Online Activism

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Hosting Conference Websites

I could create a service that would offer free hosting to activist/liberal conference organizers.

I could prepopulate the structure and provide some empty pages that the organizer could fill in. Thus there might be sections like: home, schedule, registration, contact, getting there, housing, tabling, etc.

The organizer could just write up text descriptions for each page, upload a logo, and they wouldn't have to worry about getting a domain or website space, doing html and css. They might be able to choose from several themes/layouts.

Developing a Bot to Find Upcoming Activist Events

So one of my goals is to have the best activist events calendar (starting with the US), and to make it a lot better.

I'm pretty sure I've already got the best calendar (you can see them: - hit submit without any criteria), though it could be much better.

I've started collecting a pretty good list of reoccuring annual conferences (70 of them), as a lot of conferences reoccur and thus they're easier to list (or encourage the organizers to list them - which is the goal).

A Community Activist Map for Facebook and More

Activist social networks are unlikely to reach more than 1/1000 of the number of people of commercial networks like facebook (Facebook has 150 million active members, service oriented Idealist has 178,000, environmental activist oriented WiserEarth has 21,000). These sites not only lack the membership base, but they are also likely to get fewer page views per member as well.

Thus activists are best off piggybacking on existing commercial networks - especially now that this is possible with facebook markup language and the OpenSocial standard.

Sharing 500,000 Papers has over 500,000 papers on Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology and Statistics.

It's an example of what is possible.

Activists should do the same (maybe not 500,000 at first, but starting off with a goal of 1000 would be good).

Towards a National Activist Calendar

Currently a bunch of organizations have their own website calendars. These generally include their own events, and sometimes events organized by allies. Quality and format varies.

There are also several websites that try to have a calendar that covers their geographical area (city or state), an issue, the US, another country, or even the world.

Most of the significant activist events (eg. conference level, not just a weekly group meeting) are located on organizational websites. They don't make it on to the "calendar" websites, like

Mapping Power Plants

You can see a beta version of the site I've been working on since January:

Energy Justice Map

The mapping is especially fast if you use the newly released Google browser Chrome
(For a map with a large number of markers, it is approximately five times faster than Firefox - which is an insane improvement!)

We're mapping around 10,000 power plants, primarily in the US, for the Energy Justice Network which is part of the Energy Action Coalition (a large coalition of anti-global warming groups).

Principles for an Online Activist Grassroots Revolution

I originally wrote this in 2004, but never published it anywhere. Here it is with some small edits.

“Information wants to be free.”
(Stewart Brand at the first Hackers' Conference in 1984)

“Activist information wants to be free too.”
(Aaron Kreider, 2008)


Mapping Walmarts and Groups Opposing Them

Walmart Watch just came out with a
map of Walmarts.

You can find new stores or old stores. You can find stores near you. You can find stores that have been stopped. Users can update information about the store.

I like it because it's very similar to what the Energy Justice Network is going to be doing with our power plants map site. You can find power plants (instead of stores), update their information, find groups or start your own group to oppose them, and share resources (files).

An Atlas of Radical Cartography

A book that I recently noticed. Looks interesting. Unfortunately it looks a little on the theoretical/academic side, which has its place, but I'd really love to see more popular education oriented mapping projects.

Z Communications Launch (Znet, Zmag)

ZNet has launched their new website: Z Communications.

They're moving from a community of commentators, to a much larger and dynamic community that includes any of their members who want to join. It's possible that tens of thousands of members could start to use the new system.

They did a complete redesign of their site - which looks very good.

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