This Indymedia site has been designed to be as user-friendly as possible, while still attempting to manage a wealth of information, and some customization options.
The left-hand column lists the main sub-section pages of the site, as well as a frequently-updated list of the other Indymedia sites across the globe.
Users are encouraged to visit the login page, where they can create a user account that facilitates publishing articles, and allows some rudimentary filtering preferences based on ratings (see below for more on ratings).
The center column is truly the centerpiece of the site. Our feature articles are produced or commissioned by the editorial collective, and offer quality journalism and opinion from the boston area.
The media gallery, highlighted at the top of the right-hand column, is our repository for photos, videos, and audio files uploaded to the site. When users have media to upload without accompanying text, from protest photos to flyer illustrations and PDF files, it goes to the media gallery. The gallery is broken down into categories, and can be searched by title, keyword, caption, or artist.
The newswire, displayed in the right-hand column, is the backbone of Indymedia. Articles found on the newswire are uploaded by users all over the world, and instantly displayed on the site. For our part, we have divided articles into "Local Interest" and "Elsewhere", so as to highlight local events and discussion.
While offering an empowering capability to users traditionally ignored by the mainstream media, the newswire also provides a completely open forum for viewpoints that may be in direct conflict with the focus of the editorial collective -- anything from racist propaganda to opinions that merely reinforce the views propagated by the mainstream media.
It is the responsibility of the editorial collective (whose membership is open to the public) to oversee the newswire with a careful eye to balancing the open publishing philosophy with a desire to maintain the "newsworthy" quality of the site. To this end, we employ two methods: first, the editors will remove articles in direct violation of our (very liberal) editorial policy. This includes advertising, duplicate posts, and pieces which fail to even resemble news or commentary.
The second method is our user rating system. While browsing the site, you are encouraged to rate articles using the popup menu at the end of each piece. While user ratings cannot remove an article from the site completely, they serve the invaluable role of deciding how much prominence is given to the display of an article.
By default, only articles rated higher than -6 are displayed in the right-hand column, and on the "newswire" home page. This is called the "display threshold." If you have created a user account, you can even alter that threshold to suit your own needs, e.g., display only articles receiving +3 or higher. Articles which fall below the threshold are moved to the hidden articles section, which is linked from the bottom of the newswire column. They are still available on the site, and can be linked to directly, but their prominence is degraded as a result of user input. You are encouraged to visit the hidden articles section to see what ends up there, and why.
Finally, remember that the Indymedia site is here for you. We encourage you to upload your own stories, commentaries, and announcements that may be of use to the community. And you are further encourage to participate actively in the IMC group. Our meetings are open to the public, and announced on the site's calendar page as well as the Radicalendar at www.radicalendar.org.