Meeting Minutes – Internet Working Group 10/30/2011

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Meeting Minutes

Date: 10/30/2011
Location: Atrium, 60 Wall St.
Objective: Open Working Group Meeting with Defined Agenda
Audience: Working Group Members


  • Report Backs
  • Announcements on Ongoing Projects
  • Google Feedback Form
    • Moving from the currently Google feedback form to ?
    • Concerns about data governance and privacy
  • Google Apps Roll-Out
    • Structure of roll out of the new Google Apps email and services platform
  • Spokes Council
    • Implications for Internet Working Group
    • How to be ready to support it as an IWG (or perhaps soon to be Internet Operations Group; IOG?)
    • May require new structures to align with Spokes Council structure
    • IWG Charter – We need to prepare a charter to be presented at the inaugural Spokes Council Meeting (hopefully very early next week).
  • Volunteer Outreach – Update from Dan Phiffer
  • NYCGA CSS Facelift – Discuss proposed quick-fix “face-lift”
  • Mobile Technologies – Present two mobile technologies for communication within the camp and among camps/supporters that can be used anonymously
  • – Report-back on meeting with domain owners

Report Backs

  • Drew:  Had conversation with team.  GA would like to request that be given to the control of the NYCGA-IWG.  owst does not want to surrender ownership of name, so proposal to GA is withdrawn.   They will never agree to sell and that the site represents the overall movement, larger than the GA.
  • Tom: server migration in progress.  Work on server migration tomorrow, evaluate Tuesday morning.  Re-launch Tuesday night.
  • Greg: Created a clean developer copy of the database and files to hand off to new developers.
  • Evan: Permabank (gifting / donation platform)  Done with wireframes and design.  In development.  Hope to have beta by the end of the week.

Announcements on Ongoing Projects

  • Drew: other active projects:
    • Wiki, for current projects:
    • Newswire: drupal-based rss aggregator for all occupations / news sources. Needs designers and editors.
    • Central directory:
    • Forum:
  • Jake: 2.0 – moving very slowly.  Need more WordPress devs.
  • Devin – we have CiviCRM up on a dedicated Drupal host.  Project being managed by outreach and movement building.
  • Katie: FGA – a general assembly site that can support multiple instances for each occupation.  What is the status and acceptance of this project?
  • Charles: Concern – should not be developer-led.  Site features should be designed by the GA.
  • Katie – Mark and Katie are UX/Design, doing discovery and end-user research.
  • Ted – IWG and Open Source are using Scrum as a management process – this is an iterative process so requirements will change and adapt.
  • Question: what is the difference between IWG / Open Source Working Group .  OSWG is about expanding open source philosophy into hardware and knowledge, not just internet.  OSWG meets at Charlotte’s Place, 109 Greenwich, 3 – 5pm every weekday.
  • Drew: Google apps rollout, spokes council,, CSS design change (Katie)
  • Olivia – with Outreach: Interoccupation database project: coordinate outreach efforts, streamline communication between occupations.


Volunteer Form

  • Dan Phiffer posted a description of what we’re looking for and have been sending the link to various email lists (please do the same!):
  • At this point we have 70 sign ups, 30 of which are since last week’s meeting. Dan exported the emails from Google Docs and started a MailChimp list he can use to make volunteer announcements. Dan sent my first one out this morning, inviting new volunteers to come to tomorrow’s meeting.
  • The next step is identifying WordPress devs from the volunteer list and getting them involved. Dan would like to get some input from the group on the best way to approach this.
  • Trying to get more people into the volunteer Google doc, and then get those people into work projects.  Looking for anybody to promote the volunteer form.

Google Apps Rollout 

  • Google Apps for nonprofits has been set up.  Email address for “operations groups” are ready to go – who will get them.  – propose we wait for inaugural spokes council – then create addresses for those groups.  People with current forwarding address need to move those addresses.
  • Which groups do we want to have email address?
  • Proposed: anyone (any group) who requests can have one
  • Question: raised about whether giving an email address implies an official relationship to NYC GA?
  • Proposed to address above: individual email addresses be at a subdomain (e.g.
  • Decision: It was agreed that for now, addresses will be created to replicate the Spokes Council structure.
  • Concern: too much noise on a group mailing list
  • Action item: phased roll out – first step is to replace individual ad-hoc email addresses for operations groups with uniform email addresses.
  • Info: Mail server in Iceland handling mail
  • Info: BuddyPress can be used for different types of groups


Spokes Council

  • Inaugural meeting Wednesday, 11/1 7pm
  • Spokes council will determine which groups are recognized groups
  • Affinity or movement groups will still not require GA recognition
  • Proposed that the UX on the site will be changed to reflect the spokes-council structure of movement groups, caucuses, affinity groups, etc.
    • Concern: Splitting the UX into 4 separate regions for each group is confusing.   Debate about best way of indicating different group levels.
    • Action Item: Meet for a break-out session about UI and design as a larger topic
    • Decision: Will use Tuesday’s working meeting for that (Tuesday 6pm, Atrium)
  • IWG Charter @ Spokes Council
    • What is the mission as it relates to the NYCGA.  And define a “spoke” who is the person who is going to be speaking at the spokes council.  .  Brainstorm about charter and move discussion to an online document.   Define overlap non overlap with open source.  Not editorial gatekeepers.   There is some overlap with hardware – in the Freedom Tower initiative and bringing internet access to the park.  Open Source works as a solution provider for internet or other groups.
    • Ideas
      • Getting internet to people in the park is important.    Daniel will volunteer to be a point person.
      • Meeting the online communication needs of users
      • “Preserve the integrity of the NYCGA’s online identity”
      • Issue of gatekeeping is very important.  Don’t want to see solutions get blocked because they don’t fit ideological agenda.
      • Security + Privacy of user data.
      • A space for mobile technology – most occupiers are running mobile devices
      • We’re reacting to immediate needs now, but should have a long term vision
    • Action Item: Rob will be writing a draft – Should be reviewed and feedback provided. (Draft can be found here)
  • Internet Working Group Spoke @ Spokes Council
    • Need to determine who will be the spoke
    • Should not be one of the primary contact person / core member
    • Spoke can be replaced at any time it’s felt that he/she isn’t adequately representing the working group
    • *Action Item: Select spoke before Inaugural Spokes Council meeting

CSS Redesign



  • Decisions
    • It was agreed that for now that addresses will be created to replicate the Spokes Council structure.
  • Action Items
    • Phased Google Apps roll out – first step is to replace individual ad-hoc email addresses for operations groups with uniform email addresses.
    • Will use next meeting to discuss longer-term UX and design of (Tuesday 6pm, Atrium)
    • Rob to write draft IWG charter – Should be reviewed and feedback provided. (Draft can be found here)
    • Select spoke before Inaugural Spokes Council meeting
    • Margarete Koenen to begin working with Katie to implement short-term CSS changes

—— Break-out Meeting

Jake and Drew reported back. Ownership and process situation.

  • We have list of objections
  • We want to avoid bad will

Jake: How do we alter the content of the site, rather than ownership specifics.

Vision of this site is different. It’s about scope.

They say, represents the global movement. We say, represents the Wall Street Occupation specifically.

We need a web presence about us (the NYC General Assembly and occupation on wall st).

People think that the site is about the occupation on wall street and the NYC General Assembly. has an about page that 12% get to. They say, they are unofficial, defacto site of the movement.

Other topic: we put forum post about content strategy. We don’t want traffic to

Other option: adbusters domain

Domain names matter. We don’t have one for Wall St.

Frank from Tulsa sees the logic.

It makes sense for OWS to have a leadership role.

Other occupations are replicating the OWS model, generally speaking.

GA needs to control its communications.

Drew: bring action items. We need a counterproposal.

Person: had no idea that did NOT represent the GA. Shocked! No accountability when this whole movement is about accountability. It’s wrong.

Person: they are doing a good job. Bring them in.

Drew: We tried. When we started, things were pretty bad….

Person: we provide technical means, not content. Just ask to help them manage it.

Jake: this won’t work. They have a different vision for the site. Donate button story…. New donate link is muddled.

Person: ethical issue around identity.

Person: where is live feed, what are the official declarations, what is happening right now, etc.

Devin: the way it’s done right now is cool. People can do what they want. There are two sides of the movement. We aren’t solely based on consensus. This is a teaching opportunity. We should be lowering the barrier of entry for folks to curate content. Let’s gift our way out of the battle. Ask them to post what is happening with this issue. Have them post a timeline/infographic.

Person: make it more clear.

Person: what happens when the share content links are active? How does that affect the google juice of …. We have 3500 users, features are improved, when nycga has more adoption and sharing tools, how does that affect….

Person: what if they gave it to us tomorrow?

Person: what do we want to do with a public facing site?

Drew: their site is not complicated.

Person: they feel accountable to the movement is an option

Devin: wiki, newswire, many assets. We can use different sites for different purposes.

Drew: temperature check with the movement

Patricia: perception that NY is a thought leader for the organization, and current represents ZPark. But it doesn’t. It represents 12-15 people around the world.

Drew: let’s resolve the question about perception with input from appropriate people.

Jake: we are not adequately representing our selves online. I don’t care what this affinity group does. I care what we do. We aren’t doing enough. Only two domain names exist that are relevant. or No matter what they want to do, we should try to have one of them.

Drew: it would be nice to have the one that folks have already bookmarked. It is important that we make clear that no one wants to remove the ows team from the project, only that we want to bring them into the accountability of the GA process.

2 Responses to “Meeting Minutes – Internet Working Group 10/30/2011”

  1. Patricia Lutz

    I have notes from this meeting as well. Can this be made editable? Or should I submit them to someone so they can incorporate them?

    Also, did we get a draft mission statement from Rob? If so, is it posted somewhere for review? Further, was a spoke selected?

  2. Patricia Lutz

    I updated the document with some of my own notes. In addition, I added the agenda items gathered from the forum post and consolidated the Decisions and Action Items. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.