With this communiqué we would like to invite you to the 10th meeting of linksunten. This will take place from the 28th to the 30th of January 2011 at the Autonomous Centre KTS in Freiburg. We will be discussing our experiences of moderating Indymedia linksunten as was laid out in our pledge of transparent moderation. You can come to the conference if you are either interested in participating in the moderation process or if you simply wish to express criticism or voice your opinion as a user. We would also like to talk about the current status of the project and how we would like to proceed in the future.
Since the call to launch a new Indymedia site back in the spring of 2008, Indymedia linksunten has been open to all fractions of radical left wing politics. In the autumn of 2008, Indmyedia linksunten was affiliated to the Indymedia network and the website went online in the spring of 2009. There have been meetings in the spring of 2009, early summer of 2009 and spring of 2010. If you want to come to Freiburg in January 2011, please get in contact with us.
We get motivating feedback from all parts of the radical left. The articles on Indy linksunten are as various as the topics which are discussed on the website. linksunten has evolved to be a safe data haven without censorship for leaked documents such as the loveparade attachments or the atomic waste castor transport schedule, outings of Nazis and for “claims of responsibility” of any kind. Its not just the journalists who know where to look to know why it burned this time.
Besides major events such as the No Border Camp in Brussels or the protests against the Castor transport to Wendland there are always new tickers being made. These tickers are to support activists such as those protesting against the public swearing-in-ceremony of the German army in Stuttgart or a Nazi rally in Munich. Up till now, all tickers have been translated into at least one other language and we intend that the translation function will be useful for all kinds of reports or calls for action in the future.
The most frequent topics are antifa, repression and free space. But there are also a large amount of articles on themes such as anti-capitalism, anti-militarism, anti-racism, ecology and anti-speciesism, and these are continually increasing.
The name Indymedia linksunten (literally: down left) has had a double meaning right from the beginning. Beside being an emancipatory and grassroots media project, the name also implies a regional focus towards the South-West of Germany. This emphasis has remained. however we can note a strong increase in the amount of articles coming from Western and Eastern areas of Germany, as well as from the other areas of Germany and beyond.
It is now possible for moderators to control autonomously all of the essential websites functions. Since the last meeting in the Spring of 2010 we have carried out a large amount of smaller improvements as well as a few substantial upgrades to the system. Numerous optimisations have also speeded up the website considerably. Even during major events we were able to operate smoothly without experiencing any performance or stability problems.
The initial chaos around administering the website has now been sorted. We have revised all of the self-written modules and created re-usable patches for all of the adapted modules. We have also a script that automatically updates a local version of the website allowing an interference-free development of the software, we were also able to give this process a memory with the revision control system git. We also have a multi-level backup strategy to protect us from possible data-loss which could occur due to hardware failures, defective software or political repression.
Image editing as well as linking images has also been improved, but embedding images in comments will not be possible until the next generation of our website software Drupal 7 with its CCK module. The account pages have already been improved with a development to a blogs integrated platform in Indymedia linksunten, this will be an ongoing process.
The ticker infrastructure has also been further developed and the layout is now more flexible. It is now possible for authorised users to operate the ticker independently. If you are interested in using the ticker for an event please contact us.
We have also implemented a Audio-Integration module. Audio files may not only be attached to articles but can also be placed under banners. There is also a Regular series of podcasts which are copied automatically to linksunten, these are shown as a podcast block on the front page. We also have an integrated zip-fm which provides linksunten four times a week with a half-hourly news program. The moderators can schedule the broadcasts by using the agenda.
On the radio page there are, beside the latest audio uploads and podcasts also live stream players for seven independent radio stations. When ongoing events are occurring it is possible to anchor the Podcasts and streams to the front page. If you have an suggestions for other podcasts or radio streams, the please contact us!
A significant improvement for Indymedia linksunten is the faceted search. The combination of direct search and navigational search, provides a fast and intuitive search. Every summary pages has been transformed to search queries and every search query has an individual RSS feed. Another search function feature is the “more like this” block, which shows other articles which are related to those being searched for.
By using a server that is purely dedicate to search operations it was possible to reduce the load on the web server. These two servers communicate via a secure connection to ensure the anonymity of our users. The search is based on Apache Solr which is a forward-looking technology. Particularly because of the Solr integration of the Views module in Drupal 7 this will become even more important in the future.
We actively participate in the maintenance of the Indymedia Drupal server and we look after the Solr server of the May First/People Link network. We are committed to the further developments of technical infrastructure of the Tachanka network. The Tachanka network is based on the principles of solidarity which allows us and you to spread radical information.
Hard times require independent media — vers beaux temps !