Blog posts tagged "imc"

Rick Skrenta: What do you do when your success … sucks?

April 3rd, 2007

Stone Cottage pointed to a great post by Rick Skrenta, CEO of Topix (and mad mind behind NewHoo/DMOZ for those who can remember back that far) on the Topix re-launch.

Lot of really interesting stuff about identifying a brand’s core value and putting it into practice. But also a phenomenal laundry for a problem that has stumped a lot of us, how to make a local news site succeed. Including:

  • Anthropomorphize our existing technology into the roboblogger. This was a brilliant idea from one of our lead engineers. It simultaneously solves three problems:

    1. Booting up a new city — you need posting activity to draw the first editors. The roboblogger would give us that. But he is shy and gets out of the way if humans show up and take over a page.
    2. If the community editors go on vacation, the roboblogger can step back in and take over while they’re gone.
    3. People know when a robot is editing the page vs. a human. His profile icon is a picture of a little tin-can robot. His handle is ‘roboblogger’.
    No more confusion.

A project has to already have value to draw a valuable volunteer base, this is the classic and yet fundamentally hard problem with boot strapping all local sites. But as soon as you have volunteers your contract with them is to rain attention and love down upon their contributions. roboblogger is a really neat hack to handle the delicate balance of a site’s lifecycle and mix community and data mining techniques in social software. Looking forward to watching it play out.

Log anonymizing patches

April 10th, 2005

Riseup patches to keep various logging apps like syslog from recording IP addresses. Also

Additionally we’ve got a patch to postfix that anonymizes SMTP header lines that are sent through over a SASL authenticated SMTP connection. This is unnecessary information added for no apparant reason by Postfix, and we dont think its a nice thing to do to let everyone know what your home DSL connection is.

Nice! That was one of the few features about me Postfix which really bugged me. More info on imc-tech

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December 13th, 2004

Dropped by my old friend QuickTopic tonight, looking to see if there was some automated way to start discussions (there doesn’t appear to be, for obvious reasons), and I noticed they have a cool, “new” feature, QuickThreads.

The problem with QuickTopic is you never know when that quick note to a small CC list is going to become a raging, multi-threaded, critical conversation wherein the action plans for some multi-continental plots to take over the world will finally be hashed out. At some point, 10-15 messages in, someone realizes that, “hey this conversation should be on a mailing list, and archived, and maybe more inclusive”. So tell everyone, “full stop, time to move this party over here”, the momentum is lost and the conversation dies. Happens every time, never fails.

Which is what is neat about QuickThreads, it allows you to seamlessly migrate an ongoing discussion, with history, without killing the flow.

The one drawback is it isn’t free. But definitely a good idea.

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N30 and D1

December 1st, 2004

Some people seemed to get excited about yesterday, something about it being the 5 year anniversary of the launching of Indymedia (see John Tarleton’s work for a survey of that heady first year) and the launching of a (white) radical public identity in the US. Important stuff.

But we all know that the real importance of November 30th is that today is December 1st, which means the first day of the Perl Advent Calendar, which kicks off with one of my favorite modules, DateTime.

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Reflections, Post New York

September 4th, 2004

Evan and Micah both have post NYC reflections.

Sustaining, Still Gaining

The traffic analysis still has to be done, and it wont be accurate, but we had probably a week where we sustained between 9 and 20 megabits/second, thats a LOT of traffic, literally millions of hits per day (at one point we did some rough caluclations and came up with between 1 and 5 million a day). What was interesting was that even the fabled “slashdot effect” was hardly even a noticable bump in our traffic.

Thoughts about the evolution of indymedia since 1999

The Indymedia network has added a new local IMC every 11 days.

The RNC Protests, Technology, and the infoline we setup

There has been an escalating struggle between protesters and police over communications and coordination during protests involving mass direct action. Our task is to help facilitate horizontal communication and information distribution to all the activists in the streets.

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NYC Supreme Court Judge Orders Protestor Release

September 2nd, 2004

According to the Associated Press State Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo ordered the immediate release of 470 protestors being held illegally and fined the city $1,000 for every protester held past a 5 p.m. deadline.

“These people have already been the victims of a process,” state Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo told the city’s top lawyer. “I can no longer accept your statement that you are trying to comply.”

Or in the words of one judge

I have been here since 5:00 [2:30 hours] and only 20 people have been released. What is taking so long?!

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Fun in Boston

July 20th, 2004

There has been a lot of focus on the RNC for September, but there are a number of fun activities kicking off in Boston this week. And as I couldn’t find most of this information on the Web, but as a fair amount of it arrives in my inbox, I thought I’d pass it along.

This weekend (July 23-25) is the Boston Social Forum, there are supposed to over 600 tracks, it looks a little disorganized, several look interesting, “Beyond Oil” Saturday night at UMass-Boston, and Billy Bragg at the Middle East, also Saturday night ($30!). See the full schedule

Black Tea Society, will be opening the covergence space at Community Church (site of BioDev2000, and the original Boston IMC) Sunday night. If you’re coming into town to do Indymedia work, stop by the IMC desk and get your IMC press pass (small donation requested if you want a photo ID). Won’t get you into the Fleet Center, but it will get you into the TecsChange, and CCTV facilities.

There are a couple of different calendars for the following week: here, here, and here.

That should get you through the weekend, as always, stop by the convergence center once its open for how to get involved, and latest info.

And under no circumstances enter the death trap under North Station being referred to as a “Free Speech Zone”. (photos)

One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that’s more of an affront to the idea of free expression than the designated demonstration zone
Judge Woodlock

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$50 at the Door?

July 14th, 2004

$50 to get in the door of the IMC during the Republican National Convention?!?!

I’m not on the ground in New York so I can only speculate on what they are thinking, but I have serious doubt about whether the terms “convergence space”, “Indymedia”, or even “independent” should really ever appear on a page that talks about a $50 registration fee. I don’t usually take a hard line on what is, and isn’t IMC, but that is the least IMC sounding thing I think I’ve ever heard.

In fact that only thing that could make it sound less like any IMC I’ve ever been part of is if you couldn’t store your stuff there, or pass out at 2am after 22 hours of straight hacking. Oh wait

we can not provide storage or sleeping facilities

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Indymedia RSS Feeds are Back

May 13th, 2004

The feeds for IMC Global have been down since we migrated to the new software last December. John brought then back.

Still some tweaking to do, but they’re back.

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Expect Outages

February 11th, 2003

So Yada, the server that hosts both LaughingMeme and is being pounded in anticipation of events this weekend, in New York and elsewhere. This partially a problem of poorly written code (the site software behind is about 3 years over due for an overhaul) partially too little memory in the box (it could use another 500M) and partially too much damn traffic. I hate wars, everytime it looks like we’re going to have a war, our load jumps to like 400. Its so annoying, just cut it out with the war mongering, I’m not sysadmin enough to handle it.

Coverage has already started rolling in over at NYC IMC in anticipation.

Speaking of NYC IMC, I just got my Threat to Peace poster tonight, and its amazing. (hmmm, the Indypendent server is also having load trouble)

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