[HacktionLab] rough summary of the meeting

bou bou at aktivix.org
Mon Nov 21 23:17:25 UTC 2011

On 18/11/11 22:20, Ben Green wrote:
> http://hacktivista.net/hacktionlab/index.php/IRC_logs_for_TTFA2_meeting
> Summary on the way soon.

Here it is:


Sorting out how links to web documentation

Need links because we do want to refer people to web addresses to
complement/complete information. We want to link to sites we may
produce, like our own wiki, and to external sites too, like floss manuals.

We had links in the current booklet.
the problems:
1. the links in the old book pointed to flossmanuals, then flossmanuals
moved the links, the it doesn't work
2. the links in the old one were inconsistent, some named, some random

The methods considered for links so far are: the imc.li shortener (what
indy.im uses) and the hacktivista.net domain
the booki shortened links were not really short and ended up not working
ideas mentioned:
- we could be printing QR codes instead of shortened links - but text
urls are needed as well for those without smartphones
- there could be a permanent url somewhere in the booklet saying "if you
type in a url and it doesn't work, check here"
- could use our own redirection service as redirects.hacktivista.net -
sounds okay but is a bit long - if we have all links in the books based
off of redirects.hacktivista.net
- could link to something like a wiki or something that looks a bit
nicer - like a blog?
- we want to be able to edit our own collection of links to the best
piece of documentation we know about
- we want to use word based links e.g.
- we would still link to sites we don't control, like floss manuals, t
if we disagreed with anything, we could move the link to point
elsewhere, or if they moved content, we could still follow it, because
we can change where they are redirected to
(who is we was not clarified) for instance
http://redirects.hacktivista.net/blog-security can be redirected anywhere
- we can use numbered footnotes, the footer containing the full link
- we need to pring shorter links easier to remember and type
- we don't want to use corporate services for links or shorteners
- imc.li  as a shortener - what indy.im uses - which could redirect to
hacktivista.net,  which could then redirect to the page we want to
actually link to...

to control our redirects, we also need to keep checking the targets so
we can change the redirect if the thing we've linked to stop being good
for any reason. bash script       using wget and diff could do the job?
would need volunteers to do it

apologies if repetition: proposal is to use imc.li as a shortner thant
points to        redirects.hacktavsita.net

we  may get another layer of complexity but not for the user hopefully
and it is the least complex of all layers we can think of
so we'd have:
http://imc.li/blog-security links to
Review of current quality levels. (BG)
Some would describe the current quality levels as medium high. Others
that they vary between pieces, hope is to have a review of it all
hoping to dish out articles to people and get them to take a share of
the reviews

is where the current working version is

Criteria for reviewing

- who the target audience is and what we are trying to convey (agreed to
be completely for beginners)
- as short as possible (from the Style Guide)
- Articles should be introductions, not step-by-step instructions (also
from the Style Guide) (detailed instructions will go on the web)
- limited to being about software technology.
- Focus should be on helping people to approach these topics, not
dictatorial nor scare-mongering.
- need to be less charitable with each other's content and more strict
about de-geeking the text/s (some feedback has been that people couldn't
understand all of it)

- the book would say why people might do something then links to how to
do it

- need to have access not just to edit the book also what people see on
the links - alwasy use publicly editable resources on our links

- prefer real life examples rather than imagine user story; there are
now plenty

- we'll take to some useful [potential] idiots and feed back - to make
sure even potential idiots understand every page
- we like current structure: user story, explanation and links to useful
tools (not total agreement about ditching the user story, just make it
as short as possible)

- need a critique of each chapter, of what is currently there, brief,
and with positive suggestions for change, without personal comments, on
the wiki. for instance "this is too long but I don't know how to cut it

Proposal for changing the title: "Tech Tools for Activism", rather than
"... for Activists". as these tools are really for everyone, and for
people to identify as 'activists' may be counterproductive as it
propagates the idea that political activity is just for a special group
of people.

Agree / restate what the target audience is for TTfA (penguin)
people who want to use IT / tech tools in their political activity

Agree / restate what we are trying to convey (e.g. why to do
something, how do do something) (penguin)
this point seems covered above

Should each article have a common structure? If so, what? (penguin)

Doesn't look like we are scrapping user journeys completely
just want them real and shorter and  with links to full story
start each section with a bullet list that summarises what the piece is
then have the real life story, then the article, the 'why this is an issue'
then a section called 'what next' with links; the what next is what you
do about it

ulleted intro -> real life story -> why is this an issue & what you can
do -> what next (find out more & how to do it)

<BenG> Should there be more kittens in the booklet? (tabby)
<BenG> =====================================
we want more pictures in the booklet, high res pics
at least on kitten in the booklet, perhaps it could be kitten themed

Develop task list to move forward & assign roles as far as possible
beth proof-reading & review a couple of chapters
BenG quick review of current content still and will continue to look at
publishing it; publicise our style guide enhancenments and write them up
properly in the notes section with Scribus and automatic porting from
FLOSS manuals
bou proof read
@m3shrom inicial rewrite  on 'uploading media' - 'status net' -
'anonymous blogging'
marker review a couple of chapters too.
penguin putting existing stuuf into a more common format as discussed

People who want to review please just pick them as you see fit, just
watch if there's a review on the wiki already, and if there is, go for
another chapter. And if you are going to take one on, maybe write a not
on the wiki about it under that relevant section

we could actually start fitting the current articles into the new style
guide we've discussed

we can get in touch via the list if we need to get together again

most of the to-do list has been done in this meeting. more to-do-s:
sorting out the redirection things
Make a resources list
Make a participants list
bradford in jan
explain how the redirection works so we can all change all the links in
the booklet?
BenG and mike will continue to look at redirection things
BenG publish the cat/kitten related links soon

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