Everyone's Voices, Nobody's Noise: Democratic Communication in and among Organizations

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[late and horribly hastily submitted to the ACME conference]

Self-rule in any group or society needs democratic communication. Equal power or participation call for equal access. A transparent way for people to filter for the most important messages can be an essential tool in working together for a better world.

But most internet communications today follow one of two paths: [1] someone is in charge of deciding what gets on the list, creating a top-down newsletter, [2] a noisy mess of chaos where the loudest members get the most posts.
This workshop explores membership communications for democratically-oriented organizations and communities. How can all the members of your coop, church/house of worship, etc., share a news and editorial list that doesn't require top-down control nor turn to chaos and survival-of-the-loud-mouths?

The workshop begins with two sections:
[1] Attendees past experiences: discussion of attendees' communication successes and difficulties, including how to coordinate internally, reach more new people, and take effective action.
[2] Our past work: We will ask attendees to try a prototype of open source free software
that does this and answer questions about the tool to incorporate suggestions into development plans.
Depending on the interests of attendees we will use the collective experiences of attendees to inform a discussion on usefully connecting people who give a damn, on uniting
visions and coordinating efforts to build better lives for all.
Wrap up and fast-action results: would ACME members like to use these tools to strengthen our own community? Would ACME conference attendees enjoy being part of a community where they could submit news they find interesting, rate an article every week or two, and in turn be able to read a number of articles each week rated highest by their community?

Background: http://data.agaric.com/node/2750

****
- said our audio/visual needs were projector and speakers, which we could bring
- suggested Bill Fitzgerald as an education technologist who gives a damn they should invite to the conference