MFMT members directory

Dave Britton, MFMT Board member, active in weekly coordination team meetings.
personal email:
pronouns: he, his
MFMT interests: facilitating inter-member communications, supporting members working collectively on movement technology projects

What awesome stuff could we do if we, as members of a cooperative, organized ourselves to work on projects together in groups? That’s what this member exchange section of the MFMT Discourse installation is for.

As of this past Monday 6/8/2020 the coordination committee has approved reaching out to the membership at large to see what interest there might be to set up opportunities for coop members to contribute and participate directly.

The current biggest priorities are getting the free/libre open source software tools we have to be easier to use and more feature-filled for movement communications and organizing, and perhaps more centered on our needs instead of commercial corporate purposes. Linked to that is the need to raise consciousness about the politics of using open source software in preference to closed proprietary programs that open us to invasions of privacy and vulnerability to corporate and government shutdown.

We’ll need more than software developers, although we’ll need them too, of course. We need power users who can help define what the software should do, and how to make it easier to use and learn. I’m a developer myself and I often find myself too close to the software I’m writing to realize what it’s like for someone who doesn’t know it at all. We also need writers and graphic artists who can prepare training materials to help activists come up to speed faster, and documentation so users can look up how to make the software work most usefully and get directions for obscure functions. We need translators to put written materials (and maybe training videos) into (at least) Spanish as well as English. We need evangelists to spread the word, and to encourage movement activists to make the commitment to using open source tools whenever possible, so we’ll all stay safer from surveillance and intrusions. We need trainers and support people who can be available to help individuals and groups learn the new software and get help easily from people they can trust.

Post here (or drop me an email if you prefer) to tell us if you can get involved, and let us know how you would like to contribute! Also, let us know what your favorite and recommended open source tools are, which programs you wish were improved, and what proprietary software you rely on that doesn’t have an open source alternative.

We can set up video meetings on Jitsi Meet (or voice-only on Mumble) as soon as a few of us express interest.


I am Felix from Miami, i got involved in Organizing when i was working as Tech support then IT manager in a Florida based grassroots organization (FLIC) i no longer work there but i always felt passionate about the intersectional guacamole of politics, social issues, immigration, civic engagement and Technology.

I would like to contribute on:
Tech Support, Translation en-es

Favorite and recommended open source tools:
Firefox, Linux

Programs you wish were improved:
-Adding more web applications for members to use on our hosting plans, for example: CiviCRM instance, WP, Forum Sites, etc.
-Security: Multi Factor Authentication
-An Educational Platform with modules about technology tools, trends, issues, programming, etc

Proprietary software you rely on that doesn’t have an (reliable) open source alternative:
Endpoint AV, VPN, 2FA

Definitely interested in this discussion and seeing it happen! We have many options to look at for realizing the goal of collaboration! Happy to offer a room on CommunityBridge to meet/chat/screenshare our visions. Maybe a Croodle to allow interested parties to choose a date to meet?

Hi. Que tal? Very brief comments. 1. An open source app that begs improvement is Jitsi, in order to have more poeple participate in meetings. 2. Is there already a Mayfrst directory, meaning who we are, where we are, what we do? If there is no such thing, could we build one, protecting privacy of course. Regards to all

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Thanks for starting this discussion! If it’s useful, I keep a little directory of projects that deploy FLOSS cloud tools here:

I’d love to support MFMT’s development of community tools. I suppose I’m a “power user” in that I rely on our shared NextCloud, email, and Jitsi. I’d love for more of my digital life to run through our co-op!

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  • 1 here. I recommended a lot but people come back with issues (mostly hiccups in the audio and/or video streams) and eventually change to google meet (or much works, zoom). :frowning:

How can we make Jitsi better?
Going out of the usual videoconference systems and into the libre wilderness is important to show that there are other alternatives…

@ntnsndr I’m guessing you’re the nathan schneider who came to the last TAIS mumble meeting, and mentioned writing for Waging Non-Violence. I’m a subscriber to WNV and a fan of George Lakey, a fellow Quaker and activist trainer who also writes there, so my electronic ears perked up. If I’m right you’re also the author of the excellent " The Tyranny of Openness: What Happened to Peer Production?, in which case it would be great to hear your thoughts about how we (MFMT) might be able to bring our commitment to promoting movement use of non-commercial FLOSS software to a project of finding appropriate open source projects and engaging with the developers to support recruitment and/or training for women and POC to join or start suitable projects. Your article shows how and why it won’t work, or at least not well, to just try to plug folx into existing development teams, without directly engaging the open source development community in creating non-judgmental ways to make it safe and rewarding for people to join. You’ve obviously got a lot of contacts in the FLOSS world. Is something like this conceivable?

Nice to hear from you! Yes, George is a dear friend—for years I edited his column at WNV. Thank you for being part of that community. And that is indeed my paper—glad you liked it.

I was super, super excited to hear talk in the last tech call about creating an internship-type program to on-board new technical staff. I think that is a great way to start, and to be really intentional about the kinds of backgrounds and skill sets we’re looking for, and to make sure we’re also very intentional about culture building in the program. Do you know what the status of that effort/idea is?

Hi Nathan,

Jaime is in charge of the tech and infrastructure team project, so it will be up to him to get it underway, but his style is to listen to the people, so if we express interest/enthusiasm for the intern/training idea, at the next meeting we could start the process by asking for a project group to be formed to put a proposal together for it. Being explicit about the intentions for background, skills and culture-building would be appealing and reassuring to the group.

I think the biggest problem is the same problem MFMT has overall - who bells the cat? What resources do we have to put toward this? We have no money. The staff is already stretched, and the organization doesn’t know how to recruit and use volunteers yet. If this is to happen we (e.g. you and I) should figure out how to get some women/POC interested in the idea and willing to lead it, so it has genuine grass roots support. Otherwise it’s likely to be a very small project.

I followed some leads from your paper’s references and discovered the “ethical source” people who have funding from an unusual sounding group, Omidyar networks ( I think Omidyar might be interested in funding MFMT for this if we could pitch it right. Or we could take a full on DIY approach to do it without funding, just volunteers with more tech knowledge supporting volunteers with less. As Kevin Kelley wrote, given today’s tech’s speed of change we’re now all always newbies, so the trick is to learn how to learn new stuff.

Overall this project needs leadership but not from old white guys like me. (Not because I can’t learn new stuff, but due to being a white male patriarch, although I do work hard on not behaving like one.)

One tactic we might try is to invite in an outsider or two. You’ve got contacts in the open source developer community - is there a woman you can think of who might be willing to come to a meeting to give us advice, to help us think it through? Internally we have Micky Metts, with whom I have a good relationship. She’s on the coordinating team. Who else can we inspire to conspire with us?


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Where are we on rethinking the pricing? I assume there has got to be a way where our membership is able to support a living-wage, diverse staff. Grants can help with particular projects in the short term, but real sustainability has to come from the membership.

I also think that, rather than thinking of arbitrary individuals, it would be great to leverage our wonderful membership to identify potential future team members.

There are of course people and orgs who specialize in supporting diversity in tech, but that’s an additional cost. In my view our membership already brings diversity far greater than is common in tech, and we can draw on members’ networks and create a pipeline into the staff for diverse folks.

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