Below is a granular step by step description of our process for producing weekly editions of the OWS Newsletter managed by the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team.
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- On Fridays we typically try begin collecting events and emailing with editors and team members to discuss the next edition, relying heavily on Google docs for note taking and to collaboratively write the finished product.
- By Sunday or Monday morning we have a Google doc set with the newsletter taking shape, with the expectation that the majority of work will be done before Monday night.
- Monday night we send to the preview list, where we take on their feedback, and broadly fix it up, with editing expected to be concluded by 5pm on Tuesday.
- After the editing team comes to consensus, a test email is then sent to the newsletter team Tuesday night, where we go through any last minute design changes or edits asap.
- We then send the full email Tuesday night or Wednesday morning!
 Finding events and discussing which to include
- Our process begins with a weekly call for events, where we can bring back what we have found to the team to assess.
- Events may be found by searching on Occupy websites, google groups, social media, person to person connections, etc.
- We also have events sent to us through the OWS newsletter list email address -- from occupiers helpful enough to send specific material.
- The Occupy Inboxes editing team edits the final Google doc, with the rest of us able to use the Google doc’s commenting features or discuss on the email list.
- If a new person would like to join they editing team they are typically mentored, where they shadow a more experienced person throughout the process. Anyone interested for consideration must successfully go through all of the steps of the onboarding process, showing that you will constructively contribute to the newsletter within the confines of our process.
- We stipulate that you need to be respectful, and to just generally act nicely, so that we can retain our positive and collaborative environment where we have so successfully refused to succumb to pointless drama amidst our constant deadline pressure.
- Best description: it’s a do-acracy -- help out constructively, and then you get more trust to do more. Moreover, if a blocking concern does not achieve this boundary, it will not be considered legitimate.
 Writing event entries
Format (all in bold):
Day of week, Date with month spelled out, time
- Event title with link
- Location information
- Details of event
Writing subjective content like the intro, Occu-Project, etc.
- The purpose of the intro is to highlight, summarize, or encapsulate what the editing team thinks is most important for that week.
- Hope is for the intro to cover what a broad section of occupy believes, and is designed to add value.
 Editing the content
- We try to use as much of the text that is on the event page or that is associated with the OWS sponsored group as is feasible, but we require text to be of the caliber we aim to achieve for the newsletter on the whole.
- Newsletter editors are likewise able to change text, with the goal of focusing on the most important information in a concise manner to enhance its readability.
- We shoot for at most 500 characters per entry, but strive for brevity wherever possible.
- Another important editing element is double checking links and dates. This is ideally done by a volunteer specifically checking for it, preferably one who was not on the editing team so that they are not biased by what is already written.
 Previewing the content thoroughly
- We have a ‘preview list’ that we try to send the newsletter to 24 hours before the email blast goes out.
- Based on areas of need, we can ask the preview list to focus on things like: scanning for obvious mistakes, events we have missed, checking links and editing mistakes, and then general instructions for how to help more and rise up the ladder of engagement
When mistakes are made though, we will quickly assess and adjust. Our attitude is that errors are inevitable given the tight turn around and complexity of the content, which we regret, but can not be paralyzed by.
 Testing and sending the email
- We send a test email to the team before sending the full version out, where we have two team-members check and confirm that it is good to go.
- Our generic newsletter email address often receives responses pertaining to what can be included or why they want to include, as well as disparate requests for help.
- It can be difficult to respond and find all this information, and we look for those passionate and widely plugged into OWS goings on to take part in this.
And then...get ready to rock all this out again for the next week!