Naeem Mohaiemen on Sun, 16 Nov 2008 12:22:09 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> If Only Indymedia Learnt To Innovate

There's one prevailing reason people migrated from Indymedia to other
platforms, and that's efficiency and innovation. Other platforms
improved and responded to user requests, Indymedia didn't.

I used to be a dedicated user of Indymedia, I spent 4 years
documenting anti-war protests in New York and elsewhere. Every bit of
photo+video I would shoot, I uploaded on Indymedia. I would inform
people of this and pester them until they went on Indymedia and saw
it. But over time it was very clear that the photo and video hosting
solutions on Indymedia had not improved one iota over 4 years. I
had problems uploading and viewing my video, and when trying to
trouble-shoot there would just be no fix. In frustration I contacted
IMC NY one day and offered to corral some friends who were working in
streaming video (my day job outside of art-activism was consulting for
a video-on-net commercial project) and help retool the IMC site or at
least the video portions. We were offering to do it for free, but we
also didn't hide the fact that we had dayjobs in large corporations
(therefore we saw this as Robin Hood'ing of skills). The process
by which the IMC NY folks made a decision, or rather didn't make a
decision, in this regard was comical (except it was tragic). One IMC
staffer wrote to me privately saying "sounds like a good idea but I
don't think we have a mechanism by which to even come to consensus on

It felt like a cluster-fuck so I moved on. I kept posting my video
on IMC for a while but it was just too damn lousy. It wasn't about
an audience, it was just that IMC felt shit we are the grassroots
anarchist movement, why the hell do we need to improve out site.
That's for the corporations! And so IMC stayed pure and lost all it's

I remember a time that even NYPD was monitoring IMC to figure out
where the next protest would be. When IMC statistics+photos were
directly used to contradict New York Times' deflated claims of low
anti-war rally numbers. What a shame to let such a trajectory slip

People give all their data to large corporations-- you're damn right
that's a concern, but IMC created that opportunity by not changing
with the time.

To paraphrase the Village Voice, the left stays pure and makes street
theater while the right (and center) takes control of the levels of

> From: Anna <>
> Subject: <nettime> Indymedia and the Enclosure of the Internet

> Corporate Encoding and Indymedia:
> Indymedia and the Enclosure of the Internet
> Published: Sunday 09 November 2008 16:54
> by Yossarian, IMC London, yossarian (at)
> There has been controversy recently on the global imc-communication and
> imc-tech lists over the issue of a $200,000 grant application sent to
> the Knight Foundation by IMC Boston to do Drupal development work for
> Indymedia sites.


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