neither an informal discussion nor a well-conducted productive meeting but had elements of both. It was a pity because with up to 19 people in attendance, it was the best turn-out of an Indymedia face-to-face over the past three years. Even if it wasn't the most productive environment, it was still a useful exercise as it gave people a chance to meet and communicate more effectively face-to-face.

The gathering started off fairly well with items on the drawn-together agenda being discussed and moved on from quite quickly. (I personally felt that some issues deserved more time and that some people's contributions were cut off prematurely.) After the first few items, the meeting proceeded to become more shambolic as time went on. Many people were absent for parts of the meeting (one person managed to get themselves locked in the toilet!) and some points were brought up again - after they had already been discussed. The chair himself was at times unnecessarily rude to other participants and after being so time-conscious at the start, started to indulge in relatively lengthy monologues.

Since no-one was taking any minutes, I decided that I'd note any decisions being made by the attendees. (It wasn't the back of an envelope - but I did find an unpaid bill). I had a head-ache as a result of over-exposure to the sun the day before and had made a conscious decision to stick to the orange juice and water. However the increasing disorder of the meeting wasn't helping my headache and I had to leave before the end so I'm sure that there's more to add to the notes below:


Minutes of Gathering in the Lord Edward - Sun 11th June 2006

Money:

It was noted that €80 was owed to the web hosts as the site had exceeded its bandwidth allowance in March. This was due to two factors: increased popularity of the site and the fact that the configuration of Oscailt 3 allows the uploading larger images. Money was collected from meeting participants and C. and Chekov agreed to pay the hosting bill later in the week.

It was also decided that within the next few weeks, images and other attachments would be moved to another server (administered by another independent media activist) and that an appropriate donation would be made to cover the increased bandwidth usage of his server space.


Film Night:

C. informed the meeting that T and G wanted the film night collective to run a similar night in Transport House in Belfast. C. opined that such an event should only be organised by local independent media activists and that the organisers in Dublin could and should offer resources and support but not do it for them. This was accepted by the meeting.

It was proposed that a third of the money taken from the most recent film night in Liberty Hall would be donated to Narco News. This was agreed to by all in attendance.

The issue of a venue was also discussed as the most recent screening was full to capacity and that some people had to be turned away. It was suggested that a bigger venue be used for future film screenings. However it was pointed out that down-payment of a deposit in advance for other venues with A/V equipment was prohibitive and that Liberty Hall had the distinct advantage that no deposit had to be paid in advance as well as already having in-house A/V equipment.


Meetings:

The issue of having more real-world meetings such as this one was also discussed. It was felt that more face to face meetings would be beneficial to different independent media activists. One participant queried which forum (on-line or real-world) would be authoritative for decision-making purposes and it was clarified that the real-world meeting was authoritative for real-world activity (such as running a film night) and that the editorial list would be the deciding forum for issues dealing with the running of the web site.


Editorial Issues:

It was suggested that Gender Politics or a similarly titled story category should be added to the site. This was almost unanimously carried. One participant thought that the category should be more inclusive and also include sexuality. It was pointed out that this issue had already been voted on and the votes were already recorded and available in the archives of the editorial list. Paul B volunteered to search through the archives and compile the results of this vote.

Other categories were suggested such as Irish Sovereignty and Kids/Children/Minors. The general point was made the most compelling way of making the case for new story categories was to analyse the stories that have already been published and categorised as Miscellaneous and to discover the most common subjects that aren't covered by an existing category. It was also pointed out that too many categories defeats the purpose of categories and decreases the usability of the site.


The meeting became less coherent from this point on. While no decisions were made, I recorded some of the points of discussion that came up during the gathering.

It was pointed out that the fact that out of 15 people on the editorial list, all were male. It was remarked that this was atypical for other Indymedia collectives and that it was not indicative of any kind of a healthy gender balance. This was pretty much agreed by all in attendance.

It was suggested that the answer to the problem wasn't to give female contributors to the site a password as token female editors but rather to encourage more women to become involved.

It was also pointed out that there seems to be a lot of confusion over the role of an editor and that editors should be seen as janitors who clean up the crap as well as showcasing and highlighting the best contributions to the site in features. Essentially it is an executive role and that is all it should be.

One of the problems with the current situation is that the Indymedia Internet collective is defined as anyone who has an editorial password. While gradations of Oscailt capabilities exist within the editorial collective. e.g. Techies can clear object caches while other editors who don't understand this and don't need to be able to do it can't. - it has evolved into something it was never intended to be - something of a club where you're either in (with a vote - and a block) or out. It was suggested that the solution to this problem was to expand the Internet collective to include other participants on the editorial list and to give them a vote rather than a vote *and* a block.

One participant asked how long each of the editors had been contributing before they became an editor. This question was interpreted differently - and answered differently by the editors in attendance. (e.g. I answered 3 months but this was only the amount of time I spent contributing to the editorial list. It didn't cover the 3 months that I had spent lurking on the list to figure out how things worked in Indymedia and it didn't include the year before that that I had spent contributing news to the site.)

It was pointed out that a big problem was the lack of clarity explaining how someone new could become involved if they wanted to do so. There didn't seem to be any obvious way to become involved if you didn't want to. It was suggested that a list of outstanding tasks that need to be done should be published so that those who wanted to contribute to the Indymedia project could pick something that suited their skills and interests. One obvious example would be improve the documentation on the site explaining who we are and how things work.

A suggestion was also made to give some news contributors who have indicated an interest in becoming more active, the ability to post in HTML so that they can learn some of the skills required for feature production.

 
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