wiki:projects/membership-meeting/2012/virtual_group

Version 1 (modified by Jesus Franco, 8 years ago) (diff)

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Work by the virtual group gathered (first) around IRC channel #mayfirst, after slipped to an etherpad, where happened a very large discussion about MF/PL international relationship.

I) Priorities, comments and specific proposals.

A.- Reliability of hosting services -- Confiabilidad de servicios de hospedaje

  • Ensure stable, fast, secure and reliable hosting services
  • Garantizar que los servicios de hospedaje sean estables, rápidos, seguros y confiables

Rob K: Consensus was that this is very important. For many members, web hosting is the primary thing that they look for from MFPL, and they want it to be stable. People are especially concerned about uptime / reliability and believe that should be a top priority.

Specific proposals

  • perhaps it could be addressed by using virtual server replication and load balancers so that there's better duplication (if server A goes down, server B is still running and the load balancer fails over to that one??)...
  • What's the status of MF/PL servers regarding IPv6? If they're not running IPv6, then set that up.
  • Setup MF/PL servers in places besides New York City, especially in countries where there are MF/PL members.

B.- Recruit people historically excluded from technology, and promote their leadership -- Incorporar a la gente históricamente excluida del acceso a la tecnología y promover su liderazgo

  • Recruit for membership people and organizations blocked from accessing, developing and having ownership over technology, and prioritize their participation as members of the leadership committee, the support team, the international committee and as representatives of the organization.
  • Reclutar miembros y organizaciones bloqueadas de acceso, desarrollo y teniendo propiedad sobre tecnología, y priorizar su participación como miembros del comité de liderazgo, el equipo de apoyo, el comité internacional y como representantes de la organización.

Rob K: A lot of people were excited about taking more of an "organizing" approach to doing this work, but weren't sure how we'd go about it. There was agreement that to reach out to people effectively, MFPL would need to be on the ground in communities around the world, or at least that there would need to be people there who were allied with MFPL. We discussed a few experiences related to this strategic priority:

Some experiences and thoughts

Local chapters: Code For America has been very successful at creating region-based networks in a bunch of different cities and areas around the USA that engage the people in those areas in doing Civic Hacking.

Programs targeted to specific communities: Josue has been very active with the Techies of Color training program, a pilot project that was initiated in the last year and would love to see mfpl do more of these kinds of things, but tezcatl felt it would be a bit harder to duplicate it exactly the same way in México since they can't budget a program with the same characteristics.

The final question was this: What, specifically, could MFPL do to support programs like Techies of Color?

Specific proposals

About recruiting people historically excluded of tech, we put our proposals about this in priority E, around the idea of raising the capabilities of such groups is an effective way to get them more involved in MF/PL as organization, and having a more effective leadership in their movements.

C.- Provide tech support to movement -- Proporcionar soporte técnico al movimiento

  • Participate in and provide technology support to major left movement struggles
  • Participar y prestar apoyo tecnológico a las luchas más importantes del movimiento de izquierda

Specific proposals

  • Continue setting up and improving software/hardware/documentation that supports multi-lingual dialogue both synchronously and asynchronously using text, images, audio, video, concept maps (e.g. Compendium software) and other formats.
  • Arrange ways for MF/PL hardware to relate with member-owned hardware under direct member control, such as home and office servers, FreedomBox (more a software project, based on plug computers), mobile phones, community wireless networks (redes libres), etc.

D.- Help build the libre/open source movement -- Ayudar a construir el movimiento por el software libre

  • Help build the movement for free/open source software and an open and accessible Internet, particularly within the broader left
  • Ayudar a construir el movimiento por el software libre y por un Internet abierto y accesible, en particular dentro del amplio movimiento de izquierda.

E.- Raise membership free software capabilities Elevar la capacidad de nuestros miembros con las herramientas de software libre

  • Raise the technology capacity of our members to use free and open source tools for organizing, empowerment and security -- through educational workshops, public awareness campaigns, and collectively improving our documentation including by harnessing resources within our membership network.
  • Elevar la capacidad tecnológica de nuestros-as miembros para utilizar las herramientas de software libre útiles para su seguridad, empoderamiento y sus procesos de organización -- a través de talleres, campañas de concientización y mejorando colectivamente nuestra documentación utilizando y promoviendo el intercambio entre los miembros de la red.

Specific proposals

  • Engaging more people in solving trouble tickets: Tezcatl suggested that we should look for means of letting people engage more actively in learning processes through solving problems together with the MF/PL support team. Also said tickets shouldn't stay open anymore since it leads to a lot of confusion about how it is best to participate in helping others.
  • Need for both process-oriented and technology-oriented documentation Patrick G wrote about this and give some proposals:
    • Process-oriented documentation means something like "Welcome to MF/PL, here are some common tasks that you might want to know how to do using the MF/PL infrastructure. 1) Change your website from name.mayfirst.org to name.org. 2) Create a Drupal-based website. 3) etc."
    • technology-oriented documentation is what The Organic Internet essays focus on: learning how specific technologies work.

F.- Serve as a leading advocate of radical organizing strategies that use the web -- Avanzar y promover estrategias organizativas radicales que utilicen la red

  • Promote the Internet as a means for strengthening international alliances and struggles.
  • Promover al Internet como medio para el fortalecimiento de las alianzas y luchas internacionales.

G.- Build solidarity among members -- Cultivar la solidaridad entre miembros

  • Build connections and solidarity among May First/People Link members both around our visions for the Internet and technology and around our broader struggles.
  • Desarrolar los vínculos y la solidaridad entre los miembros de Primero de Mayo/Enlace de Pueblo en torno a nuestra visión del internet y tecnologia y las luchas que compartimos en un sentido más amplio.

Specific proposals

  • Build a database / directory (or communication hub) of radical tech cooperatives and service providers (like the Slingshot directory of infoshops) would be a huge step in the right direction. Use this to build alliances, recruit new members, and learn how to function as an organization.
  • Maybe facilitate a round table / community of practice to foment communication and collaboration between radical tech groups (I'm guessing this already exists in some ways.)
  • Coordinate with other information hubs and networks that gather relevant groups, such as the US Solidarity Economy Network.
  • Patrick G: Do a caravan of MF/PL members visiting each other and participating in events together (inspired by LibreBus Mesoamérica 2011 and LibreBus Cono Sur 2012).
  • Newsletters about what other groups are doing (already done in part by some of the Lowdown emails)

General discussion

  • Patrick: MF/PL has sometimes been described as a "hemispheric organization of the Americas" and yet has members (and activities?) in Europe and Africa (and Asia?). So some clarification of (the) MF/PL vision(s) in terms of geography could help MF/PL decide what to focus on as an organization. I guess this relates to Priority G in a way.

II) General discussion about the value we give to the priorities.

(Rob K) I think some of it comes down to the basic question of what MFPL is as organization - if it's primarily a provider of infrastructure, then yeah, the most important thing is the quality of infrastructure that it provides - if it's more of an organizing front working on building a social movement, then other things are probably just as important if not more so. gdm: Ok, so I think the current top two priorities are - improving internet stability (A); improving international collaboration (which is probably closest to B but also incorporates some of F as we've been discussing below)

tezcatl: I'd be more oriented to E and B since that would be a clear priority in order to better our documentation, as somebody put on A priority (reliability of services?) we should have better documentation, most oriented to processes and task solving. We were talking about closing the tickets shouldn't stay open anymore since it leads to a lot of confusion about where can we participate helping other fellows.

gdm: I'd put E third I think: some experience has been that organisations are reluctant to move to new providers if they can't guarantee uptime etc, and lots of groups still think in a very capitalistic way: we need to prove to them that free software/open source tech is as good if not better than what they are using already. As such, it needs to be at least equivalent in terms of availability for them.

tezcatl: Well, I agree A is above at everything, after that, I think "building unity" It's more effective learning together (E as a way to B) rather than subscribing declarations (G)

It was a pretty much most of time off-topic conversation, but there were said many interesting things about MF/PL relationship with other

Topics not included in the priorities

About international relationships of MF/PL with other people.

Comment by Ollinca from México, kindly translated to English by Rob K

I want to speak to the process of solidarity in Mexico and the struggle to bring organizations together. And I would say that for many organizations on the Mexico side - the decision to make this merger was very sudden. And the comments from the folks seem to be pretty satisfied with the structure - I think that's really important from at least the Mexican side that bring so much hard work and commitment to this movement.

And I think that it's important to say that we need to do more work, more collective work. I feel that there are many members of this organization who may not know how to integrate in a more seamless way. I think people have a lot of good will and so hopefully we're going to be able to work in a way that's much more coordinated.

And I think that, from the international perspective, the analysis of this relationship doesn't seem very equitable, and I think that folks that have some different perspectives on these issues - we're in a position now where we're going to be working together, and we need a lot of good will to be able to work together.

Solidarity with people and groups affected by the manufacturing of computer hardware

  • PatrickG: As a group based on using this hardware, we (can) take responsibility to change the system of production and post-use.
  • Rob K: Yeah - I agree that MFPL has a big role to play in solidarity with FoxConn workers and people being exposed to toxic junk yards in India (and elsehwere). There is a VERY REAL cost of all of the technology that we use.