rocus.org is operated by Rochester Indymedia in order to help local activist groups and other grassroots organizations take better advantage of the internet. The goal is to help groups use the internet to communicate better and get the word out about themelves.
If you are part of a group, please consider making use of rocus.org. We currently offer many services and are willing to help you get started using them. We understand that no one wants to spend a bunch of time setting up an email list, so we have worked to make things quick to set up and maintain. We also know that the internet can be a confusing and intimidating place sometimes. We are happy to explain all our services and help you figure out what things are useful for your group.
If you want to get started or have any questions, please send an email to: ben(at)rocus.org.
rocus.org is currently set up to provide the following services:
Let rocus.org take care of sending your group's mass emails. All email lists come with a nice web interface that people can use to easily subscribe and unsubscribe -- without you having to worry about it. Past emails are archived on the web, so folks can see old discussions. Also, users can select digest mode, where emails are combined into a single weekly email. Here's a rundown of the different types of lists:
Set up a mailing list for your group to plan things, discuss ideas, schedule meetings, etc. Anyone can sign up and anyone can send message. Open discussion lists make it easy for anyone to access your email list.
Only you can send out emails to the list. Distribution lists are great for sending updates people that want be informed about your group's upcoming events, meetings - whatever.
Emails are approved by a moderator or group of moderators before being sent out. Moderated lists are good for announcement lists where a lot of people want to send emails, but you want to limit the number that get sent out to everyone.
Discussion list that's exclusive to your group. Only members can see the messages or the archives. Moderators approve any new members. Closed discussion lists are good for in-group discussions that you don't want others to see.
Make a website for your group! For all of these, we can set you up with a web address that looks like "yourgroup.rocus.org". If your group already has a domain name, we can work with that too. We currently support these kinds of sites:
A website where you periodically post things about your group. Blogs are usually pretty informal so posts can be whatever you want. You can write about group's current plans, post pictures from your latest event or link to news articles. People who are interested in your group can /bin/bash: indent: command not found update.
Some good examples of blogs are:
Veterans For Peace
Jack Bradigan Spula's blog
Wikis are websites that anyone can edit and update. They simplify keeping your group's website up-to-date because anyone in the group can change things. They also let you create websites without a lot of technical knowledge -- you don't need to learn HTML. If you are worried about outside people altering with your site, you can set up a login system so only people who you approve can edit things (but it's almost always not a problem).
Check out these examples of wikis:
Food Not Bombs wiki -- this one's an example of a nice small and simple wiki page saying some basic facts about a group.
RocWiki -- Wiki containing a ton of info about rochester. This is an example of a pretty large wiki.
If you know HTML, we can give you space to put your pages on. This one requires a good amount of technical knowledge, but it also gives you the flexibility to design your webpage whatever however want.
Although we are happy to set you up with any of these services and are willing to set up others, the one thing that we can't do is design webpages for groups. If you are in a group that just wants a simple webpage set up, maybe a wiki would work for you? Wikis start out as a simple template that you can just fill in with details about your group. It's not too hard and we are willing to answer any questions that come up.
Rochester Indy Media Center created Rocus as a means to assist local Rochester grassroots organizations. Rochester Indy Media Center does not endorse any group or individual that uses this service. Groups and individuals that are interested in using Rocus should contact Rochester Indy Media. Once the request is made the Rochester Indy Media editorial members will decide if the group or individual meets the criteria established by the collective.
If you are interested in any of these things or want more info, please send an email to ben(at)rocus.org and I'll be happy to work with you.