<nettime> SaysUs Project Seeks FLOSS Collaborators

From: Örsan Şenalp - Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:16:30 +0200


Dear friends,

SaysUs just has become affiliated to May First / People Link (https://mayfirst.org/), which has been providing useful IT services to the activists and movements around the world. We did just send the below text to the comrades involved in and collaborate each other at May First / People Link network-coop. Yet our call is open to all floss developers, commoners, activists and anyone who shares the vision that we tried to formulate in the text as simple as possible. We invite all comrades around the world who share similar values and virtues to join us and engage with our comrades at May First / People Link network.

Here is our call:

“Says-Us (see http://www.saysus.net) is a new member of May First / People Link. We propose the creation of a web facility, a portal, to facilitate the ability of millions of people to tell their own stories, to write anonymous complaints, about work, housing, health care, schools, unemployment, prison, government, almost anything, as it affects them.

Many job related web sites have already shown that, given the chance to safely complain, people will do so. Unfortunately, existing corporate sites are oriented towards helping employers find cheap labor, and to sell advertising, not to helping change workplace practices. Non-corporate sites are particular to one union or reform organization and are not sufficiently generalized or allowing of self-organization.

Jobvent.com collected as many as 100K complaints about 10K companies. The complaints were then destroyed when jobvent was acquired by Glassdoor.com. Sites like glassdoor are spaces where hard-to-organize flex-jobs seekers may read about and learn from each other’s experiences. But site users are not offered any course of action except the obvious – to avoid employment at the worst offender companies.

Says-Us will be different from job-recruitment sites and complaint forums because it will offer users opportunities for self-organization, the ability to find and address each other, as well as assistance, and organizational help to those who want it. Site users will be able to find others with similar complaints, by organization and location. If they work for the same company (anywhere in the world), have the same landlord, are dealing with the same predatory bank, government, etc they will be able to find each other by anonymous site id. They can pick thresholds of action, and choose from many forms of action, should they decide to do so.

Best practices, “pros”, will also be collected, allowing users to identify organizations that both have good employment practices as well as socially useful product. Labor unions, labour activists and trans-local social justice and community organizing / collective action / activists will be able to be “found” on the site by those in need of their services and open to their messages.

We would like to develop the ideas and build the site in line with open-source and libre philosophy: p2p, distributed, highly secure, scalable, not-for-profit, user extendable (by data fields), enabling self-organizing and empowerment, multi-lingual, web and especially mobile applicable. A simple user interface will allow people to move readily from complaints and issues to self-empowerment, self-organizing, and self determined communication and action through existing organizations.

Gateways to whistleblowing projects (like Wikileaks, Associated Whistleblowers Press, LabourLeaks, or WildLeaks) or progressive and independent unions, or relevant how-to, self-learn or Do-It-Yourself projects, hacker spaces, mediaLabs and other alternative economy-solidarity networks can be offered in the Take Action section.

As May First / People Link members can see, this potentially important facility would need help from people of many interests, skills, and dedication. We would need help with requirements, understanding of technological possibilities and needs, simple and attractive user interface design, security and scalability, coding, open-source knowledge, coordination, legal help, multi-language translation, and financial help.

At the monent we use a doku wiki build in on our online workgroup (https://on.usilive.org/dokuwiki/972/) on the Organizing Network -which is project being developed by another may first / people link member, Union Solidarity International. Since you need to register Organizing Network to log in and join the group, we might use another location like a SaysUs media-wiki to develop the ideas for the site, the user interface, and other requirements.

We would love for any form of assistance possible from MayFirst members. We, Frank and Örsan, (http://saysus.net/who-are-we/) care most that the project be implemented well, by many people of skill, vision and of passion for justice, democracy, freedom, and equality. Please get in touch with us, for a discussion or to help. There is a contact form at the bottom of the who-are-we page.”

The concept is still draft, as you see, and we seek any kind of solidarity to build it further. We would appreciate if you join us and / or pass our word to your comrades you know or think who might be interested in joining their labour and creativity with us, and make SaysUs a working global platform.

In solidarity

  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
  more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@kein.org