Ideas for the online revolution.

Using Maps for Effective Progressive Messaging

Activists need to embrace the use of maps in our campaigns.

Maps allow you to make information more appealing to the reader, without dumbing down the content (for instance, you don't have to turn your argument into a short slogan). Complex statistical arguments about the correlation between one factor and another are much easier to grasp if they are presented in a nice chart, or better yet, a map.

Currently I'm guessing that we're on the threshold of a coming wave of activist maps. Here are several factors that will start the wave:

1) Google Maps API - has created a renaissance in maps on the internet by making it very easy to create a map, and by provoking a number of competitors (notably Yahoo and ESRI) to provide free APIs.

Challenges for Australian activism

so... i am now introducing a new blog that will hopefully be useful to people, regardless of which hemisphere they find themselves in.

i am blogging from Australia, as an activist who has participated for the last few years in the student movement in Sydney. I have witnessed a lot of change even over the last 5 years.

Now, we as students are now seeing student organsisations (as we previously knew them) fall apart and transform around us.

Since the Liberal Party got a majority in the senate last December, it has been able to implement its dream policies. Targeting student organisations was the first priority for the government, because historically, student movements in Australia, like those of the rest of the world, are a backbone of many major social movements. In recent years some of these social movements have been the refugee solidarity movement against mandatory detention of undocumented migrants(2000-2006 current) and the anti-uranium, indigenous sovereignty movements, especially the successful campaign to stop Jabiluka Uranium mine (1996-8).

an introduction

so... i am now introducing a new blog that will hopefully be useful to people, regardless of which hemisphere they find themselves in.

i am blogging from Australia, as an activist who has participated for the last few years in the student movement in Sydney. I have witnessed a lot of change even over the last 5 years.

Now, we as students are fumbling along as our student organsisations crumble around us (to be continued -teh computer has just told me to log off)

Server Crash

This has been the worst web-hosting crash I've seen (normally I like JaguarPC, but they really messed up). Our website was down for a bit over two days. Campusactivism.org is up, still waiting for other sites, notably activismnetwork.org.

Apparently there was one or more spammers on the shared server. Then they had a RAID hard drive array crash. During this time, they did a lousy job of communicating what was going on with users. For instance, my first support ticket request got a reply saying the server would be up shortly. The second support ticket got a reply saying they "hoped" it would be up shortly. One day later things weren't much better. Basically I had to pester support and they must have prioritized restoring my account. Support was overloaded and responded to some things very slowly (sometimes taking 6 hours).

Over 1300 Groups and Growing


Map of our Network

It's a map (using Google Maps) of some of the 1300 groups on our site.

Very slow in Internet Explorer (2 minutes). Fast in Firefox (15 seconds).

Convert RSS Feeds to Images - For MySpace, Friendster, etc.

I created a tool that lets you convert a RSS feed into an image. Then you can include the image in your MySpace, Friendster, or other page. This could be used to include headlines from your blog (or LiveJournal, or many other places) in your MySpace page.
MySpace Feed

Corporations, Bin Laden, and Child Porn

Continuing the argument that the internet is a twenty-first century Pandora's box, I want to point out to a couple recent attacks. The first is as old as the hills: muddy your opponent with the indefensible and then take the moral high ground in demanding a solution. What is indefensible? Child porn and terrorism!

Soccer, Board Games, Meetup, and other totally apolitical uses for Activism Network software

While my goal in developing the Activism Network software was political, it could easily be used for completely apolitical goals.

Radio
For instance, I'm very interested in radio. I enjoy listening to FM and shortwave radio stations from hundreds to thousands of miles away.

Somebody could download the software, install the server and client, and create a database of radio hobbyists. The event calendar could include club meetings, ham fests, dx-peditions (trips where hobbyists go to a remote location, setup very long antennas, and listen to their radios), and others. The resources would include radio station schedules, radio-control software, propogation prediction software, decoder software, guides to building antennas, modifying radios, and more. For groups, you'd have a list of ham, shortwave listener, or other radio groups. For issues, you'd have things like shortwave, longwave, AM, FM, scanner, HAM, Morse Code, etc.

Why MySpace is More Popular than Friendster


An excellent essay on why MySpace is doing better than Friendster

The basic argument is that MySpace had a flexible tolerant approach to users, while Friendster was cracking down on Fakesters (accounts that weren't real people) as well as more controversial content. MySpace turned into the cool place through sleaze, lettings its user be "bad" but with the safety of pseudonyms, freedom, and bands at a point where Friendster also had major tech problems (outages and slow).

The author has

Online Strike Hits Rabble.ca

Today I was checking out rabble.ca, a progressive media site, because I want to find some Canadians interested in implementing Activism Network software in Canada.

Rabble.ca has a huge forum with over 500,000 posts (Hopefully this link doesn't mean I'm crossing the picket line). Currently there is a volunteer moderators STRIKE going on, after one of the two (?) paid employees was fired.

So volunteers have setup an >alternative site and started a new forum on it.

Apparently some strikers are using spam against the old board, or did so originally to get the word out about the strike.

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