Alison is a project consultant. Her experience includes designing online information and project management systems, and building and managing multi-user websites. However, her background is not in tech. She was driven to learn by her fascination with online technologies and the ways in which they can open new possibilities for collaboration, innovation and action. She is a strong believer in the power of the open-source community and what can be achieved through knowledge sharing. She is currently developing the Redspace project through her company, Redport, to try and make it easier for other non-coders to get started with online projects of their own.
Digital Democracy Workshop
The software we use is increasingly seen as a political issue, but it’s easy to be distracted by the promises made by easy to use online software. There is an active, global, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement that makes it possible to learn to do almost anything, but the first steps can be the hardest.
How can we start to own and control our data and the online systems we use?
The Digital Democracy Workshop is an invitation to join an experiment that will run throughout the Hatpins to Hashtags project. What can we build together? If we share our learning experiences online, can we help others to get started? How can we take activism online?
The workshop day will include:
- An introduction to self-hosting, installing and managing Free and Open Source Software using cPanel.
- Discussion on what might be possible and ways to achieve it – bring your own project ideas.
- Basic site building in Drupal – an extremely powerful Content Management System, but well known for a steep initial learning curve! How far is it possible to get? (The Hatpins to Hashtags site has been built in Drupal and a build guide will soon be published on the site).
- A (very) brief look at command line code – you can get a long way without command line, but it’s good to know it’s there so you can choose to learn it when you’re ready.
There will be opportunities to work on a project of your own or develop a shared idea with a group. On collaborative online projects, permissions are always a key consideration (who can do what, who can see what), and workshop participants will form a community of users for one another’s sites to help explore how Drupal’s permissions system can be used to control complex projects.
Requirements: You will need your own laptop to work on (please let us know if this is a problem) and familiarity with using online software (including social media platforms) is useful, but no coding skills are required.
After the workshop, you’ll be invited to participate in ongoing activities on the project website (including publishing your own blog and helping to research and publish a library of resources)and you’ll also be invited to join groups experimenting with some of the collaborative and democratic online tools available.
If you can’t make it to the workshop but you’d still like to participate in some of the ongoing activities, please do get in touch (some, but not all will be for women and non-binary people only).
If you’re a woman or non-binary person with a knowledge of tech and would be willing to share your experiences and knowledge on the website, and/or help provide support via other online tools, we’d love to hear from you.