Ideas for the online revolution.

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.

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

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

Activism Network - Testers and Feedback Wanted

I’m proud to announce that I’ve got a new release of my software Activism Network (formerly known as Campus Activism, that is ready for testing and feedback.

I am planning to develop a community of developers and users who are interested in modifying the code, suggesting features, prioritizing features, and reporting bugs. I invite you to try out the software and join the community!

The major change in the new version of the software is that you can install it on your own website, and it will access information that is stored in a central database. So users will be able to add, edit, delete, browse and search – while staying on your site. It uses webservices (the php NuSOAP library).

Myspace and Immigration protests

For a project I'm working on, I have to see a lot of Black Panther veterans telling their political histories and debating a complicated and conflicting set of analyses on what went wrong with the party/parties. But they all agree about one thing: before they ever were part of the party, when they heard about Bobby Seale going to the California Legislature with guns, they knew what they had been waiting for and the beginning of a huge international phenomenon began. Not to fall victim to hyperbole, but a similar moment may have just happened and committed activists have to take note.

Television has been a danger since the beginning. The devil box offered a silver lining: we might just be able to slip a insurgent message (and invitation) through the signal into homes everywhere. Malcolm got it and so did Abbie Hoffman. With the onset of video games, the idiot box got stupider. Now the message was written out in code long before anyone ever saw it - no live camera to sneak behind, no producer fiending to fill his daily hour with content. And then the internet. The potential is pronounced. Indymedia, and the like, became the new way to broadcast upcoming protests. But it is also, in many ways, an anonymous cave that doesn't involve relationship with known characters. Great information sources, like ZMAG and (cough) History Is A Weapon (cough), offer the educational material, but haven't figured out how to assist in outdoor struggle and community building. Meanwhile, the new kids are increasingly plugging in, cell phones, Crackberry, and online social networking.

Activism Network - See It for Yourself

You, my loyal blog readers, are the first to read about this:
Activism Network

Mostly looks just like, but technically it is built very differently. And it has maps. Everyone loves maps, right?

Email me bug reports.

I'm testing it on XP running Internet Explorer 6, Firefox, and Opera 8.5. I don't have a Mac. Browser compatibility is especially an issue for Google Maps.

The Google Sandbox - Fact or Fiction?

The Google Sandbox is an effect where your website does well for the first several weeks, and then loses almost all of its traffic for several months, before recovering. It's probably a golf reference. The theory is that Google puts your site in a penalty box for several months to stop people from creating new spammish websites to rank #1 in Google.

Google has never, to my knowledge, admitted that this penalty exists. However at WebmasterWorld I believe the general consensus is that there is something in the Google algorithm that causes a sandbox effect.

There is another theory that Google penalizes sites that develop too quickly. If your site appears overnight and all of a sudden you have several hundred or thousand incoming links, then Google will suspect you of buying your links and might penalize you for that. If Google did this, the effect could be similar to that of the sandbox.

Campus Activism / Activism Network 3.0 - Progress Report

I'm testing the latest version (3.0) of I hope to do a beta release within the next three weeks.

Likely process: release beta (minor release, get it working on and let people know about it - notably other developers), test it and add more features. Then do a major release which would be stable and good enough for other websites. I'm thinking of releasing the beta before I have all the customization features implemented (that allows you to have the own version of the client - ex doing a client for your country, city, issue, language, etc -- add your own organizational logo).

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