Website suggestion: Issues section

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happychaos's picture
happychaos
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Joined: 14-04-06
Nov 28 2012 21:29
Website suggestion: Issues section

Hey peops,

I think a good addition to Libcom would be an Issues section that has information on issues, particularly current trending issues.

This would involve a new menu (Issues), a main page (/issues) and individual issue pages (/issues/palestine etc).

The purpose of the issues section is to provide information from a libertarian communist perspective on important topics of interest such as Palestine, Global Financial Crisis, Climate change etc.

It would be structured in a simple and clear way for those who are new to the issue and/or libertarian communism and provide further reading for those with more interest in the topic.

It would include:
* Basic introduction to the issue and libcom view on the issue
* Link to best article or two articles at most: either (i) the best libcom article on the issue, or (ii) the best factual introduction to the issue and best libcom article,
* Recommended reading/multimedia (maximum of say 5?)
* LibCom groups involved in the issue
* Latest LibCom news block
* Latest LibCom parent-news block (e.g. War >> Palestine, or Environment >> Climate Change)
* Latest library block

This is relatively easy to do in Drupal with Views. It would be a new content type, partially automated for the blocks, but would require someone to manually write the intro and choose the articles/multimedia.

An example of issues:

Hot issues
Climate change
Austerity
Syria
Palestine
Workplace organising
Poverty
Global Financial Crisis

Issues
War
Palestine
Afghanistan
Iraq
Syria
Environment
Climate Change
etc

Why add the section?

I would say LibCom has three key audiences and strategies:

* To bring together those already interested in libertarian communism,
* To introduce libertarian communism to activists, and
* To introduce libertarian communism to the general public.

An issues and hot issues section would greatly add to the second and third goals.

Activists are more fertile ground than the general public because they are already looking for deeper answers to difficult questions. While some are looking for answers to world-view questions, I would argue most are looking for answers to specific issues.

Likewise, the general public search the internet for issues they are interested in, not for "systematic world view".

This is of course the same thing we find when we are organising in the workplace. People are more interested in radical unionism when they've already had their own specific problem which we were able to fix and which led them to questioning bigger issues. This same strategy should apply to our communication assets. Just as telling that worker libertarian communism is the answer, instead of resolving their particular issue in a libertarian manner, we should use issues as a hook into libertarian communism and help lead them onto deeper questions for which libcom is a solution.

I would say the majority of people on LibCom probably came to the site because they are already interested in libertarian communism or already looking for world-view answers. I think the websites design is largely orientated to this groups needs and interest.

An issues section would be a good tool for the second and third target audiences.

SO

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Nov 29 2012 11:20

On the face of it It's a good idea but only if other sections eg for particular groups are removed to make way for this and reduce clutter - but it's all more work for the already overworked admin presumably.

My only concern is that too many 'issues' subsections might inhibit discussion of the connections and interelationships between issues in practice? and we might not all agree which are the key 'issues' to highlight I suppose?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Joined: 27-06-06
Nov 29 2012 22:16

Yeah, first of all I'd like to say thanks we really appreciate people putting in the time to think about ways we can improve the site.

But in general this is something we try to do with every topic we cover on the site without tags pages. So for example: http://libcom.org/tags/spanish-civil-war

So we try to have a short introductory article, a lengthy text with more detail, a reading guide with loads more etc.

We would like to do that for every tag on the site. However, it takes a bit of time for each tag - especially if we do not have a decent introductory article already. If people wanted to help by contributing either introductions, detailed articles or reading guides about any topics/countries that would be great. And if they do so we can add the proper tag intros and links to key articles as with the Spanish Civil War one. But I don't think we can set up a separate issues section which would entail even more work than tags, when we haven't even got many of the tags sorted out.

happychaos's picture
happychaos
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Joined: 14-04-06
Nov 29 2012 22:16

Hi Spikymike,

I'm not sure what your first sentence relates to. Can you explain a bit further?

I wasn't suggesting that these pages substitute for the more indepth discussion etc, I think they can exist in parallel to the rest of the site. I hadn't suggested including a "latest forum posts" block, but that's a good idea to link into ongoing discussions.

The issues pages can be slowly built up, starting with the more important ones. If we can't find some way of coming up with the key issues, we haven't got much chance at reorganising society! wink

SO