[act-ma] Open Media Boston, a local participatory news website, launches at www.openmediaboston.org

Jason Pramas jpramas at igc.org
Thu Apr 3 13:02:33 PDT 2008

[Please forward widely.]

To everyone in the Boston area progressive community,

After months of development and testing by a few dozen folks, Open Media 
Boston, the new progressive news, views and arts web portal, has just 
launched and is now ready for your participation.

Please check us out today at http://www.openmediaboston.org !

*The Basics*

Aiming to cover Boston's community, political and arts scenes using a 
balance of social media (anyone can publish to our Open Forum) and 
editorial control (we have an edited front page), OMB is easy to use. 
See the basic instructions below this message for more information, or 
just follow the instructions throughout the website.

We have designed OMB with the Boston area progressive community in mind, 
and we'll work hard to keep a strong Boston focus - even as we discuss 
issues of national and international import with each other.

We have also built OMB for the typical web user. Everything on the site 
is as straightforward as we can make it.

*More Details*

As far as who can participate, we're interested in the widest possible 
user base. You don't have to be an professional journalist, artist or 
producer to use OMB - although it's great if you fit that bill, and we 
want to become a hub for solid journalism and creative content. Anyone 
who can view OMB should find it straightforward to contribute comments 
and content to OMB.

Staff at progressive non-profits, community groups, arts organizations, 
religious groups, and labor unions of all kinds are invited to submit 
material that might normally be ignored or even considered press 
releases by mainstream commercial media. OMB is a home for Boston area 
progressive advocates and activists. And we can all agree that an 
informed advocate is a successful advocate. But people can't act on 
information they don't know about. So if your group has something going 
on, we encourage you to get in the habit of posting content about it to 
OMB - especially timely coverage of events that have just happened.

Impassioned individuals can also share their work with the world on OMB. 
You have some thoughts on what's going on around you? Let's hear them.

Yet, you don't have to be traditionally "political" or even an activist 
to submit material to OMB.  The arts (openly political or not) are 
important to us, and we love reviews/criticism, but we'll also publish 
original works (yes, including music videos). People that like to 
produce content about food,  technology, hobbies or whatever, should 
know that OMB is a general interest publication ... and we will not 
leave out content on the fun, clever or just plain "normal" (or plain 
wacky) parts of life in the service of our broad left agenda.

Plus, OMB is genuinely multimedia. So video and audio producers take 
heart. We'd like to see as much video and audio content as text and 
image content on the site.

And if you've never done any kind of publishing before, fear not. We 
plan to hold public trainings periodically to help Boston community 
members make full use of OMB. We can arrange to do training workshops 
for your organization or faith group on request. We also plan to have 
special training events and run internship programs for Boston area 
youth on an ongoing basis.

If you're worried that OMB will allow online debate and discussion to 
turn ugly, don't be. All users must register their accounts in their own 
name with enough personal information to allow us to verify that they 
are who they say they are. So there won't be anonymous "trolls" coming 
on the site to abuse people. Anonymous user accounts are not allowed. 
OMB editors will always be keeping a lookout for people that abuse the 
site's terms of service.

Finally, you keep all rights to your work. OMB does not steal people's 
rights like many other online publications, and we offer a choice of 
several licenses for your work - from traditional copyright to all the 
flavors of Creative Commons licenses and more.

Anyhow, we hope you like our new site. There are many more innovations 
on the way in the coming weeks. One of the first of those will be our 
donations page; so don't be shy about supporting our nascent effort with 
some funds to keep us moving forward. If you are ready to make a 
donation right away, just email me directly and we'll chat. Same goes 
for any questions or comments.

Thanks to everyone who has helped make OMB a reality. And thanks to all 
of you that work hard every day to make the Boston area a better place 
than it has been before. This site is for all of us.


Jason Pramas
Open Media Boston

*How to Use Open Media Boston*

1) Viewing the latest coverage in 6 sections (news, opinion, arts, 
editorial, living, and tech) is a simple matter of going to the site's 
front page (http://www.openmediaboston.org).

2) To add comments or publish your own content, just get a User Account 
by clicking the "Create New Account" link on the front page and filling 
out the registration form.

3) After you submit the registration form, you'll get a confirmation email.

4) Then go back to OMB, log in to your new account in the front page 
login area using the username and password you chose, and you're ready 
to go.

5) Once you are logged in, you can add your comments to the bottom of 
any published content in any section of OMB. But even better, you can 
publish your own content in text, image, audio or video formats by 
clicking the "Create Content" link and filling out the content 
submission form.

6) When your content is submitted it will go to our Open 
Forum--reachable for viewing by clicking the big red "Open Forum" button 
on the front page.

7) Editors will monitor all submitted content, and promote material that 
meets basic editorial, journalistic and production standards to the 
front page. All other content will remain in the Open Forum.

That's it. Hope to see you all on OMB soon!

More information about the Act-MA mailing list