Ideas for the online revolution.

Experimenting with Google Maps

I am playing around with the Google Maps API. You can see a list of
Activism Groups in PA

All of the Activism Groups

Other states work too. Unfortunately the point-loading is rather slow, but I used the Faster Loading Hack which really helped.

The API is cool.


Advocacy Dev II

I went to Advocacy Dev II - a conference for activist software developers. Read about it on the Wiki link.

It was good. High energy and good networking with perhaps 60-70(?) people.

I spent most of my time on the database track - talking about how to create standards for nonprofits to share their data (between organizations or even within the same organization), and to create one or more good nonprofit databases (note: Groundspring has stopped working on Ebase - the leading nonprofit database). CivicCRM is one good canidate for becoming this database. Unfortunately, developing standards is hard because you have to convince a critical mass of people to make it useful.

Activism Network - Software Release

After about ten months of work, I'm proud to release the Activism
Network software client!

Activism Network
You can see two examples or download it.

Basically this takes the software that has been running on for three years, and lets you install in on your
own website. Doing so, we can create a network of a hundred websites
sharing activism data!!!

Website owners can customize what data they receive from the network.

This is an early (alpha?) release that I'm hoping to use to generate
interest and feedback. Particularly I need some ideas about what kind of

Software is Political

I posted this recently to the Civicspace community email list:

Communication is gendered.

Men dominate, interrupt, don't listen, take other people's ideas and make
them look like their own, distort what other people say, when they do
listen they listen to other men, speak with more authority, talk more, and
talk longer.

If you create a regular online means for communication (ex.
discussion forum, blog, email list), if you don't do anything, most
of the time it will be dominated by men. This choice is political
because by doing nothing you are supporting sexism. When you and File Release

The League of Pissed off Voters has just released the
latest version of their software

I feel that is it closer to Friendster or MySpace in its approach than Campus Activism / Activism Network is. By this I mean that it focusses more on the individual, whereas I put a lot of emphasis on events, resources, groups, and issues.

Indyvoter is definitely very creative and is developing new ideas that might be useful. I think they might benefit from a lot of user testing (every project, including this software, needs more user testing), to sort out which ideas are most useful and also to work on their site's usability.

Advocacy Developers Conference II - July 11-13, San Francisco

I hope to attend and meet people. Yay networking!

Aspiration is pleased to host AdvocacyDev II. The second in a series of events that began with the first Advocacy Dev gathering in June 2004, Advocacy Dev II will convene organizers and activists using free and open
source (F/OSS) online advocacy tools, and developers and designers
building those tools.

Towards a Theory of Chocolate Workers as the Vanguard of the Proleteriat

1. Growing numbers of people recognize the social and environmental impacts of eating animal products, and convert to vegetarianism and ultimately veganism.

2. An increasing number of vegans stimulate sharp shifts in the chocolate industry towards dark chocolate. The public realizes that milk-chocolate was an evil corporate swindle whose taste pales in comparison to 55-70% bars.

3. A growing mass conciousness around issues of "fair trade", supported by well-funded liberal NGOs (whose foundation-backers hope to put a slightly human face on globalization), causes significant improvements in the lives of chocolate workers and ultimately sparks unions movements which are successful.

Activism Network

Activism Network
An early test version of the Activism Network client (and I guess server too).

Note it's going to be faster than the production version, because is running on the same webserver as

FM Dxing

FM E-Skip Season Starts
So it is summer and the FM Eskip season has begun! Several days ago I caught my first opening of the year. Normally the season lasts from around May 15 to August 15, and is best during the day-time with slight peaks around noon and 6pm. It lasted a little over two hours, unfortunately there was a lot of variation. Thus for perhaps 80% of the time, you couldn't hear anything. But stations would often fade in with strong signals for anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple minutes, and then everything would fade out.

Also, most of the time the MUF (maximum usable frequency) didn't get above 92 mhz - so it was hard to identify the non-commercial stations as they don't regularly identify themselves, and there are many more on each frequency.

Staff Pay and Workload in Radical Social Change Organizations

There is an interesting conflict in progressive non-profits which is heightened in the more radical organizations which have the least money.

The conflict is between wanting to treat their workers well, and wanting to get as much work done as possible for the greater good of society.

I'm fine arguing that well-funded moderate non-profits and for-profit corporations should be paying very high wages, but it's harder when then money comes out of organizations that are doing good work.

Should staff members in radical social change organizations be paid just enough to survive, a "living wage", or somewhere in between?

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