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Community Rallies to Put Indymedia Back Online!
national | indymedia ireland | feature Friday January 19, 2007 21:24 by IMC Collective
After our hosting provider suddenly cut our database, on January 8th, we were plunged into crisis. We only ever raise enough money to pay our hosting bills and this was completely unexpected. We moved to a new server the following day, but soon realised that we needed a much more powerful system to keep up with the traffic volumes - the new server fell over immediately.
Happily, the indymedia community rallied round in no time at all. Thousands of euros came in through our online donation form, and more came through individual donations, cheques through the post and even from collections at protests. Altogether, within a week of launching our appeal, some 4000 came in - as large numbers of people put their hands in their pockets to keep indymedia online and to secure it's future.
Our techies got busy, and have built us an impressive new network of servers, whirring and buzzing away, scattered across the world, to ensure that the free media will keep on publishing. Due to this new infrastructure, and the huge show of solidarity that we received, we can now offer more features for contributors and readers. You can now publish audio files (up to 20MB) directly on to indymedia and publish PDF files too. In the near future we will be introducing extra features: a new encrypted server, giving users greater privacy in browsing and publishing.
The server crisis - the details
As the volume of traffic to Indymedia.ie keeps on increasing, the strain on our server has kept on increasing too. Since we started five years ago, the volume of traffic has consistently risen, month after month, year after year. In November 2006, we served about 14 million hits - 320GB of traffic and about 5 million pages. About 250,000 different people visited the site. All of this was acheived on a shoestring and relying on a huge amount of volunteer labour.
Now, while we can understand their position - no company is going to allow one of their customers to use such a large proportion of their resources - we feel that they certainly should have given us a bit more notice. Instead, they simply pulled the plug and told us afterwards. This left us in a crisis situation. The site was offline for the first time in years.
This meant that we had to get ourselves a dedicated server to host indymedia.ie. However, these are expensive and we had only raised enough money to pay for our previous hosting in our recent fundraising drive. Still, within a few days, we managed to get back online with a temporary (but expensive and slow) dedicated server. Sadly, as soon as we switched this new server on, we realised just how many resources we had been using - the server simply froze within 30 seconds. So, our crisis got worse. We now knew that we needed serious hardware to keep the site online. We estimated that it would cost us at least 2,000, just to rent servers that were capable of dealing with the load.
This money will guarantee our future for at least the next year. Not only that, we now have a much more robust, faster, bigger, stronger and more secure set up. We've got clusters, RAID arrays, replicated databases, secure servers, multi-processors and a myriad of other technical tools. Most importantly, our bandwidth allocation has increased from 300GB a month to a huge 4TB a month (1TB = 1000GB), an increase of more than 10 times. Our disk storage capacity has increased from 6GB to about 300GB - an increase of 50 times. That means we can now host audio files and PDF files directly on our servers. All of this is thanks to the donations of our supporters and the hard work of our techies.
We're definitely not going away, you know
Some coverage of our server crisis:
Details of the donations to the server fund
Total Raised: 4,357.50
View Comments Titles Only
Comments (36 of 36)Jump To Comment: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36
Further proof that aliens exist!
IMC interview 2.89 Mb
Great to see you folks back up and running!
Keep up the good work and best of luck for the future.
Failte abhaile , Indymedia !
Our wee donation is listed - only wish it could have been more . Our usual browse through our favourites can now get back to normal !
Slan go foill anois ,
Just testing the new improved image capacity with this recent shot, taking at the Shell to Sea protest outside the headquarters of Ϊdarαs na Gaeltachta in Furbo, Co Galway, where an inspiring 679 euros was raised for indymedia. The protest was over the decision of the authority to allocate one of its premises in Erris to Shell. See link for further details.
So welcome back Indymedia.
La Luche Sigue!
Shell to Sea in Furbo
Great to see it back online, well done dudes!
Hope the new offer of large audio and pdf files wont be a problem in the future re storage space - because it worked well as it was apart from the server probs.
However, it sounds great to have these new audio and pdf options, great to see the site developing and growing.
Thanks to all the techy volunteers!!!
Mise le meas, Barra
If winter comes, can Indymedia be far behind?
Indymedia is the record of the best and happiest moments of the happiest and best minds.
There is a harmony
In Indymedia, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!
Fuck it ! in 545.67 carat happiness that Indymedia is back, as if Shelley would disagree, I plead guilty to bastardizing his poetry?.
God, it was hell not getting any news!
Apparently there's a war on, racists about, and the country's being wastfully and stupidly mismanaged by overpaid party hacks.
Anybody got any info?
well done every1, it goes to show that when we are the media, we will persevere. Now if only we could have the same response when it comes to defeating FF/PD's/Bush/Blair/racism/Shell/Coca-Cola/neo-liberalism/privatisation/whatever floats your boat
is it a record?
Thanks to everyone that worked to put the site back up and running. Must have been a crazy few days for ye. All the effort is much appreciated.
Badly missed. Very unfair that someone would pull the plug they way they did. But, like a Phoenix from the ashes...back better and stronger it seems.
Delighted to see you back.
Have been over on P.ie and noted the distain for indymeia by that sites more right wight contingent. Goes to show how effective at countering their drivel Indymedia has been.
Great to see you back, it was rough going Cold Turkey without your site and having to depend on fat headed and skinny principled so called newspapers for so called information.
as the site disappeared a shiver ran down my spine, when i though of an Ireland without Indymedia, that that thought made me rush to the bank!!!
bail σ dhia ar an dea obair a dhιanann sibh.
All is forgiven.
What is this encrypted server thing? https://www.indymedia.ie ?
And when I go to it my web browser asks me to accept a certificate. What does that mean?
The encrypted server is basically just that - a normal web server, but one that encrypts all communication between your browser and the web-server. It means that anybody who might be eavesdropping on your network can't read any of the data that is sent between you and the website. Since indymedia is an open publishing site where pretty much everything is done in public anyway, it has limited use for most people. It just makes it slightly more difficult for people to monitor what you do on the site, what you publish and what you read. The most important use of the encrypted server is that it allows all passwords and all other activities of the members of the collective to be encrypted over the network so nobody can eavesdrop on them.
The certificate is basically a special file which uses various complex encryption mechanisms to verify that the website that you are looking at is actually the one run by indymedia.ie and is not a fake. It is signed by the Indymedia Ireland Certificate Authority, so in this case it is what's known as a "self-signed" certificate. That means that the Indymedia Ireland collective verify that the website that you are looking at is the genuine indymedia.ie website.
One of these days, I'll write a practical guide to internet security and privacy for indymedia. It's a fairly complicated area, but one that can be understood by almost anybody if it's explained properly.
Great work friends, welcome home. Your constant work behind the scenes is greatly appreciated.
great to have you back, lovely new features esp the audio upload (no WAV upload-no bother :imc-radio down now )- looking forward to an even better more connected year.
things great here in barcelona, were working hard for the
::Indymedia radio support for WSF 2007 from Kenya::
project and we hope to have the 3 way live internet radio show in action wednesday night: 7-9pm irish time, 3 nodes : Barcelona, Dublin, Narobi
Topic - Housing
* 3 invited guests :
* Someone from Dublin΄s homeless community.
* Gerry Fay, from the Sheriff Street residents association.
* Someone from Cloghjordan Eco Village - irelands first eco village.
big thanks for the financial assistance for the wsf africa project
we have a feature up on imc-org :
Indymedia radio support for WSF 2007 from Kenya
and on imc-bcn theres a new feature up about , only in catalan at present, in english soon:
Horitzontalitzem el Fςrum Social Mundial [20-25Gen]
keep posted and informed at
any collobaration on wednesdays radio show is welcome. NEAR fm have said they will rebraodcast it later, email me or email@example.com
perhaps the seomra spraoi might still open up as a sort of listening node for that..?
anyway, glad your back
looking forward to adding to the audio archive
so keep on being great, and hopefully soon we will be connected in the new space where imc΄s, social centres, community hubs, radio meet.....
by the way did you have a nice time when you were taken by the aliens?
what distant realms were visited?
im sure those green martians are only dying to sort their stuff to get down here for the next imc-ie screening or whatever.....
IMC AFRICA : thanks IMC-IE, hopefully you will tune in on wednesday night to the 3 way stream radio...
Welcome back Indy,man organising anything for the past 2 weeks has been a lot harder--better appreciated now eh!
Solidarity to the techies!
that fecking little green humunculus. But like most Irish problems it only needed money to be thrown at it & after some vague inquiry not without noted frustration voiced by certain reliable citizens it's all ok again. the server is encrypted now. it's all "so s-e-c-r-e-t the aliens can't fk it anymore & you get pdf files up now!".
As a user who values the "national archive" which indymedia ireland has become over the last 5 years I really missed it. At the time of the mishap I really wanted to tell ye all how the Basque peace process had gone to so predictably pear shaped. & why lacking extra sylables for "continuity" or "real" or even or that matter proper doomsday cult protestants with umbrellas the charming Basques are back where they've been & where they mostly don't want to be.
But then I started missing all the other regular contributors, the event list, the press releases, the search facilities - the image gallery.
Over here in katalalalander-land we saw the 6th birthday of Barcelona indymedia yet in all honesty that site never evolved the user friendly techy side which indymedia ireland using the various versions of the Oscailt operating system has done. I hope the site & the data tree & the networks built & fostered & flourishing on both horizontal and activist media in Ireland & beyond are safe now & the community money be well spent.
But most people who are (we hope) turning on to making their own media & telling their own stories free of corporate or political partisan bias are a long way from such a "sophisticated" site. Not every door we open in Africa this season will lead to an oscailt or little green beings or money grabbing aliens the african media groups & activists of the future won't even mimic our raft of sites & styles over here in Barcelona. which is why we all need to pass the hat again for all the emergent African imc groups & all those other places where the aliens & little green monsters don't go away.
Ireland is a mature indymedia. The Ancient continent of Africa is just hatching her first ones. Let's make sure there is no little green aliens inside.:.
You never appreciate something until its gone. Welcome back guys, so great to have you back. A decent forum for issues like Tara, Rossport and all other ills.
Hope that all is well and I'll be piling on the information in the next couple of days
Welcome back. I can't say I've been very active here of late,although they do say that when you really need/want something,it seems to be gone. So I was horrified to say that little green man earlier in the month!
And: "I would suggest that Indymedia is going to have to become a members based org where members pay some kind of subscription before they can post. I do not think that many groups would object to paying something for the use of the events section."
Welcome back - great to have the site up and running as it was sorely missed.
It's now up to all of us to ensure that Indy has plenty of good news stories for the year ahead!
I'm delighted to see Indymedia (Ireland) is back up and running again, and the openness and transparency you have shown above regarding donations is an added bonus for me.
Honesty and openness are (in my view) among the very best ways there are to challenge all the corrupt deals being done in secret behind voters backs.
You are setting a GREAT example, and long may you all be able to continue with the very badly needed work you are doing.
Honesty Openness Willingness
Indymedia was blocked from our school server (we have an outside filtering system) the day Indymedia.ie came back online. I wonder why?
I've got it unblocked now, so welcome back indymedia.ie on two fronts.
The encrypted server .... encrypts all communication between your browser and the web-server. It means that anybody who might be eavesdropping on your network can't read any of the data that is sent between you...
Of course, what this does not tell you is that Indymedia monitor you via your IP addresses and proxy names.
"Of course, what this does not tell you is that Indymedia monitor you via your IP addresses and proxy names."
The reason that it does not tell you that is because it's just not true. But why let truth get in the way of paranoid delusion?
We only ever turn on IP monitoring when we experience sustained abuse of the open-publishing service and then we only look for patterns of abuse and nothing is recorded permanently.
Of course, what this does not tell you is that Indymedia monitor you via your IP addresses and proxy names.
Actually we've upgraded to a low-frequency mind-wave reading technology which can pierce most tinfoil hats. Supposedly it can be defeated by using a double layer and then sealing the outside with "Glad", but the NSA has assured us that it'll release a new antenna booster sooner which should overcome this.
Many thanks to all of you who combined know how, and money to get this site back up and running.
I would like to make a suggestion that some of the financial surplus accumluated should go towards a vehicular form of advertising around Dublin and other cities and towns. For example a van with nicely stenciled wording on each side : GOT A STORY TO PUBLISH ? READ REAL NEWS www. INDYMEDIA.IE or perhaps a flat truck with similar text mounted on each side of sheets of wood joined at the top.
I would suggest as a result , that the next time there is a financial problem you would have all you require and more, in jig time, as there will be an exponential increase in readership and interaction.
All the best for 2007 and beyond, J K.
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
Wonderful to see you fine folks back online once again.
Keep on fighting the good fight.
A truly indepent organisation with intelligent contributors. Keep up the good work. Keep fighting back. Free speech is alive.
Given the response rate to the appeal for funds there is no doubt that this site is very popular. However it should have never gotten this bad. It was entirely predictable that an ISP is going to demand more money for more bandwidth and if a site starts using more resources then they can expect to pay more.
I would have been happy to contribute the 50 euro, which I did contribute if I had known that the financial situation was as serious as it turned out to be.
My proposal, which can be read under K.O.S on the donations list, is that indymedia.ie becomes a members based org where users contribute some money for the usage of the web site.
If we are all prepared to pay the printing cost of leaflets and posters why not pay for posting events.
I am aware that indymedia is organized around the indymedia collective and that this group controls the web site (I have serious political problems with this type of organization in that it is not transparent as to how people become part of the collective) however that does not mean that I'm not prepared to pay for the obvious benefits of publicizing events on this site.
This does however lead to one problem Anonymous posting of events would be impossible. Again this has been a particular hobby horse of mine but it has been born out by the events of the past month.
In short we live in a capitalist world and if we are to succeed in such an environment we have to collect money in a systematic manner not just through fund raisers and emergency appeals.
I have serious political problems with this type of organization in that it is not transparent as to how people become part of the collective
It's actually very clear. I refer you to our constitution which was adopted over a long period of very open debate (see link below) and ratifies this very important principle:
The Indymedia Ireland Internet Collective exists in order to do work. Membership of the collective requires an individual to donate their work to the group. In line with (global principle of untity 7), it is those who put work into the collective's work who have a say in decisions, those who dont do the work, dont make decisions. This principle is summed up in our phrase "dictatorship of the doers" (although its really more of a democracy of the doers).
As regards the idea of pay-per-events I'm not in favour of it, mainly because it would turn us into a service organisation contracting to provide space to people and could put small collections of individuals at a disadvantage. As long as the Editorial Guidelines are adhered to I'd rather leave everything open and non-restricted. I'd rather we relied solely on the recognition of a very broad readership that we provide an alternative to the other media that exists in Ireland. If we can't convince enough people of that then we probably should fold. But as things stand it looks like there's no chance of that. Our current crisis was caused by spiralling hits and a wider readership and the very generous response received from people like yourself has put us in a good position.
That said, there probably is a need to do some more organised and sustained fundraising and collective members like redjade have been thinking about how to do some of that.
Thanks again, and keep posting your events for free ;)
Just a thought about how you could alleviate any impending or unforeseen financial crises in the future.
Why not have an open air concert two or three times a year and charge 10 or 20 euros in? This would have the dual purpose of indymedia types meeting face to face and would save you going commercial by charging for posting.
Anyway, whatever you decide, Keep up the good work,
Some the regular users here should really read about indymedia and its history and open publishing some don't seem to want to get it. Open ~ free or an option to do free, some imcs do have an optional log on, giving more weight to recognisable users stories but always leaving the option of anonymity which is essential to indymedia. See