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

david sangurima sangu at igc.org
Fri Apr 18 20:32:00 PDT 2008

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Open Media Boston, a local participatory news website, 
launches at www.openmediaboston.org
Date: 	Fri, 18 Apr 2008 11:41:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: 	<jpramas at igc.org>
Reply-To: 	openmedia at inbox.com
To: 	bsf-general at lists.riseup.net

[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

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

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

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!

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