Comment 33725

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 16, 2009 at 20:27:47

So, a bit more detail on what I'm thinking about: essentially, I'm proposing that we create some kind of web-based application that makes it easier for people to organize around a particular issue.

It seems that this would require at least the following:

  • An easy way for someone to establish an ad hoc organization around an issue. This is often the hardest part of organizing, since many people are usually willing to help out as long as someone else makes the first move. If we can make it a lot easier for a leader to get the ball rolling, that may encourage more people to start organizations.

  • An easy way for other people to join the group, either as active participants or simply to follow developments. This should include various ways to keep abreast of developments: the online discussion, an RSS feed, an email digest, etc. (Also, my personal belief is that community organizing should take place openly and in public; not only is that more inclusive, but also it's more transparent and accountable. People organizing in public tend to be more responsible.)

  • A permanent homepage where the organization is based which provides various tools of organizing, including ways to: share news and other information; discuss and debate the issue to decide how to interpret it and what to do about it; plan real-world meetings, events and actions; issue letters (e.g. to council) and press releases; establish contact information; and so on.

There are plenty of other possibilities, e.g. a way to integrate media sources - something like a Google Alerts-style keyword search of local media for articles related to the issue.

Again, the application should make these functions and tools easily available, so a prospective leader doesn't need to reinvent the wheel.

My hunch is that the end result will have some combination of various elements of a blog, a wiki, an egroup, and a social network.

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