Cyber Unions, Web 2.0 [Using New Technology to Organize]
Cyber Unions, Web 2.0 and Social Media Using New Technology to OrganiseNCELL Employers Trade Union Prakash Neupane UNICTSDhuikhel8-9 Dec 2012
CyberUnions• Interaction between trade union and new technology• Favour horizontal rather than hierarchal organizing• Started by Walton Pantland• Other Activists are Stephen and Eduard
What is ‘Web 2.0’?Web 1.0 static websites designed by professionalsWeb 2.0 easy to edit, dynamic, participative
Why is this useful for unions?Free, easy to use communications toolsImproves communications with reps and membersGets the union message across to media and the rest ofthe worldEnhances union democracy by keeping people informedand engagedMakes the union a more dynamic organisation
ToolsSocial networks – Facebook, Unionbook, NingMicroblogging – twitter, identicaBlogs, wikis and websitesTelecommunicationsCountries with low Internet penetration
But first, an interesting trade union campaignIN 2007, theunion UNI-Global held acyber picket inthe virtualreality world,Second Life,against IBM.
Appropriate technology No point setting up aTechnology must be website for peopleappropriate to the who have no Internetneeds of the people accessit servesSimpler solutions are Cheap or free is goodusually better Experiment widely – what works for one group might not work for others
Social Networks The social network that everyone is on – including your boss and your mother. Useful for keeping in A social networking site for touch, but major trade union activists. privacy concerns. Very useful for sharing www.facebook.com ideas with activists in other countries. www.unionbook.org
Not really a socialnetwork – more forsharing newsDynamic, real timecommunicationGreat for ‘crowdsourcingideasUnique syntax:‘@’ identifies a user – forinstance I am @leischa ontwitter‘#’ makes a termsearchable by creating ahashtag – e.g. #unions‘RT’ means ‘retweet’, orforward a message
Most people use an app like Tweetdeck to follow twitter. Tweetdeck is dynamic, with tweets rolling down the screen like a waterfall – or twitterfall. You can follow different streams in the different column
Set up a simple branch website Blogger.comCreate a basic Wordpress.comwebsite using freetools Yola.com Wikidot.com
Register a custom Integrate Web 2.0domain - $10 - $ 15 per tools to keep contentyear, e.g. dynamicwww.yourunion.orgCreate a custom emailaddress with GoogleApps, firstname.lastname@example.org Most sites have tutorials to show you how to do this
Smart PhonesBlackBerry Android iPhoneAllows you to access They are gettingWeb 2.0 anywhere cheaper…
Telecommunications Free software you can download to your computer – allows you to make free phone and video calls to any other user in the world. Allows you to ‘stream’ live video from a smart phone to the Internet* *Needs a fast Internet connection
Telecommunications Free software you can download to your mobileVIBER/ allows you to make free phone calls to any other user in theTango world.
Other useful toolsOnline surveymonkey.comSurveys Why not take my online survey, and tellEasy to use, and me how you use technology in your unionallows you to find work?out exactly what www.surveymonkey.com/s/cyberunionsmatters to yourmembers Used by Unite in recognition campaigns
Other useful tools Delicious.com integrates with your browser and allows you to save, tag and share interesting links online… …you can export the links using RSS……and display them on yourbranch website – along withany other RSS feed.
What about countries with low Internet penetration?
SMS – the Text Message Mobile phones are ubiquitous in Mobile phones are ubiquitous in developing countries developing countries There are many examples of activists using text messages – for instance to monitor elections Frontline SMS is a great tool
Frontline SMS is freesoftware that runson a PC hub andcollates informationsent by textmessage.The PC doesn’t needan Internetconnection – it usesordinary mobilenetworks to sendmessages.
Why are so many tools free? Most common business model is ‘freemium’ – basic account for free, paid account with more features People who create free and open sourceThe are lots of free tools for software areunion activists ideologically committed to making tools freely available Go out there and experiment!
Free and Open Source SoftwareOperating systems Linux …as well as free software that runs on any system: Open Office, Scribus, Inkscape and thousands more
RecommendationsUnions and their activists should make aconscious decision to embrace new technology Unions should train their reps and members to use online toolsReps should feel free toexperiment widely We should accept that new technologies will create more open, fluid and dynamic union structures. This is a good thing.
Warning!Privacy: there is no such Expect glitches – hardwarething as online privacy. If and software failure isyou don’t want people to common. Batteries runknow, don’t post it! out, or there is no WiFi or 3G signal.“Facebook helps you Incompatibility – there areconnect and share with still no standard filethe people in your life - formatsWhether you want to or State and corporatenot.” www.youropenbook.org control – we need to defend the freedom of cyberspace
What’s next? the ‘semantic’ web: knows whoWeb 3.0 you are and responds intelligently, showing you the content you are most interested in Machine acting and thinking as a human A.I Finding the patterns and behaviours - mining