Ideas for the online revolution.

Why It's Ok to Torture, Kill and Eat Animals

I'm not a hard core animal rights activist (probably less than 5% of my time is spent on that issue), but I am interested in how the oppression of animals is so easily seperated from other forms of oppression.

Most progressive activists believe in a common anti-oppression doctrine that says that oppression by either race, gender, class or sexual orientation is very bad. Until recently class was viewed to be the most significant factor and most activists ignored race, gender and sexual orientation up until the Sixties/Seventies.

From my participation in activism, I think there is generally little to be gained by arguments about whether oppression by race, gender, class or sexual orientation is generally worse. You can say things like the racial divide in the student movement is worse than the other factors. Or you could argue that students at Notre Dame face the greatest discrimination based on sexual orientation (as they aren't meant to even form clubs). However, for the most part, it is safer to argue that these forms of oppression are just very different in how they operate, and yet also very similar.

Adventures with CivicSpace Modules

I have been learning how to use CivicSpace and how to program modules for CivicSpace/Drupal.

You can see my trial edition of CivicSpace with modules that reproduce some of the CampusActivism.org functionality. Currently you can view things in tables, sort them, and see individual instances.

The Iron Cage and the End of Web Development

I predict that either Microsoft or Google will attempt to monopolize website development by creating a content-management-system that is linked to their search engine (includes it for searching within your site and also for searching the internet), and possibly operating system (if Microsoft does it).

It is possible that a growing push for standardization and the need to validate one's html code (due to the demands of XML - or other systems for doing a better job of sorting everything on the web using tags), and due to typical corporate practices (witness what happenned to radio), there will be a rationalization in the website development business. We will move from having millions of different types of websites to fewer and fewer.

Sit-In! A Tactical Analysis

I recently wrote up a short version of what I learned while writing my master's thesis. It is useful for student activists who have a campaign - because you should consider doing a sit-in.

Sit-In! A Tactical Analysis

The Midwest Academy Organizing Model - Several Criticisms

Several important criticisms of the Midwest Academy's model which is commonly used in the student movement (ex. Grassroots Organizing Weekend - GROW trainings)

The Midwest Academy Organizing Model - Several Criticisms

MSN New Search Goes Live

MSN had been testing their new search engine for months. Now it is online. At least some of the time. You won't always see it. This being online is a bad thing because they didn't improve it.

I'm mad that the number one ranked website for "activism" is a spam site. It belongs to a network of inter-linking websites that are all owned by the same company. These websites do not rank in Google. Probably Google banned them for being spam. This spam site has a keyword density of almost 50% in the meta keywords and description tags.

The websites in this network have public forums. Their forums suck. They make money from ads.

CampusActivism Update

I'm currently doing a lot of networking with other activist tech projects. I'm strongly considering working with CivicSpace which is a Content Management System (CMS) based on Drupal. It's popular among politically oriented developers.

CivicSpace emerged from DeanSpace (a website platform used for Dean groups, in Howard Dean's 2004 run for the Democratic nomination).

CivicSpace is still in its early stages (version 0.8), but they have big plans. They have the same goals that I do - namely of creating a network of websites that share activism data. CivicSpace is currently running on 100 websites. Thus it makes sense to join-in on the project. Hopefully I'll fit in!

A Review of MoveOn.org

An excellent review of what Moveon.org has been up to recently.
Part I
Part II

Large Chocolate Bar Spotted

Before Christmas, Trader Joes had a massive stack of 10 pound Ghirardelli semi-dark chocolate bars for $19.99. Unfortunately they contained milk.

Very Early Beta of GOAD Works

GOAD (Grassroots Online Activist/m Database), aka "The Network", to a large degree works. You could add, edit, search, and browse - and it will generally work. This makes me *extremely* happy!!!

At first I thought I had a serious slowness issue on my hands (it took 30 seconds to add a person), but now I suspect that the problem isn't so bad and that my webhosting company was partially to blame (the server was running slow). Now the server is doing better and you can add a person in 5 seconds with GOAD. Editing a person takes the same amount of time. By contrast you can add/edit a person in approximately 1 second if you do it directly on campusactivism.org. Browsing is much less of a problem as that only takes 1 second with GOAD.

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