By Wendy Kenin @greendoula
Occupy Oakland Media Committee: Transparency and Organic Democracy
In just a few months, Occupy Oakland Media Committee has evolved into a pretty functional group of incredible volunteers. Formed at an Occupy Oakland GA in October, the Media Committee has provided press releases, organized press conferences and fielded press inquiries through communications systems routed from the Occupy Oakland website. The Media Committee has managed local livestreams, produced original blog articles, and developed an image library about Occupy Oakland, including the tentcamp, important meetings, the volunteers and community, the raids, the General Strike #N2, the tree sit, the teepee standoff, and the Port Shut Down #D12 #D13. The Media Committee has been collaborating with the other committees formed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly, such as the Facilitation Committee, the Children’s Village, Tactical Action Committee and event-specific media committees.
Going Social: The #OOMedia New Website and Network
Last week the Media Committee launched a new website and online social network to represent its work and interact with the public. The website http://hellaoccupyoakland.org/ has links to the Media Committee’s facebook, twitter, flickr and youtube pages. Each of these communications channels is being filled with timely and historic Occupy Oakland content generated by the Occupy Oakland Media Committee. Through these venues, the Media Committee is also sharing relevant information and records from news, citizens, organizational, and other occupy communities. The website is the home base for all the Media Committee interactive sites, and offers the opportunity to contribute media.
Making Flickr Work for the Occupy Oakland Media Committee
The flickr account for Occupy Oakland was first created with 4 images. Through the funky online communications systems that the Media Committee uses to plan and collaborate, I let the amazing committee member Benjamin Philips know that I had uploaded several hundred photos to my greendoula flickr account and would be happy to contribute them.
We needed to figure out the best way to present the work of the Occupy Oakland Media Committee’s photo content on flickr while interacting with other occupations and people on flickr. From my personal greendoula flickr account I explored the social options and found that a Group could be set up where Media Committee members who have their own personal accounts could share certain photos within the group.
Here are the considerations and simple steps I took to set up the #OOMedia flickr Group:
1. From the main menu bar at the top of my flickr account page, I clicked the down arrow on the left side of the Groups tab, and after the drop box appeared, I clicked Create a New Group.
2. From the 3 types of groups offered on the Create a Group page, I chose “Public, Invitation Only” so that I could begin our new system by inviting Media Committee members to share their pics in the Group from their flickr Photostreams.
3. I filled out the Group Name and Descriptions.
I chose #OOMedia for the Group name so that it would be easy to remember, as well as interactive when copied as a hashtag to twitter from wherever it is shared, like facebook, the website or other searchable platform. The name is also good because we want people to remember to tag posts #OOMedia when they want their own Occupy Oakland media content to be found. The more impressions of #OOMedia, the better.
For the description, I wrote out “Occupy Oakland Media Committee” in a brief explanatory introduction that also identified some of our other committee language, including our twitter handle and two most common hashtags. I added the Occupy Oakland Media Committee website. With this information in our description, a viewer can connect and share across our networks.
#OccupyOakland #OO content.
Managed by the @OOMedia Occupy Oakland Media Committee.
4. In the last set-up steps, I chose the Group page settings. We will be experimenting with preferences such as whether to make the flickr Group discussions public or private. For now I have the discussions set as private, since the committee sometimes goes through lengthy idea-sharing and dialogues before making decisions on public content and systems. I left the group member titles in their default settings for simplicity’s sake.
5. Now that the #OOMedia Group was set up, I began inviting Occupy Oakland Media Committee members whose flickr accounts I knew, as well as shared the Group link with the committee via email. I checked my flickr inbox to make sure I wasn’t missing any requests to join the Group from committee members. I assigned appropriate group roles to certain members.
6. From the #OOMedia Group Pool page, I began sharing photos from my personal Occupy Oakland set – 6 at at time as permitted. This process put my attention on sharing with the Group the best of the pics that I had on flickr.
Using flickr uploadr, I had already uploaded, named, described, tagged, and organized several months worth of Occupy Oakland photo batches on flickr, using a similar lingo methodology to the Group profile description. The photos in my set Occupy Oakland #occupyoakland #oo #ows #99percent #solidarity have only a few variations of titles made mostly of hashtags and searchable, identifiable wording. I generally copy the same titles into the tag section and add a few extra. I make most of the language re-purposable and multi-purpose in order to minimize the amount of work and maximize the impact. I use the description sections to document any notable specifics, including the date.
Occupy Oakland knows well that as with all new innovations and even with the old, testing and shifting takes place as ideas mature, efficiency evolves, and best practices emerge. All our systems are in alpha or beta testing stages, and they will surely keep changing.
Reoccupation of Oscar Grant Plaza is set to take place soon, and I look forward to all the volunteers and people sharing, serving, coexisting, dreaming, defending, and celebrating in a central community garden environment again. I will not abandon these beautiful people when they are doing great things for our country and being violently targeted by federal and local militarism. The occupy movement was a long time coming, and in a short period has achieved tremendous advances in society’s consciousness and sense of accountability and responsibility.
As we grow, we can all be searching and hashtagging #OO #OccupyOakland for local work, and #OWS #99Percent #Occupy #Decolonize #Solidarity to link with global networks in this digitized, decentralized, democratized revolution. (We can thank the anarchists and social media for these decolonizing progressions!)
Since you’re reading this post, you’re part of it. I hope the flickr setup process and social media strategies I shared here are helpful to you. As an individual participant and a member of the Occupy Oakland Media Committee, I look forward to continuing our discussion. Please share your ideas, and let us know if you have any tips or material to share. Tag #OOMedia – you’re it!