Tech Ops Meeting Minutes 03/04/2012

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Sunday 3/4/12


Jake, Darryl, Shawn, David, Gilbert, Erica, Dallas, Cynthia, Tom, Matt (livestream guy), Pea, Casper




— installing new software, getting site live (Shawn)

— staging, content being submitted

— launch content consensus hasn’t been discussed yet

— need way to post jobs for editors, writers, etc


Newsletter (David)

— on track to go out Tues

— first draft is up, soliciting comments until tomorrow

— need someone to set up address to send it from:

— at some point would need to get working groups using Civi


Wiki (Erica)

— CSS for skin almost done, waiting for Aeon to code last pieces

— trying to launch this week

— Amgine wants to put a more difficult spam blocker on the wiki (the Microsoft one w/cats and dogs works really well)

— Jake: we probably only need it on the new user signup, not on the edits page


Policies (Jake)

— policies on are in place, there are links in the footer

— people can read them, follow them, start admining the site (suspend/block/etc)


Prix Ars Electronica (Jake)

— deadline extended to March 14th

— highly encourage people to review, edit, add to application in Etherpad

— we are #7 most innovative company, nominated for a Shorty…


NPR Mention (Pea)

— we got a shoutout on broadcast, listed as “the” occupy wall st site, very positive story

— 600 clicks, probably about another 150 direct


Occupy Map (Tom)

— design changes made, some new icons, Patricia is making some more icons

— working with some Occupy Town Square people

— has report backs on all those meetings, usually M/W morning


May Day / GA Tactical Communications Team

— Tom, March Hare tech collective in San Francisco, GA in Chicago

— working on best practices for direct action coordination: dealing w/disruption, shutdown

— report backs on as an Occupy Map subproject

— if you want to be in on conference calls, let Tom know

— need help (PHP development on maps)

— need help setting up CB radio (anyone w/radio experience)


FYI (Tom/Dallas)

— GA and NATO will be in Chicago mid May

— it will be illegal to protest anyone w/Secret Service protection (HR 437 just passed the House, passed Senate unanimously)

— Bilderburg conference happening in May too


Etherpad widgets (Tom)

— learned trick to turn Etherpads into a widget, can host it on your own site

— was going to show and tell, but servers were all down 2–5 today







“Analyzing The 1%” TV Show 



— Already have Occupy Wall St tv program, live 1 hr show

— Manhattan Neighborhood Network asked Gilbert to do another show, more analytical

— Show is called “Analyzing the 1%”, will be scientific analysis of people

— tomorrow will learn details of slot, probably Tues at 8:30pm, half hour show

— will start in a couple of weeks

— need help with:

1. filming 45min backdrop for show (maybe a sunset of NYC skyline?)

2. streaming show



— both questions would probably be better addressed to media group

— media group and live streaming group have video people and equipment

— set designer would be better job description to get someone who designs backgrounds



— Allegra has HD on her livestream (



— we have contact info for media/livestream people if you don’t

— perfect request to post on


Matt (livestream)

— volunteered his information




Meeting Schedule



— is two meetings a week too many, since Weds is not well attended?

— amendment: more public work sessions, to solve “in the weeds” issues that are typical

— we have a space that we can get into 9–5 (the Commons), we should use it more

— FGA has their own set of keys, want to come up w/access policy

— we should use IRC chat room more



— since a bunch of core members are out of town, maybe we should wait to change things

— Sunday doesn’t conflict w/GA or Spokes meetings, Wednesday does

— would prefer more, shorter meetings



— Dana can’t come on Sundays

— we should have the 3rd floor of The Commons soon, as our own space

— does everyone know what IRC is?



— we’re tech ops, do we need to have in person meetings at all?



— Adium (free, works w/other IM), Colloquy (free), Linkinus (paid) are good clients


TAKEAWAY: we’ll try and use IRC more — nycga-techops is the chat room



Crowdsourced Funding Platform



— opensource kickstarter clone, ruby on rails app

— may be incompletely translated from Portuguese, someone (…) may hep

— may need tweaks

— Proposal: would like to launch evaluation instance of this on our Ruby server, come back in a week and see if it’s something we’d like to support

— movement wide, it seems there is pretty wide support for this (as response to Ben & Jerry and other people “buying” movement)

— concerns w/outside service that it might be a gatekeeper to protect corporate sponsors



— Christine from info is working on talking to Kickstarter, IndieGoGo (which takes less money)

— opinion: we’re OWS and we’ll go where we go, we don’t need to ask for permission



— we’re kind of building an brand for those kind of services

— concern: Civi has this kind of functionality, not as friendly (but fine with

— concern: Permabank has long had something like this in mind (but sense is that it’s not arriving soon, or maybe ever)



— migrating would be fine, if Permabank ever gets going… it’s been five months…



— most traffic to Kickstarter is direct, would expect same here

— if it’s successful, it will get more volunteers and support



— are there featured projects, who determines those?

— it sounds complicated, how are we going to support this?



— ideally there’s consensus based front page of posts

— it could pay for itself, through a specific campaign

— support for our projects is in proportion to visibility they have



— if we’re going to be in the business of money, we’re going to have to charge for that



— that would be blocked (taxation)


TAKEAWAY: People generally positive


ACTION ITEM: Tom will put up an instance, we’ll evaluate in a week




SIS (Office Space)



— laptops are scheduled to come down to SIS (38 Broadway) tomorrow

— talked about bringing over G5 to SIS, to help manage operations



— there’s a bunch of media stuff, and global rev; most of it is going to SIS

— a bunch of stuff is damaged, cords are missing, etc.

— need help fixing stuff



— will probably be at SIS putting in network for next month, just ask

— whoever has storage for G4s and G5s, Libby wants them out of there



— laptops are almost ready to go

— two are there, no one seems to know where other two are

— another netbook doesn’t have a cord, not clear if it works

— another two laptops, big and old but they do work

— also another tiny one that used to be Pea’s

— hasn’t had a chance to look at inventory systems yet



— is there any way to use serial numbers, etc, to track equipment? these are $250 laptops…

— SIS is currently on lockdown, it’s not going to be a library or computer bank



— we have the order information



— I’m putting network wherever these computers are… are we sure that we can use SIS? (Jake: no.)



— will talk to Steve (building manager) about long-term space at SIS

— is there any possibility of getting space at 388 (The Commons)?



— The Commons is not going to be an open space for us

— FYI: Charlotte’s place will be shut for a month, starting next month



— friendly proposal/amendment: let’s pool contacts on Etherpad, see if we can get space donated



— seems as if various working groups are getting space, but not sharing that



— let’s promote this as a community center, a common space



— how much space do we need?



— 15–18 desktops, plus printers, plus people…

— don’t do so well with doormen and lobbies, etc.



— storefront open 9–9 would be ideal

— set some expectations and policies when we launch the space



— friendly amendment: get and fix equipment, deploy it once we have a space

— some occupiers are not politically correct and friendly, we are on a thread at SIS



— definitely see need for space, especially for Design, Tech Ops, Outreach, would be game changer




Civi for Working Groups



— could we start w/report back, since many people are confused?

— everyone thinks that Civi is not ready yet



— Civi can send emails, is going to send the mass email on Tuesday

— a few working groups are on there already (have emails, not sure about admins)

— Outreach, Occupy Town Square, Tech Ops

— there is a technical process in place for adding working group, admin setup

— barriers are all nontechnical at this point: promoting to working groups, training, knowing who we can trust as admins

— Dana might know of something else that needs to be done



— it’s now on

— Drew and Matt L are working on theme to match

— is it named yet? it’s on contribute as a subdomain



— in mass email, let’s make it clear that Civi exists and is ready to use

— contribute sounds like a money system



— changing domain name might be tricky (Jake: not really)



— major concern is getting people trained in usage [major uptwinkles]



— generally people will use it to import email addresses, blast out message



— we need more time to discuss, but:

— REALLY need to have CiviCRM training meeting, have heard much demand



— Dana is planning on that, in a couple weeks doing training on Civi



— people can start using it before skin is up

— training can be done by David, Dana, Devin


Additional time granted to discuss domain for Civi



— what about unbranded, teaches them what CRM stands for (Constituent Relationship Management)

— should it be on or

— soon, aka now, and .org will be wanting instance



— it’s on because it’s for the New York occupation,

— Dana decided on this structure after talking to a lot of Civi experts

— there’s problems scaling past 100k emails, permissions and UI get complicated, we would quickly reach that if we had a national instance

— there’s nothing we would do with a national instance



— usually easier to start rollout in one spot, rollout to national

— can we determine if 100k or 1MM is the edge point of usability?



— questions about where national would live

— was going to be subdomains on, but we don’t trust them completely



— Greg and Dana are ha


CONSENSUS: use instead of (latter redirects to former)








— can we change point person, instead of chasing people who aren’t here?



— point of information on new process: instead of making a line, metro cards are now going to be given to a point person

— Dallas is a point person, he gives them to the group

— Shawn volunteers to be metro card point person (Evan and Shawn are finance point people)



— Ravi is current point person



— she hasn’t been to a tech ops meeting in two months, could we switch to someone who’s present more often?



— nominates Pea, who is often at meetings, not a point person for anything else



— agrees, has to figure out where and when to go


CONSENSUS: Pea is new point person for Metrocards









— Action item: make basic template for announcing each new tech ops project (announcement of features in Civi, GA, Twitter, training the following week, documentation)



— people feel like they’re being censored b/c the system crashes, or they’re suspicious b/c they don’t know about projects



— can we make sure that people know how to paste specific Google Plus code for their event, not the whole site?



— that’s a bug, it’s broken

— you have to do it manually


3 Responses to “Tech Ops Meeting Minutes 03/04/2012”

  1. Katherine A Flowers

    Pea contact me at 60 at 6pm-7:30 pm Tuesday or Thursday (until they run out) to pick up metro cards because of uncertainty about metro card point person I went by previous signed list. You can pick up as many as 5 cards if needed.

  2. Katherine A Flowers

    Pea contact me at 60 Wall at 6pm-7:30 pm Tuesday or Thursday (until they run out) to pick up metro cards because of uncertainty about metro card point person I went by previous signed list. You can pick up as many as 5 cards if needed.

  3. Katherine A Flowers

    Pea contact me at 60 Wall between 6pm-7:30 pm Tuesday or Thursday (until they run out) to pick up metro cards because of uncertainty about metro card point person I went by previous signed list. You can pick up as many as 5 cards if needed.