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Diasporean news reader, notices, etc

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GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

I am opening this thread so that we can further discuss Omanba's idea of a Diasporean news reader. (here is her post)

As it stands, it's been suggested to be a site of various topical news items from various countries in the Diaspora. This can include emerging technologies, etc.

I think we can take it a step further to use it to report news or notices about Africans in the Diaspora doing groundbreaking research, winning awards, doing savvy entrepreneurial things, etc.
There is definitely room for news too.

I am interested in working on this. Thinfox already introduced as to slashdot which should be a good starting block. Concerning r's post about rss feeds, we can have our own rss feed - the idea is to report interesting news specific and interesting to the community and being original (no be so?)

Tsooboi!

AttachmentSize
GH_ACT_690_Copyright_Act.pdf513.82 KB

Comments

r

rss should be the way

Perhaps the most appropriate start could be a volunteer organisation such as indymedia (http://www.indymedia.org). At the moment there are only five or so African states that contrbute, so I would suggest that a Ghana indymedia news portal is developed.

Note the use of rss. We could introduce a little innovation here and:
1. offer indymedia content in local languages in addition to English for the Ghana portal.
2. offer format for mobile phones. I suggest mobile phone because the mobile phone is more prevalent than the pc in Ghana, in general.
3. By using rss, we could develop content coded for both pc and mobile phone, and ensure design for viewing via browsers such as minimo and opera.

We should also think about commercialisation, so that businesses in Ghana can benefit from this news platform. For example we should promote existing news organisations to offer their content in rss. With luck this could provide a business opportunity for a suitably skilled entrepreneurial Ghanaian. Suppose the newspaper business and financial times is contacted to request news content in rss (or even better a Ghanaian programmer offer to create the rss content for a fee). Content is syndicated and any potential advertising revenue (adverts on the pc/phone browser) is shared.

thinfox

re:rss should be the way

rss by itself is too small of a project to sustain itself in the long, which is something a tsooboi project must be able to do once it has taken off. i believe something like indymedia and slashdot is what we're after - a community driven site where news source could come in from all source and once they're there, we push them out to our users by rss, mailboxes or having them visit the site.

OMANBA

SLASH DOT is better

Moreover RSS hasn't got the USER SUBMITTED AND EDITOR-EVALUATED properties that SLASH DOT has. Which in the case of this new project is much needed so web master can edit, accept or reject content sent to him.
Syndication in RSS is also too selective at the users end as the user only gets what they ticked as favourites topics. What we are aiming for is a set content for all.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

r

let us make comparisons

Seems like it's indymedia vs slashdot.

We need to summarise the advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches (unless someone else proposes other considerations of course) within this post. Then I would suggest to the managers of this site that some sort of poll is offered to all members (one member, one vote). If two systems are being considered voting could be by a simple majority. More than two systems, perhaps introduce single transferable vote.

One point I would like to make about rss the main reason for its popularity is exactly its complete control by the user. Users can configure when, how often and where content is to be delivered to them.

With rss, users enjoy selecting only content they deem of interest, not what some editor judges to be interest.

Set content is too much like the traditional school of journalism. The web re-writes the rules...

However, the first stage is to create the content; as mentioned above, there is nothing wrong with offering users all options of mailing lists, rss etc.

OMANBA

Webmaster's prerogative

The web master or whoever is at the top hierachy of this site should have the final say. Afterall, he is going to be at the extreme end getting things organised and whatever he feels is viable is what we need to go with.

What's more, we will need somebody at the helm of affairs whether we like it or not at the editorial end. We cannot just flood the Newsreader page with all submitted items just for the sake of it. We need a controlled flow of information. That doesn't mean one cannot still be selective with what one wants to read.
And i wouldn't call the person 'some editor' because whoever has been able to collate our current Newreader is equally wise enough to rise up to the occasion of what is good or not for the Diasporean Newsreader. All we need is to submit the content and trust in his ability and wisdom.
Or perhaps somebody else with equal abilities can also come on board and help with this if need be.

We are dealing with submitted items in this instance and in view of the fact that they are predominantly topical issues, there are bound to be instances where say two or three people from America submit the same thing. In this case some sort of elimination process needs to come in. The items also need to be formatted so various Topics of interest are represented on any given day. This and many more are reasons why we need somebody in control of what goes on the page.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

OMANBA

COPYRIGHTS

Dear Abocco. I presume you will be moderating this project? In which case may i suggest we dig deep and give out a little info on copyright rules pertaining to possible contents from sources which we might submit. Just so we are all aware of duplicating news items, write ups and stories in the right way without stepping on anybody's toes.
Basically, just a little educational moment before the project takes off. What do you think?

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

paa.kwesi

I think the RSS approach is

I think the RSS approach is probably the more realistic approach given that most of the people who will be reading the news (Diaspora) are not on the ground where they'd like news from. This means that, at least for starters, we should aim at simply aggregating the news from other sources.

Once the news has been aggregated, the second stage will be to allow for community-response (voting, and comments).

I have a few ideas on how to do this, and I'd think automating everything (content search and posting) will greatly save labor. I made a demo on my local computer just to demonstrate to myself this weekend and the results are interesting. The automated system has 2 main issues -- how to correctly classify incoming stories (humans can do this well) and how to avoid duplicates of the same story (the same event from two different sources versus the same event over two different timescales, e.g. for a developing news item). The copyright issue can be sidestepped by paraphrasing/summarizing an article (like slashdot does) and linking to the original article. I wrote a little summarizer script that automatically compresses the story also to interesting effect :)

paa.kwesi

and yes, I like the pushout

and yes, I like the pushout by email idea very much. I'm dependent on email and getting news that way too will be magical! Just that I haven't come across a sensible way of implementing this--you either get too much email, or too little (so that before you know it the filla is old filla) from existing systems. At the bottom of this of course is that these systems have no way of knowing what is relevant to me at any moment in time--they can't beat humans at this yet :(

OMANBA

Re: RSS approach

Things are getting too complicated. The last thing we want is to isolate other forum members and visitors for want of Technical or IT know-how. The simpler the project, the better the participation from all members and the easier it is for our targeted readers.

The whole idea for a diasporean news is about duplicating topical issues from all over using forum members as representatives or correspondents in this matter. I wasn't expecting anything more than a similar thing like we have on our current newsreader (an additional newreader on the existing page) but this time it will be a Diasporean one. All this talk about RSS SYNDICATION is bringing some sort of selective acceptance into focus and that is not viable.

My idea was focused on a more simple approach:
1. Forward a topical News item from your end to webmaster
2. If it is a publication like a newspaper or magazine which hasn't got a web link, duplicate it or scan and send it as a file to webmaster.
3. If it is to do with a function or project, report it as you would do in a blog or entry and forward it to webmaster.
At webmasters end, various articles are formatted and put on the diasporean news page and we get a representation and a cross sectional news reel from all over the Diaspora.
Why am i saying this? Because we musn't lose sight of the idea that our first and foremost aim is to give information hitherto unattainable and secondly we want this project to bring more people here to this site. Its not about sending things to peoples mail boxes and stuff; we want people to log on here and read and participate and broaden our member base.
And here is the best thing of all...by having a diasporean newsreader we have set the pace. A lot of people will be flocking on here once the word gets around so they can read a broad spectrum of world news than they would normally get.
We are also going to be a link for the press in Ghana as they have no correspondents in our various countries of residence and are limited by the number of things they can report on in terms of international affairs. Every time they report any of our stories we get a mention or a link to this site.
The idea that this site is a cut above the rest and that we only deal with the serious issues will come into play and who knows; after we have gotten bigger and better recognition we can form a lobby group and send joint proposals to parliament and the powers that be now and again on issues affecting our people.

P.S: We will still need to know about copyright laws. Slashdot is okay in terms of web links, but where we need to duplicate newspapers and magazines and reports we will need to be mindful of these. A small blog or notice detailing what and what not to do will keep us all well informed and ready for the challenge ahead. Tsooboi!

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

paa.kwesi

Ah, ok, I got carried away

Ah, ok, I got carried away then :) For copyright laws I think as long as we aim to criticize/discuss the content and we don't attempt to gain financially from the content, or pass it off as our own, we can use it freely (under US law, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use; and under some Commonwealth laws, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_dealing) as fair use content. Within our use as a public-interest group it's totally ok (of course if the copyright holder actually shows up and objects to the use then we have to take it down). Let's cross that bridge though when we get there...

If it becomes commercialized (which as HomeFront chair I want to see happen;) ) then it's worth scratching heads over copyright (which depends on where the commercial entity has legal status).

r

ill advised

I'll be very surprised to know of any credible media business without an internet web link. Remember, the web fundamentally changes the rules of information dissemination...

Scan paper documents? I doubt if many people are going to bother to use a scanner. Personally I definitely would not accept scanned images of news articles into my e-mail inbox because of potential attack (and is precisely why my e-mail is configured to strip out images by default). Alternatively, if scanned images of paper news articles are posted to a web site, who pays and manages for the additional bandwidth compared to html (a weak argument admittedly, hehehe)? One benefit of this web site is the clean interface and minimal use of graphics which slow down performance (a good argument, I think).

Those who choose to dismiss the benefits of future technologies such as rss are myopic. I was initially sceptical about the rss format but after research and noticable growth in its usage, I could ignore it no longer. For those ignorant of rss, go and learn about it because knowledge never killed anyone. :)

Innovation brings efficiency; that is why at least points 1. and 3. can be achieved via rss to name but one technology.

I question whether information hitherto is unavailable. Unaware? Perhaps.

The 'web portal' business model has been tried and failed. Yahoo vs Google is a classic business story; the former thought lots of relevant content would attract readers and hence advertisers (and hence money). Google arrived with something innovative (i.e. search algorithms) and blew the competition away. My advice to GhanaThink, continue with the mission statement and promoting innovative ideas like the localisation project; the right clientele will embrace the web site.

I had thought myself about the idea of some sort of lobby activity by this foundation. May I also suggest that the web site owners give some thought to developing this idea further. One word of warning, I think that effective lobbying demands experts in respective fields. If Ghanathink were to write a letter to the ministry of education, say about nursery schools, the writers of the letter must be verified as being experts in their field of knowledge. Such a stance would establish credibility for Ghanathink.

As for copyright, this is neatly handled by rss syndication!

And for those who are interested to write and donate their own foreign news articles, distribute via creative commons licence.

OMANBA

Your opinion counts

I wouldn't say you got carried away Paa. All i am asking for is simplicity when charting out a course of implementation for the sake of the majority and something that will heighten the member base and participation on here. If i may be frank, the traffic on here is low compared to other sites. Its bad enough as it is getting people to get into conferencing on here. We go for days without topics moving and some dont even get replied to. There are days when its like a ghost town here. The last thing you want to do is send things to mail boxes...people wont log on here. My objection to RSS syndication is only based on the dissemination of the news and the fact that slashdot has a lot more to offer in terms of this project, but not in its entirety as a technology.
I am glad you agree that at some point copyright rules may apply. If you want to cross that bridge later rather than sooner that is equally okay.

I am also not ignorant to the fact that media houses have web links (as mentioned above) but i do happen to have the foresight to know that news articles on the web are not a full representation of all the topical issues happening, so we still got a lot to offer. Our respective local and national newspapers, current affairs, events and stories on certain important issues that might be news worthy cannot all be found on the web so a reputable media house no matter how well equipped they are with web links to international stories will still find themselves wanting. Anyway, just my humble opinion.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

thinfox

Re:rss

the way i see it rss is just another way to get information to your readers. if we choose to go with rss alone, we'll still need a way for the webmaster to store,add, and maintain submitted articles. i'm sure we don't expect the webmaster to be sitting on the console entering sql commands or using excel spreadsheet to manage this. we'll need to build him/her some user interface for this purpose so why don't we take it a step further and provide a community driven system that provides these functionalities to the webmaster and also allow subscribers much more than just getting the news?

paa.kwesi

FYI, I just uploaded a copy

FYI, I just uploaded a copy of Ghana's copyright law, Act 690. Source: http://www.parliament.gh/docs/uploads/ACT%20690%20Copyright%20Act.pdf

GhanaThink Managing Executive disterics

the digg model

I am surprised no one has mention digg(http://digg.com). Digg is more like the slashdot model except instead of editors, users vote on the various news articles and the most voted ones make it up the page. In much the same way we can count on the intelligence of the crowd to silo the various articles into the categories.

Basing it on the intelligence of the crowd eliminates the need for a single editor who might get inundated with input/news items.

With the RSS issue - I agree with thinfox - RSS is just one way to get the information and it is a secondary issue.

r

when to decide

So digg enters the equation. I'd prefer user vote compared to an editor, but you write the key word here: intelligence. One reaon way I veer away from Ghanaweb is the sheer number of stupidity by so many readers: foul language, ignorance, illiteracy etc etc.

To be honest, I've always regarded digg as more of a weblog provider than news aggregation.

I personally preferred indymedia because it is a bit more independent minded and "anti-establishment". It also seems to give the best opportunity to develop a "Ghana specific" style of content arrangment.

So what happens next? Is someone at Ghanathink going to look at the three options and simply decide which one is most personally preferable.

GhanaThink Managing Executive disterics

re:when to decide

Since the idea originated from omanba, I think (s)he has priority to take leadership and decide the way forward. GhanaThink is strictly a facilitator.

OMANBA

Pass it On

Frankly i will prefer webmaster to do the honours, then we can move on to plan B. True it was my idea but everybody equally contributed to bring us this far in the decision making. Over to you WEB MASTER.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

paa.kwesi

OK, r, you're next in line

OK, r, you're next in line :) Or better still a collabo between Omanba and yourself? The main point of GhanaThink, as disterics pointed out, is to be a facilitator. Pretty much for a project like this to take off we need an owner (they don't have to have all the skills needed to pull it off, but just like a president, the buck stops with them). Of course not all ideas are useful for implementation (some ideas are just for exercising our brains:) ), but once implementation is decided (as in this case) we need someone who makes the call on whether the site shd be blue, or yellow, or whether it shd be revenue-generating (my personal preference for sustainability) or not. Kind of like the chance to be a CEO. And then of course, you're free to organize GhanaThink members/donations to help you bring your idea into fruition.

PS: for example kasahorow is a collabo between thinfox and myself, partly funded and mostly supported by GTers (the support part has been absolutely crucial).

OMANBA

God forbid

Ei Paa, you want me to work with the lion? What a wee rabbit like moi? Not as long as R is alive. There will be rabbit fur and carrots flying all over the place and nothing will get done. He is your man if you want someone to be a facilitator. Hand the sceptre to him. Dont worry i am still here and still active and will give all the support i can.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

paa.kwesi

erm... hardly the kind of

erm... hardly the kind of response we consider progressive. And I'm sure r's perfectly willing to talk. You've both showed good sportsmanship overall. The idea of this forum is to be able to discuss ideas without getting personal--this also hopefully means we can work together even when we have fundamental disagreements (even though I think both of you shd get together for lunch sometime given you're in the same locale going by your profiles). That said, we still need a leader on this and no one is volunteering. The best case scenario, Omanba, is that even if you cannot lead this, you can help find someone (in Reggie's words, we need you to do some "con, raps, lyrics") to do so. You're not alone--there's support (the leader gets invited to the HomeFront Business Manager's group where project leaders can share all sorts of filla). And the managing executive checks in from time to time to see how the project's doing (discussing projects takes up significant chunks of meetings).

So, the fizzle shouldn't die--who will take charge of getting us a Diaspora news reader we can all be proud of?

thinfox

Re:news aggregator

does this mean we've reached a consensus on which platform we're going to build this news aggregator on? slashcode? indymedia or rss? if we need a prototype for slashcode, i can set one up. dressing it up is another story though.

r

have no fear

I'm sufficiently professional to work with anyone, regardless of my personal opinion. ;)

If I may make the first executive decision (!), I propose indymedia, if only because I like the potential url indymedia.org.gh :)

First question: is Ghanathink willing to act as the host server for indymedia Ghana?

2. The business process I had in mind is:
a. find out if there any student/young journalist association in existence.
b. establish contact and explain this project as an opportunity for suitable people to gain experience

The concept I had in mind was that we had at least one journalist (most likely in Accra to start) on the ground contributing content, afterwhich Ghanaians elsewhere could also contribute content they deem beneficial.

From a quick review of the indymedia codebase, it seems that contributers simply submit content in plain text. Anyone got some journalist contacts?

OMANBA

BEG YOUR PARDON?

A Journalist from Ghana to do what? Before the rest of us can do what? Man i thought this was a DIASPOREAN residents Initiative for people back home so why is Ghana suddenly become the spring board?

Business process? Now wait a minute! The project has not even taken off yet for us to count our success and shift it towards a business structure. Easy does it! This project is no different to having a news paper or periodical. Correspondents, feature writers, reporters submit their work; it is edited and then it goes to press. Only difference is we are using an electronic white board here.

As for the business idea, wait till we get cooking and then we get companies and individuals advertising on the news page. If there is any revenue generating idea that makes a lot of money in media; it is ADVERTISING and the proceeds will go straight into our coffers on here for future projects.
Moreover, The DIGG model as per Disterics view sure looks like the way to go...its got the slashdot properties but is easier at the editorial end because we all muck in and vote for content.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

r

strategy first

When I look at the original post, my interpretation is, plenty of tactics about getting all this content from here there and everywhere, without the slightest consideration of a simple strategic question; why do we need a news reader?

Apparently, "We can send various topical news items to our webmaster here from our various countries of residence for compilation so we and those back home can log on here". Well, I question the notion that Ghanaians abroad have to initiate this.

My proposed strategy is this, forget Ghanaians abroad and focus on development of infrastructure in Ghana. The fact is, there are a million and one initiatives by Ghanaians abroad; for once, be innovative and think about "what contribution, however small/big, can be done to develop infrastructure in Ghana.

Hence my strategic questions asked so far. For this (indeed any) project to succeed, a clear objective is critically important.

So, back to my proposal :)

I see Indymedia Ghana as an opportunity for Ghanaians, in Ghana, to learn new skills, develop their own experience and improve their prospects. If only one Ghanaian learns via this project how to edit, how to set up servers, how to interview people, etc etc that leads him/her to a good job elsewhere, then the project is a success in my strategic objective. That is why I am now opposed to any editing, user voting, etc etc by Ghanaians abroad.

As an example, one very interesting topic discussed within this portal is the subject of language education policy. It is this sort of subject that needs a passionate, local person to write about it, gather local opinion raise the issue via local media such as radio stations, etc.

Further comments on strategy open to all of course.

OMANBA

HOLD IT

Dont Confuse people Mr R, This project is not bad at all and the majority are in favour, plus its got potential. If you've got an idea propose it seperately, dont use that to make a mockery of all the good work done so far. I do not see how your proposed concept tallies or merges into A DIASPOREAN NEWSREADER and instead of giving snippets of my form which might be misleading, you should have given the whole picture.

A DIASPOREAN newreader is what i proposed so we might have a cross sectional news reel and information regarding what is happening with Ghanaians and Africans abroad and topical issues that affect us all globally. In that respect we are very limited. I barely know what is happening in Holland or Germany for example, and whiles i might catch a few headlines here and there online in the international news columns, it wouldn't embody all the important and current things happening there especially with regards to Ghanaian or African affairs. This is where this project steps in. It will be an exercise that will slowly but surely take seed and lead us into a business structure. How you were hoping to sway the general concensus to a Ghanaian development skills project using this platform just doesn't make sense. At best you will end up undoing all the good deliberations done so far and bring us to square one.

This forum is open to ideas so i suggest you propose yours as a different entity so we can give it its due attention instead of using this platform. Infact i think i will go with Disterics and Paa's proposal and take this project under my wings as facilitator. We could have moved to plan B by now.
Whiles i was thinking about this idea, i actually thought about it in terms of what might be useful but equally heighten the member base and participation on here, bearing in mind how quiet it gets. What better way to do it than to have a voting system and content submission which gets everyone involved? Moreover it doesn't mean members from Ghana are being side stepped. We get the home news here daily so why not give them something back from our end.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

Tsooboi!

Concerning the news reader, I think it's been suggested that we develop an alternative to Ghanaweb news. I believe, that's where a local journalist in Ghana comes in, someone who can fetch the kind of 'news' we want to broadcast to Ghanaians and other people everywhere, or that which doesn't make its way to Ghanaweb.
Personally, I'll like to hear about Kwasi Asumasi doing some innovation in Atebubu, and if we can find someone in Ghana who can do a feature on him, that will make my week.
Besides, we can also make use of people in Ghana to do the webmaster administration, compensate him/her, etc.
Content generation would be across the abroad, by location, etc but I feel that from the Diaspora would dominate too.

Like Paa Kwesi mentioned before, we just need a CEO or facilitator and I vote for Omanba, I will like to be involved of course and do what i can to make it succeed. It seems we have most of the tools to get this thing underway as well.
Are we sticking with the indymedia model? I know a little bit about Digg, but I am not familiar with the rest.

Moving ahead, we should call a meeting of the main people, and iron out a few details.

The destiny of a nation at any given time depends on the opinions (and actions) of its young men and women.

OMANBA

ROGER

Well Abocco, if you are thinking of having a Ghanaian based admin or webmaster, then we certainly wont be needing the DIGG model. I am actually amazed at the turn of events; one minute it was a Diasporean newsreader and now it is an alternative to Ghanaweb? With a touch of the Diaspora? We do realise that we will need to do a lot of work remotely dont we?
1.Okay, so we need a home based journalist...well i say we need more than one. A single person in Accra or Kumasi will not be enough to supply all the features and reports. And who pays them and how? Donations? How do we get him/her/them?
Okay, how about an advert on here and on Ghanaweb?

2. Are we going to feature content on a daily, bi-weekly,weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis? And is it only news based or will there be other features like games, chat rooms, info directories and added search engines etc?

3.How does the Diasporean items fit in? Through submissions from all or are we going to be selective and have designated reporters and feature writers?

Personally i feel we are being too ambitious at this stage. It would have been safer to start it off as just a diasporean newsreader using the FREE duplicated news items, reports and submissions for now and expand when things take off. And of course we could have had features from Ghanaian participants as well but the code word here would be ''FREE'' Now that we are talking cost, it worries me a bit and i am quite sceptical if we can hold it up for longer. Unless of course OUR COFFERS are flexi to the impending pressure?

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

r

at last

Good to see the originator finally step up and take responsibility for this project.

I don't want to reiterate my preference too much because it seems other models are preferred. But I suggested Indymedia as a volunteer model. Of course more than one volunteer is required! I didn't consider at all indymedia as an alternative to ghanaweb, but if that's the preception, it doesn't matter.,

May I suggest other features such as games are suspended for now: just focus on completion of the news reader project.

"...good deliberations done so far..."??? Nothing's happened yet! :)

Enough from me, let us see progress to plan B (we are already behind apparently ;) ).

OMANBA

Re: At last

Yes! Originator took responsibility because you cannot be trusted to see the project through. Infact it was because of you i avoided accepting it in the first place because i cannot count on you to be receptive and nice about it ...just your usual bile and sarcasm (no suprises there as you can see).
If you dont feel good deliberations have been done so far, perhaps you could honour us with your expertise? I dont think anybody here is shoving any ideas forcefully down your throat. We are all working together to find what is best.
Who said anything about being behind schedule? Your words; not mine. I only wanted us to move to the next level in deliberations. Nothing wrong with that!

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

r

good for you

Don't waste your time complaining about a non entity like me and just complete the project. Good luck all involved

GhanaThink Managing Executive disterics

two projects

I do not fully understand this thread but one thing that is clear to me is that we have two projects here.
1. A diasporean news reader similar to digg/slashdot
This centralizes news from the diaspora. I love this idea because its a potential cash cow. Its definitely something that i think is lacking and would be a welcome addition to the Ghana-inspired web properties out there.
2. Indymedia
From what i understand this is very similar to blogging. We have people who are not journalists bring news from their communities and we publish it. I think this is very interesting and we should definitely give it a shot. From my experience with GTVP - its very hard to get people on the ground excited about anything. So the first step with this project would be to get commitment from people on the ground. Once we have that - we can proceed with the technology for this.

r

start with one project

I would suggest that the newsreader is started first because it seems most popular, at least on the basis of those who have commented within this post thread.

Let us see the news reader in operation, then start indymedia. There's no rush is there?

OMANBA

Re: Two Projects

I am happy i wasn't the only person seeing double and the confusion it was creating. Which is why i asked for certain ideas to be presented seperately so we could give it its due attention.
I suggest R comes out with a blog detailing his Indymedia idea so we can deliberate on issues there as well.

In the meantime, i vote for the DIGG model because we want maximum participation from forum members; speaking of which i hope emails have been flooded to dormant members on the list to come back and join us? If the DIGG model cannot be a probability, then Slashdot it will be and i will help with editing if needed and i think Abocco will be willing as well.

PROPOSED PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION:(brainstorming stage of plan B)

1. We are going to duplicate News items both online and printed matter.
2. We will need reports on activities involving Ghanaians and Africans abroad and submit reports on them. In this respect i feel a few volunteers can contact the various Ghanaian embassies where we are and approach the ambassadors about our proposed project. They are in the know and often part of the major Ghanaian activities and groups (such as the nobua and kurow ye kuo)and any highlights. This person or persons will be known to the embassy and get invited to all the functions and activities and also get an insight into how the embassies work in accordance with citizens abroad and report on them. We can extend this to all African embassies in due course.

3. Any featured material, archived material or blog with a deep insight is equally plausible. People back home need to know what really goes on in Abrokyiman.

4. With time when things have taken off we can feature advertisements and announcements on here (for a fee) but we waive it when it comes to philantropic national events. Par example; raising funds for Korle-bu teaching hospital.
Advertisements will focus on business organisations whose services pertain to Ghanaians or Africans, individual business men and women who want a slot about their trade, old school alumni meetings etc etc.
Anyway,Here is my nkakrawa.What do you think? Any more proposals and ideas out there? Please put them across.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

wOnsO mu!

Omanba, mo ne kasa.

I agree with most of what you have said and I think we should just go ahead with the first project.
Maximum participation is necessary, and it would be nice to get input from members from all over the Diaspora and the DIGG model should work fine.

Concerning the dormant members, we shall be sending calls to them asap to broadcast the good news. It seems they are busy preparing for the Ghana@50 parties. :-)

The destiny of a nation at any given time depends on the opinions (and actions) of its young men and women.

GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

news for the people by the people

A link I found. http://myghanareport.com/joomla/
seems to be based along some of the ideas discussed here

OMANBA

Eureka!

Thanks for the link Abocco. Just the thing needed to show anyone thinking its unworkable that;IT CAN BE DONE!
I noted with admiration how they have even put a guide on how to submit items and FAQS, and note how the sources of the news are quoted underneath the article. Cest bon!

By the way where are the volunteers for the Embassy tasks? I am tackling GHANA HIGH COMMISSION IN UK when we are all agreed on a start off date for the project.
Who is willing to do the US and other countries?
Initially the person or say two people collaborating can write a nice official letter to Their excellencies detailing the existence of this site, our ideologies and our inroads into the future for mother Ghana/Africa. We then ask for their support as they are the biz niz on Ghanaian affairs and make an appointment to meet them in person (get your sharp suit and killer high heels out in anticipation heehehe...).
What we want from the Ambassadors and the high commissioners is Interviews and support in terms of invites to functions they attend, a list of the various Ghanaian/African groups registered and noted to them and the ins and outs of Diasporean residency.
We also need profiles on individuals in the business, ethical, philantropical, social reforms, health, agro, communication or any high profile scenario which has a direct and positive effect on Diasporean livlihoods. Infact why not touch on the negatives as well.

Another brainwave i have had is to print out complimentary cards with this site's address on, to pass on to people as we go about. Not everyone needs to do it, but the more people willing, the merrier. A stack of say 50 cards is a nice 'krakyi' way of passing on the message about Ghanaconscious. Whaddya think?

PSSSTT...On a lighter note, has anyone noticed the absence of ladies contributing on here except for Sister Gina and myself. Man it feels like the men's locker room in here sometimes and i find i have to wear trousers instead of my floaty skirts(to coin a phrase). Doesn't bother me because with 5 step-brothers and just myself life has always been one hell of a football pitch anyway. But still i feel we are outnumbered on here. I have a dream.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

GhanaThink Managing Executive abocco

Project update

There was a discussion concerning the Diasporean news reader last weekend and part of the transcript is posted below

abocco: okay, so to recap.... we'll use a digg model
disterics: no gt - synchronization
disterics: 1, it complicates things
disterics: 2. we should launch this on its own domain
disterics: we can do beta on gt server

disterics: we can have people with gt ids use them but not require new users to have them

thinfox: there are other authentication models we can plug into as well

drudatt: one question - how tightly are we integrating with GC - GhanaConscious
msnu: it should be loosely integrated if at all
msnu: keep in mind its supposed to be an indpendent site in the long run

abocco: ok. ppl will post links... so preferably, we won't host anything on the site
abocco: need to have custom modules to allow for promoting most commented/voted/rated stories
abocco: copyrights - indicate sources
abocco: summarize/shorten article for public view on the site
abocco: moderation will be by the community... flagging, voting = rating
abocco: concerning media houses... they can submit their links to the site

thinfox: archiving for search purposes

thinfox: we need rss from other known sites to get our site updated frequently
thinfox: another approach is to create gt-spider to crawl known sites for stories that we don't have

abocco: recap last bit - africa-focused
abocco: free tagging and major sections
abocco: name - can we brainstorm some? hosting - management - omanba and r (chief moderators) webmaster - hopefully, another GC member
abocco: hosting - can we test a prototype under gt or fienipa?
abocco: name - i am a sucker for local names - akasanoma, dawuro, filla
paa.kwesi: sure. hosting offer still available (on fienipa.com)

paa.kwesi: just a generic name that is sourced from some african lang if possible
paa.kwesi: it's needs "in-the-shower" inspiration
host prototype on fienipa

paa.kwesi: someone once threw "gakogo" at me--it's an Ewe name for some news-bearing instrument if i remember correctly

If there's anything critical I missed from the conversation, disterics, msnu, paa.kwesi, thinfox please let us know.

To dos
Build prototype along the lines of digg.com using drupal
Sort out management
Find a name
Talk about sustainability
Finalise Tsooboi beginnings :-)

msnu

Prototype

Hello good people,

I've been following this discussion (with all it's veerings towards anti-GhanaThinking exchanges between R and Omanba) and I'm glad we're back to where people are moved to action.

thinfox, paa.kwesi, abocco, and disterics had a followup conversation to the one that abocco's posted above and I am glad to report that a prototype site has been created: http://newsreader.fienipa.com
Omanba and R - you were invited to attend but somehow we missed your participation...

As the Tsooboi chair, I feel it's necessary to stress that while we encourage "talk" on GC, it is equally important to "act" (remember that whole "less talk, more action" thing?). It would be great for Omanba and R to take ownership of this some more so we can move to the next stage as you've both suggested. And yes, I am deliberately calling you guys out for a reason :).

GT's role in any Tsooboi project is purely facilitatory, therefore much of the work would ideally be done by the people who are crazy about the idea. Please read the transcript below and lets continue with the brainstorming and experimentation.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Best,
msnu

**
Thinfox:
News reader prototype - first pass: kasahorow.dyndns.org/drupal
note: the development server is really slow for drupal so don't give up if it takes a while to render the pages.
Comments and suggestions welcome.

Disterics:
Can't seem to access it.
H

Paa.kwesi:
I'm blown away!!! Yeehaa!!!
And it should be easy to manage too.

PS: Chris, I can give you access to a faster server to host the demo. Let me know.

Abocco:
looks good.
seems everything is working nicely.
i couldn't find all the posts tho, just the ones on the front page.

I know we talked about submitting just links but there's flexibility to submit actual content?

here's something I found that looks interesting.
http://afrigator.com

easy

thinfox:
voting actions module for drupal v.5 is broken so voted on content don't get promoted to the front page. many little things to be fixed as we go along. let me know if you find anything that need addressing.

promote to front feature is working again.

the calendar control (archive module) is no longer available for drupal 5.0 so we need a replacement. any recommendations?

http://newsreader.fienipa.com

paa.kwesi:
There's an archive.module plus some other work-arounds using the views module. The most promising looks is http://drupal.org/project/calendar. Not tested it myself however.

Disterics:
PK,
Is that a commitment to get it working on the test site ?

Paa.kwesi:
:) Point taken :) Chris I'll let you know when I start and when I finish so we don't trip up over each other :)

Thinfox:
i'll work on tag cloud and personal tagging. there's tagedelic for tag cloud but none of personal tagging so far. we gonna have to cook up a new module for that unless we find one.

Paa.kwesi:
Hi everyone,
In fact to get started with this, I suggest we outdoor this on ghanaconscious.ghanathink.org under the current "Newsreader" link so that we can use the GT community to help test and strengthen it before setting it loose as an independent project. Something like how both kasahorow and museke were first hosted on ghanathink.org before they achieved independence. Modwene ho sɛn?
paa.kwesi

Disterics:
Au contraire ...
We should set this up on its final domain and send beta invites to
select GC members. I think switching domains causes us to loose
people. Bookmarks become outdated, etc ...
Also, I don't think we are ready for beta yet. We want people to see
this, get excited and tell their friends, ...
Just my 1 kola nut.

Henry

P.S: Do we have timeline for beta ? Should we create one ?

Thinfox:
Let's wait 'til beta release to make it public. we can resolve domain change with url redirect if necessary.

Chris

Paa.kwesi:
Delivered. Not quite the same look, but same utility.

Disterics:
Any information on why we can't have the look ?

Thinfox:
the login credentials for newsreader.fienipa admin is ….
H

Paa.kwesi:
OK, can we get a General Editor for this? I believe it was 'r' and 'omanba' who stepped up to the plate.

First it needs
1. a general editor to be in charge of quality control (like 1 hour a day to check on it)
2. and a managing editor to figure out general direction, self-sustainability,

The rest of us will be providing support one way or the other.
Easy,
paa.kwesi

**

OMANBA

Re: Prototype

I honestly do not appreciate this public tongue lashing considering i have been part of this deliberation from scratch. MSNU, considering you didn't send me a private email to find out what was going on, i think you are way out of order. Coming down on R and myself like that is not very appreciative. True we differ in our opinions but i think we both contributed immensely together with Thinfox and co right from the onset. And just because we didn't attend the meeting doesn't mean we are not committed.
I dont know about R, but The reason why i couldn't be part of the meeting was because there were two fatalities in my family and that took me away from forum activity; even my own job for a while.
I did pass on that detail to Abocco who has kept me constantly posted on issues, so i am quite abreast with all that has been happening.

By the way, may i humbly suggest that pages on threads be hyperlinked using numbers so long threads can be split into say 1,2,3 or more pages? Its a bit tiresome scrolling down all these pages.

THE CRINGE FACTOR! WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT GOD MADE THREE WORLDS AND THAT I COME FROM THE THIRD WORLD. THE ISSUE OF RACE IS GEOGRAPHICAL AND NOT A STATUS SYMBOL AND NEITHER IS MY SKIN BLACK NOR YOURS WHITE.

msnu

Hi Omanba, My post wasn't to

Hi Omanba,

My post wasn't to say that you and R haven't contributed to the discussion - it's quite clear that you have been the life line of this discussion! I meant for it to provoke some more action (and to highlight the fact that some has already been taken).

As for calling you and R out, it was more or less aimed at bringing your attention to that fact that at times the discussions turned away from the issues at hand and become personal. Admittedly, I'm carrying this observation from other posts involving you two and I'm sorry for using you as the scapegoats to do some small moderating on the GC forums without forewarning!

Once more, the aim of post was to stress that we are at a point where we can begin acting and I personally would love for you and/or R to be at the helm simply because your passion seems the strongest!

I hope everything is well with your family.

Best,
msnu :)

PS. Please expect an email from me later today on going on to the next stage.

r

first refusal

I think Omanba must take the first right to develop the project, especially as originator.

You should have concluded from my comments that I disagree with the proposed mode of action; consequently I can't see how I can be considered as committed as other members more enthusiastic about the path to be taken.

I'm not at all bothered about "public tongue lashing"; one should be able to take as much as one gives! :)

I'd prefer no change to existing long singular posts. Breaking pages is a pain for keyboard fans like me. For those that don't like scrolling, use the auto-scroll (assuming you have a proper web browser) and just use the 'end' keyboard button!