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Portland Indymedia Introduces New Cities List

The indymedia network has grown enormously since its inception in November 1999. Starting with one site in Seattle, that eventually became the global site to what is now over 160 indymedia outlets around the world. All this expansion has left little time for developing global standards and some things common have lacked in upgrading. One of these things is the indymedia cities list.

This list shows on every indymedia site that exists, usually on the left hand column or at the very bottom of the site. As indymedia collectives go through the new-imc process, they get added to the cities list. Until recently, little work has been done to categorize and make that list reflect the diversity of the indymedia network.

portland indymedia volunteers have taken the autonomy of indymedia to a new level and have reworked the cities list that appears on the portland.indymedia.org site. There is no push to make this reorganization a global standard. This is just a breath of fresh air that will hopefully spread to give other indymedia's the comfort to do similar things, and help advance and ultimately define the portland indymedia cities list.

The cities list has been broken up heavily to make it easier to know where a particular imc is in the world. The old categories included: Projects, Topics, Africa, Canada, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, South Asia, United States, West Asia, and Process. Just under the header of 'global imc network,' we have added the syndication and regional sites of us indymedia, oceania indymedia, and uk indymedia. Originally only the global site, www.indymedia.org appeared there.

For this cities list, the basic idea was to make the categories more defining of an area and ultimately align indymedias that would be working through similar regional issues, instead of continuing the socio-political lines that have always defined the cities list.

The 'Projects' header has been changed to Working Groups in this incantation, as those are groups working together on particular mediums. The 'Topics' category, the newest addition to the global cities list, has remained the same. However, an upcoming topic imc, the queer imc has been added. Nothing has changed with the 'Africa' header. Instead of Asia being defined in three different categories (West, South, and East), they are now grouped under one 'Asia' header. The 'Oceania' header has also remained the same.

The most striking changes have appeared under the 'Europe,' 'Canada,' 'United States,' and 'Latin America' headers. Europe, which used to just have many imc's grouped under this header has been broken up into six different regions. This is based geographically, and all geographic information came from wikipedia.org. The headers are include: Eastern, Western, Central, Northern, Southern, and UK. It is felt that this will help readers have an idea of where they are visiting. However, it has been said that Europe is much more complex than this and the describing headers are used both as geographic and political terms in Europe.

The headers of 'Canada,' 'United States,' and 'Latin America' have disappeared. Latin America became 'South America,' 'Carribbean,' and parts of the 'Turtle Island' header. Turtle Island is a name that people indigenous to North America used to describe the continent, it is employed here as an attempt to break free from the political divides and the lines on the maps that exist. Folks that use portland indymedia, especially those from Cascadia (which is who the site is geared towards), are aware of bioregionalism. Cascadians, and users of portland indymedia, have been calling for a bioregional 'state' and with that in mind, the 'Turtle Island' part of the portland indymedia cities list has been broken up into bioregions where available and into geographic regions where information about bioregions could not be found. This is an attempt to seed the idea that it is possible to destroy the lines that divide us and break free from the state control that defines us. The information on bioregions and the grouping of Mexico, Canada, and the US together has been called into question. This is a work in progress, feedback and suggestions are welcome.

This is a brief explanation of the different headers and where the information was obtained to define things in such a way. All of the information was culled from wikipedia.org, and most specifically from the regions listed on the US Regions page. The headers used include: Appalachia, Cascadia, Great Lakes, Great North Woods, Great Plains, Inter Mountain, Mexico, Mississippi Delta, South East and South West. The ones without links were not easily definable, so they were grouped in geographical context.

This is a work in progress, suggestions are welcome. Please add your comments to this article, if you have any suggestions for ways it should be changed. Please also offer some kind of reference for why you think the change should be made. Creating this new cities list took over 15 hours of research and compilation work. Much thought was put into this, and it would be appreciated if as much thought would be taken into offering critiques.

homepage: homepage: http://portland.indymedia.org

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yay 15.Feb.2005 15:30

me

this looks great. good work. now if only imc supported rss, y'all'd be set.

RSS 15.Feb.2005 15:49

pdxtech

RSS has been available for months now though it hasn't been particularly well promoted. In Firefox you'll see an RSS button on the lower right of the front page and all category pages. This will contain 3 feeds: one for features, one for the newswire with summary, and one for the newswire with full content (which is mainly meant for syndication between websites). If you're using another browser or RSS aggregator try these links:

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/features.rss
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/newswire-lite.rss
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/newswire-full.rss

RSS? It does 15.Feb.2005 15:53

Sergeant Norman Pilcher

If you go to the main page and "view source" in your browser -- right click or something -- you will see.....

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="portland imc features" href=" http://portland.indymedia.org/en/features.rss"/>
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="portland imc newswire (summary only)" href=" http://portland.indymedia.org/en/newswire-lite.rss"/>
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="portland imc newswire (full content)" href=" http://portland.indymedia.org/en/newswire-full.rss"/>

Using Firefox, I have "live bookmarks" based on these. Works great.

Why this feature is not advertised i do not know...


But while I'm here, this new way to organize things seems to be really a very old way. An indigenous way that makes perfect sense. Love it.

Whateverrr. 15.Feb.2005 19:32

Meh.

Either organization structure is cool with me.

asdf;lkj 15.Feb.2005 22:50

asdf;lkj

I'm completely down with the new format. Not that there's anything at all wrong with the standard version, but I think it's time for the IMC as a whole to progress and evolve, and casting different regions of the world into their own autonomous-like sections is kinda neat. Artistic at very least, especially with the American Indian regional-terminology.
I agree that it's not at all necessary, but it certainly can't hurt any. I dig it.

Spokane Indymedia? 16.Feb.2005 14:41

Ex-Wash'toner

Does anyone know how I can help Spokane get an indy site of its own?

mixed bag 16.Feb.2005 16:36

muskrat

Some aspects of the re-organization make sense, such as including the projects and the regional sites. Some of them are needlessly confusing. For instance, it's not going to be immediately obvious in *which* region in Europe a particularly country has been classified. And with all due respect to Native Americans and bioregionalists, I think the way you've broken down the North American sites is going to make it really consuing for those who are not among the initiated--it will make it more difficult for people new to the left checking out the site for the first time to figure out where to look for various IMCs. It won't make it impossible, but it will make it needlessly hard. Heck, it'll make it hard even for committed leftists who aren't familiar with the whole bioregional breakdown.

" Great Work." 16.Feb.2005 16:47

Give n Take.

This site is really Great Work. This obviously took an amount of time n commitment too finish. Portland, is a nice place too find this at. " 5 " / " 8 ".

actually I find it much easier 16.Feb.2005 17:05

regional encounter

After comparing the portland list to the regular list, such as that on  http://www.indymedia.org I think this way is much more intuitive. This way at least gives you some idea where the imc's are located because you are sure to recognize at least 1 of the other imc's in the region. I mean, on the old list all I would know is that thunder bay is somewhere in the us. Even if I were to live in thunder bay I might not know where it is but I would see the names of imc's that are relatively close. It's the same with Europe. Looking at a long list tells me nothing about where a city is located but if I know I'm looking for stories from a particular country I'm sure to recognize the imc's in that region. For example, say I'm looking for stories from an action in france. I don't know exactly what all the french imc's are but I can locate paris and nice on the cities list and from there find the other french imc's.

I'd suggest trying to find information using the other list compared to this one. I'm sure this one might not be easier for everyone but it is for me.

j 16.Feb.2005 17:46

hey

I'm so glad you started this process- I think its crucial in making movements. I think it's crucial to recognize that this will be a continous process of creating popular identity- like I know not all of Colorado is "great plains" and Idaho is not necessarily less great plains than colorado and more intermountain. But I guess as more IMCs start, and people define their regoinal identities more, things will become more filled out. Great move, PDX IMC!

secession 16.Feb.2005 18:55

swws

check out the site  http://www.secession.net

it may help add to this new concept.

the cities list 16.Feb.2005 19:29

imcista

hey all, thanks for the comments.

two things. one, thunder bay is actually in what is currently considered 'canada'. two, i just added (ca) and (mx) to the imcs in canada and mexico. i didnt add it for us ones. however, i thought about it. what do people think about that?

"think"? glad u asked --- 17.Feb.2005 02:28

Dance

I think it's logical to be "geocentric" or "nationcentric" about the U.S. That's where Portland and Oregon are. It shouldn't be necessary to include "US" to identify US sites for most folks using Portland's site.

Leaving "US" off the United States' sites makes the Canadian and Mexican abbreviations stand out far better, and therefore more useful.

(When I saw (Ca), I first thought it meant "California", then I realized it meant "Cascadia". I like that you've made the Ca and Mx a different color from the city names, as it implies that it's different or separate from the city names. It's adding the nation-state abbreviation to the bioregional organization of the list; I think the way you've got it now does pretty well ADD the national (Canada and Mexico) abbreviations as clarifications, rather than MIXING UP the two systems together.)

I'd probably add the country abbreviations next to the city names in the other parts of the world, too. (The sites named for their country are self-identified. So, again, the lack of an abbreviation would distinguish a site from those with. In this case, rather than distinguishing Canadian and Mexican from the unlabelled US sites, it would distinguish the sites named for cities (and, in some cases, being one of numerous sites in that country) from the sites named for countries (and, generally, having only one site in the country.)

For the most part, I find this new system to be at least as useful and easy to use as the old way, and more informative/educational. (I agree with Regional Encounter's comments, and with Hey's.) To create a new paradigm, it's essential that we THINK in that paradigm. I'm not completely committed to the bioregional version of governmental/economic/social organization, but if you want me to be, you'd better keep presenting it to me rather than reinforcing the old paradigm.

re: what do people think about that? 17.Feb.2005 02:36

suggestion

As for your question, I think it's fine. Perhaps could the different regions be grouped to one another, instead of alphabetical. Like Tennessee at the end of the Appalacia list, and the next group being the Mississipi one, to show a flow between geographies?

see the images I placed as a comment on this related post?

just noticed the revamp of the IMC world list along bioregional lines...
author: nifty
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/02/310784.shtml

"have been calling for a bioregional 'state'...." 17.Feb.2005 04:02

author

on the quote above: "Cascadians, and users of portland indymedia, have been calling for a bioregional 'state'...."

Related links:

Title: TOWARD A BIOREGIONAL STATE: People Have Right to Stop Ecological Tyranny & Make Democracy
Author: web
Date: 2003.12.25 12:52
Description: "Presently we are trapped within these unecological democracies that are underwriting and protecting this process of politically sponsored ecological degradation. How do we instead explain to others that the state has an Ecological Contract with its people, and if such a contract is neglected, they can overthrow it as an ecological tyranny?" . . . ". . .a people's self-interest is geographically specific and protective of a particular geography. . . .Citizen feedback is always in and from particular geographic spaces and human-environmental contexts. To create the additional checks and balances for an ecologically sound developmentalism is merely to latch onto and facilitate an already-existing affirmative feedback from watersheds/bioregions that is ignored though waiting to be formally organized. This is done by aligning political feedback as closely as possible to a direct feedback from particular geographically specific areas into the state. My [first] suggestion is through watershed based vote districting."
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/12/277248.shtml

Toward a Bioregional State: website and book
 http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~mwhitake/bioregionEC.htm

Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of Electoral Reforms designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e.g. water quality), toward developmental paths that are locally prioritized and tailored to different areas for their own specific interests of sustainability and durability. This movement is variously called bioregional democracy, watershed cooperation, or bioregional representation, or one of various other similar names—all of which denote democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions--while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national state.
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioregional_State

Barcelona? 19.Feb.2005 07:02

mayler

Where is Barcelona imc on your list?

I don't care for it 20.Feb.2005 17:18

PHiZ

I think the US reclassifications are unnecessary. "Great north woods" is ambiguous and doesn't have the brand-recognition that NorthEast has.

It's cute, but it isn't communicative.

-PHiZ

indybay, but no sf.indy? 21.Feb.2005 15:48

coaster

i found indybay.org but no link to sf.indymedia.org

given that there was a split, this "appears" to be taking sides. it could be that sf was overlooked, but we don't know.

i can deal with the different groupings, but how about letting an imc choose its own? rather than pdx imc defining another imc's ragion or group?

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