Communications Cluster Proposal (Working Doc)

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OWS Group Update Proposal
Proposal Origin
The Communications Cluster formed in response to the initial Spokes Council draft proposals, which included clustering. We currently include Info, Outreach, Tech, OWS En Español, Movement Building, Media, Press and Organization, and our open to other groups participation.  We do not have a formal mission, but are focused on improving communication within the OWS community. Based on a number of concerns about the “Group” designation, we are proposing a Group Project Update process through the General Assembly on Saturday, December 3.
Proposal Rationale
There are growing concerns about how OWS can improve the effectiveness of our existing Group model. These concerns include the following:
  • Many working groups listed on the website lack clarity about their function and/or provide no information about what they do or how one can participate in their work;
  • Many working groups are either non-functioning or not actually groups yet they maintain the same status as active and participating working groups;
  • Projects – of a single or multiple working group – are emerging as one of the means by which OWS work gets done;
  • Many working group projects are redundant in part due to a lack of communcation and transparency; there is no simple way to find out if a project idea has people working on it; collaboration between working groups and projects is very difficult; difficult for working groups who want to coordinate projects OWS wide to get the word out.
  • Barrier to entry/inaccessability for newbies to OWS due to the lack of clarity what the OWS activities are. In tandem is a general need of more people involved in OWS WG & Projects.
Group Update
Every OWS Group works through consensus to submit the following to the Commnications Cluster for compiling and distribution (via and other means):
  • A mission statement, working group objective and contact information for the group.
  • Brief History of Work-to-Date, successes and lessons learned.
  • Day(s) and location(s) of their public meetings
  • Current project list with the following for each project (if you don’t organize around projects, provide information about what your group is working on, including the following information):
  • Objective & Present Development Status
  • 1-3 Point People for each project (A point person’s role is to help coordinate volunteers in projects and to make sure project is moving forward. Point People are not decision makers)
  • Contact email to be made public, preferably to protect personal email identities.
  • What other Groups are presently collaborating on the project? How?
  • What other Groups would you like to collaborate on the project? How?
  • Along with this submission, each Group submits signatures or a printout of an email chain “signing off” on the project.
Roles and Process
  • The Communication Cluster will provide on and offline methods for completing this Group Review Process
  • The Communication Cluster role is to process and synthesize submissions so that they can be published publically on for the OWS community;
  • The Communication Cluster will provide assistance to groups needing help with this review process.
  • The Communications Cluster will not judge and/or censor any group or group project. However, if working groups do not respond to this project review within 7 days of the projects initiation, we request the authority to hide them on the website until they provide the information needed for this update.
  • The finalized group updates will be made available on the info and group pages.
Other Consideration and Next Steps
  • Group definitions and expectations
  • Maintaing up-to-date information on Group and Projects.
Respectfully Submitted,
The Communications Cluster
Occupy Wall Street

3 Responses to “Communications Cluster Proposal (Working Doc)”

  1. Justin Stone-Diaz

    Folks, these ideas are great but the main issue is the DIGITAL DIVIDE.

    While many of #OWS have scaled to comfy offices & housing options across town there is still a community in the Plaza that #NYCGA is ignoring that has limited access to internet.

    Why does NO ONE from your group help us staff the park with Info People?

    Most of these problems you list take care of themselves with an ACTIVE staff on the plaza.

    Seems you are attempting to remove ALL need for physical interaction with WG’s & the Public.

    These ideas are needed but we at the Plaza would prefer some DIRECT interaction, I mean if people in the park who ARE occupiers can’t get online THEY CAN’T PARTICPATE in our entire Community.

    That’s marginalization BY DESIGN.

    All these plans are great, but planning from the desk is a Top Down organizational tool & is not the best approach to these issues.

    Get a table back in the back, support the Info WG in place before you try to create online practices that remove the need.

    As far as I can tell Cynthia & I are the only 2 people doing this

  2. Jordan Soreff

    @justinstoned I agree with Justin to the extent that the GA should take responsibility for providing (funding) on-line access opportunities 24/7 on the Plaza for as long as any occupiers remain.
    As for the proposal as stated above, my one major objection is that the 7-day period from GA Approval of this proposal to WG submission of all the above requested information seems a bit unreasonable unless you ask for just the basics at first (Contact info, mission statement, days/locations of public meetings) and then the detailed work and history later (maybe 21 days???). Also, it would be prudent to provide for regular periodic updates within this proposal as opposed to tabling it for another day. Keep it pretty simple; project history updates, formally submitted every 2 weeks or some such thing. And grant the authority to the cluster itself to develop its own monitoring tools with a caveat that the GA is free to step in and change things under certain conditions. I’m done.

  3. Justin Stone-Diaz

    Wow. Come hang in the park already. folks.
    This feels like people asking for your Papers.

    How bout this: Set up info in park with a computer 2 hours a day.

    Too much planning, not enough occupying in the park.