MM 2017: Proposal to Create a Community Technology Rubric


Hi All,

Here’s a proposal I’d like to bring forth at the membership meeting. Feedback and edits welcomed!


A key finding from our recent membership survey is that organizations are interested in moving off of corporate infrastructure such as the Google Suite, but oftentimes are unclear as to what free/open-source software choice is the best.

Another issue I’ve discussed with others repeatedly is the limitation of open-source technology. This is not the only consideration when evaluating how ethical technology is. Other considerations include: usability, governance, diversity of staff/community, company/community culture, funding model, financial transparency.


I propose that MayFirst form a working group to come up with a rubric that defines community technology. Community technology was a term used at the Allied Media Conference in 2015 to describe technology built by and accountable to our communities.

The creation of this rubric will outline in a holistic way what we expect from out tools and those who design, develop, maintain and use them.

Once created, the rubric can be used to evaluate various tools and products. This has the benefits of:

  • giving tech projects a roadmap to aim for in order to be inclusive and just
  • informing end users of the pros and cons of using a tool
  • bringing to light best practices worth celebrating and promoting as inspiration to others
  • bringing to light flaws in tools that are worth organizing around and advocating to change