The Cyberunions Podcast – Episode Twenty: CRM-The Tech Tools to put your Organisational Theory into Practice

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0:30 Stephen keeps us waiting by breaking his computer

  • Stephen’s distro hopping addiction causes chaos
  • Stephen likes Trisquel but couldn’t get it to work seamlessly
  • Moral of the story – don’t experiment on a production machine
2:40 Stephen makes the news
  • He gets ranting with some racist politicians
  • Anti-immigrant rhetoric has lead to outbreaks of violence
  • Secure communities gives police stop and search rights for suspected immigrants
6:40 Walton’s updates
  • London has many people
  • Walton encourages his employers to buy three netbooks instead of one iPad
  • It’s an EeePC Seashell series
  • Ditched the Windows 7 Starter crippleware and installed Ubuntu using UNetbootin
  • Absolutely seamless experience – everything works perfectly
  • Not crazy about the Unity desktop – don’t like Gnome 3 either
  • Ubuntu gives me innovation fatigue
  • Virtual desktops are a great option for netbooks with limited screen space
  • Impress your friends with the famous Compiz spinning cube desktop
13:00 We have a guest on the show today – welcome Keir
  • Keir lives in Edinburgh – shop steward for a TUC union as well as an IWW member
  • Keir maintains the IWW membership system using Free and Open Source Software
  • CiviCRM is free Constituent Relationship Management software
  • More than a database – it’s a systemic approach to organising
  • Stephen discovers he used the same software on the Howard Dean campaign
  • Most cutting edge CRM software is by Blue State Digital and Nation Builder
  • Very slick, but also expensive and not FOSS
  • There are potential privacy issues, so you need to be up front about the data you’re collecting

26:30 Feedback

  • Orsan tells us about a campaign by a Turkish metal workers union – can we help?
Posted in Podcast and tagged , , , , .

Marxist. Socialist & labor movement organizer. Boston DSA Labor he/him
Bread & Roses Caucus in #DSA


  1. I dont think there is anything wrong with experimenting on a production machine in theory, just depends what you use it for and where you store your important info.

    • That is quite true…though I am a couple steps ahead of Walton on experimenting 😉 as all the distro hopping I’ve done is on my production machine.

  2. Sorry to hear that Trisquel didn’t cut it with the wi-fi chip, unfortunately some are just too restrictive.  Another free/libre distro is dyne:bolic, designed with hacktivism in mind. Might be worth a look at in a future episode!

    • Chris, Thanks for the thoughts, and i know that art of the the issue is that I am using an Intel wireless card, which now actually is giving me more trouble than i need. However I had looked at dyne:bolic once before and maybe it was a while ago but it seemed like it was dead at the time so I gave up on trying it, but now that i look it seems up and running, I’ll test it out.

  3. Did Kier have to modify CiviCRM to work well with dues accounting?  I’ve fussed around a bit with it but it doesn’t seem to work for my needs.  I’d love to chat with anyone about FOSS database solutions for membership, contact tracking, event tracking, new organizing and grievance tracking.

  4. Pingback: Cyberunions Talk Show Episode 41 – Proprietary Labor Union IT | Cyberunions

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