2022 Engagement and Communications / Participación y Comunicaciones

Wednesday, October 19th, at 3:00 pm (America/New_York, 1.5 hours)

How do we engage the movement and communicate the importance of movement-owned technology? How do we align our projects with the current political moment? Help us strategize for next year. This meeting will produce about 6 - 8 priorities for the coming year. Please use this thread to add any comments or questions you have before or after the sesion.

Miercoles, 19 de octubre, a las 15:00 horas (América/Nueva_York, 1,5 horas)

¿Cómo involucramos al movimiento y comunicamos la importancia de la tecnología propia del movimiento? ¿Cómo alineamos nuestrxs proyectos con el momento político actual? Ayúdanos a elaborar estrategias para el próximo año. Esta reunión producirá entre 6 y 8 prioridades para el próximo año. Puedes usar este hilo para publicar cualquier pregunta o comentario que tiene antes o después de la sesión.

I wanted to add a written comment.

What kind of ‘pitch’ can we make to organizations that are already entrenched in megacorp tech services? I often get eyes rolling and shoulders slumping when the topic of alternate tech and open source software is brought up. Folks ask, in effect, why should we take time away from our core mission to migrate to a different tool or technology? Isn’t our free time devoted to the hard work in our chosen mission enough? I have a ton of empathy for that point of view, and might have the same viewpoint if I didn’t have a fair amount of tech in my background.

I try and explain how detrimental the tech giants are, and get a "yes, but…’ reaction.

One other comment as a note taker.

CryptPads for each breakout would make things a bit easier for note takers. The display jumps all over the place when several are entering text. Realigning the scroll, listening to and summarizing speakers, adjusting the interpretation bar etc is a lot to have going on at the same time. I can make it work, but not by much.

I think coming up with a pitch is a great idea. It would probably need to be tailored to each group to some degree. I think it would need to be a combo of:

  1. Suggest incremental changes - like using a riseup pad (or cryptpad) for taking notes, or using Jitsi Meet instead of zoom for some internal meetings - you don’t have to go all Marie Kondo at once and

  2. Build politically - this is not as effective with reformist organizations, but organiations with revolutionary or radical politics really should be asking themselves: can we win if our movement is dependent on corporate technology? What role does Amazon, Google and Facebook have on your area of struggle? On the global economy? On the environment?

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I’ve been working on #1 steadily at GCIWW. I work internally to gain allies. I’ve managed to get our Digital Technology Committee to do all its business within NextCloud and Jitsi Meet. We’ve gotten a few of the Zoom stalwarts to at least experience JM once in a while when meeting with us. Now they have to at least admit that JM is stable and quite usable compared to their experiences of a couple years ago. I’ve done workplace organizing with our Treasurer, and based partly on that trust relationship convinced him to include OpenCollective.org as a second option for our Strike And Hardship Fund donations. (PayPal is such a wretched company.)

Re 2#. An organization like mine, which has ‘Abolition Of The Wage System’ as an out front goal, would qualiffy as radical/revolutionary. That hasn’t translated into being ‘radical’ about embrace of alternate tech and FOSS. I think part of my problem has been a focus on how detrimental big tech is in general, and using them is consorting with the enemy. That approach, I think, induces my fellow workers into a reactionary state, such that they defend the usage of big tech to avoid feeling guilty and/or traitorous to the cause. The better approach is probably pointing out reasons to feel proud and good about involvement in alternatives. “FOSS is production for use value rather than exchange!” “OpenCollective reduces alienation and allows workers to keep surplus value!” And so on.

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