A Collaborative Organizing Guide

People who want to change the world need advice on the most effective way to do this.

Generally books that try to give you most of what you need to do activism are called "Organizing Guides" or "Activism Handbooks".

In my mind, the two leading organizing guides are that by the War Resister's League and Midwest Academy's one. SEAC also has a good guide.

However, none of these guides come close to providing the level of detail that would reflect the variety of experiences of thousands of social movement activists. I think the solution is to develop a new online collaboratively written set of resources that would be sorted and edited to provide a level of quality worthy of a good Organizing Guide.

In the future, I want to develop tools that will facilitate collaborative production of materials. However, in the mean time, I wonder if Wikipedia could be modified AND adequately publicized as a platform for creating this online Organizing Guide?

Also, it shouldn't just be online. Once the text is well-developed, it should definitely be printed and mass-distributed in progressive bookstores and sold over the internet.

There could be different flavours of the guide. For instance, you could have more/less radical versions of it. Or it could be tailored to a certain issue or constituency. Perhaps it might even be possible to allow users to answer several questions to customize their guide, and then dynamically generate a PDF (you can do this with PHP) based on their preferences. You could do this by having options for sections (for instance a radical section on tactics might focus more on direct action, whereas a moderate section would include more about lobbying). It could also be translated into different languages. In addition, there could be different layout styles.

I suspect this starts to go beyond the capabilities of Wikipedia, but these things wouldn't be hard to do.

Google Docs

I think Google Docs could be useful here. From my limited experience, having several people editing a Google document at the same time worked well. I'm not sure how well you could do layout in Google Docs, but at least you can jointly write text. Now if Google were to create a finer-grained permissions structure so that you could assign parts of a document to certain users, that'd be great! Of course you can always cut the document up into documents (ex. each chapter of the organizing guide could be its own document). And also I would hope that the trust issues involved in colloboratively writing would be small enough - so if you had five people writing a chapter, they'd be able to trust each other without having a complex permissions system.

Wikipedia maybe a good tool i

Wikipedia maybe a good tool in these cases, I think I understand what the concept is :-)

That's a good start for using

That's a good start for using the internet to do activism. I'm thinking more of a traditional organizing guide which would deal with issues like "how to choose a campaign", "how to run meetings", "recruitment" and the like.

The SEAC Organizing Guide is an example that I'd like to expand upon.

Activist Internet Toolkit

Check out my activist Internet toolkit at http://activisttoolkit.blogspot.com -
More than happy for other people to add things as long as they can be applied to a wide range of issues.