Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Miscellaneous

Questions and answers about Chicago Indymedia's website migration

What's happening?
Late in the evening of Saturday, January 28th, Chicago Indymedia will switch its website software platform from the current one, called Dada, to the well-known Drupal platform that powers a lot of websites, including a number of Indymedia websites.

Why is Chicago Indymedia switching?
Chicago Indymedia's website has run on Dada since 2005, but Dada is no longer being actively maintained. As functionality decays and bugs accumulate without regular software upkeep, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the website to the satisfaction of our regular users. That, and trying to shoehorn in new functionality becomes increasingly difficult and fraught with problems. By changing the website software, we can better handle updates, fix problems, and add in new functionality.

Why switch to Drupal?
Drupal is well-known, has an active international maintenance and support community, and also has a community of Indymedia-related support. It could handle everything we asked of it, and also allows the flexibility to allow for future enhancements.

What's new about the new website?
A lot. Some of the improved functionality is detailed here:

* A new CIMC Alerts Blog: In this day and age of fast internet posts and viral media, keeping up with goings-on on the internet is an increasing challenge. To help, we are introducing a new CIMC Alerts blog, which will intend to be frequently updated with quick posts, sometimes as little one sentence long, with links and notes and alerts of interest to Chicago Indymedia readers and participants, and as a newswire for breaking developments as they occur. (Chicagoans may recognize it as a variant of the "Merge" feed of regular announcements on the Chicago website Gapers Block.)

* A new CIMC Events Calendar: Chicago Indymedia frequently serves as a sounding board for announcements of events across Chicago, but now users can post events to a new Events Calendar newswire. At some point, we also plan to feed this calendar into a regular twice-weekly email announcement.

* Social media sharing: Every item on Chicago Indymedia's newswire, features wire, and calendar will have a social-media sharing function, making it easy to reshare posts to any of dozens of different online social media networks.

* Improved CAPTCHA functionality: In order to reduce spam, the new Chicago Indymedia website has implemented the RECAPTHA spam test to every post. This is more robust than our previous CAPTCHA set-up on Dada, and also offers an audio option for visually-impaired Chicago Indymedia users.

* Maintain present functionality: As with Dada, Chicago Indymedia will maintain open-publishing local and public newswires, open publishing OtherPress, features for notable stories, and media feeds for Chicago Indymedia's radio and TV shows, as well as multiple RSS feeds for instant syndication.

How can we access previous content?
The previous web server that hosted Chicago Indymedia's website will remain online for the time being, though the functionality to make new posts on this site will be shut off on the evening of January 28. (Users will be able to make posts and upload media on the Drupal version of Chicago Indymedia instead.) The content of the website — nearly 100,000 articles, more than 30,000 media files, and hundreds of thousands of comments going back 12 years — will be made available through a replacement URL which we will make available on January 28th. Live links to Chicago Indymedia's previous website will be redirected to this new URL to preserve that functionality. Going forward, we will then in the coming month migrate the full content from the old Chicago Indymedia server to the new server; details of that will be announced once they're available.

What if I have any more questions?
Email chicago-tech (at)



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