Cyberspace as space: the ideology of the Internet

While new technologies offer activists new tools to use for union activity, it is important to conceptualise cyperspace as space, and to understand activity taking place there as being in a new realm with its own possibilities, ethics and practice. Peter Waterman feels that most trade union use of new technology “…represents a belated response […]

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Bottom up vs Top down renewal

In looking at the potential of ICTs for union renewal and revitalisation, we need to look at unions as both collections of people, and as organisations. Which part of the union are we seeking to revitalise? The interests of these two groups are not necessarily the same – in fact, they can be diametrically opposed […]

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Trade unions in Second Life – what’s the point?

Second Life is a virtual reality world accessed through the Internet. Participants create ‘avatars’ – online figures that can interact with other characters – and enter a world that in some ways mirrors real life: there are shops and businesses, and it is possible to buy real estate, clothes for your avatar, or a number […]

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Twitter and the awesome power of crowdsourcing

I’m going to start this with a dramatic statement: twitter is the most powerful communication medium I’ve ever used. Twitter gives dynamic, real time interaction with people all around the world. It’s like being in a room with the all the most interesting people you can find, and being able to listen to all their […]

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Using online surveys for union organising

One of the most useful organising tools for unions is online surveys. These allow you to find out exactly what members and potential members want, and to focus your campaigns accordingly. I have worked with organisers and used online surveys extensively. We use Survey Monkey, but there are other survey tools which are equally good. […]

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Trade union flash mobs – a new organising tactic?

Trade union campaigns often seem to be stuck in the last century. It’s no wonder we struggle to attract young members: too often, it looks like we’re trying to recruit them to go back to 1983. We’re seldom innovative when it comes to using new organising tactics, or taking into account the fact that many […]

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Trade Unions, Web 2.0 and Social Media

Here is a presentation I created for a union conference. It aims to give union reps an overview of using new technology for organising. Please feel free to reuse and adapt it if you find it useful. The presentation can be downloaded directly from the link below. [slideshare id=4301655&doc=cyberunions-ccisua-100525203158-phpapp02] Trade unions, Web 2.0 and Social […]

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Research: how do union activists use new technologies?

I am interested in finding out how trade union activists are using the Internet, new technologies and social media for union organising. Are you creating Facebook groups?  Using twitter hashtags to raise awareness about critical issues? Signing LabourStart action alerts? Are you creating YouTube videos? Using email lists, blogs and wikis? What works best? What […]

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Strategic use of ICTs can revitalise trade unions

The potential offered by ICTs to revitalise unions is vast. Internet culture tends towards egalitarianism, and ICTs facilitate iconoclasm, which can undermine oligarchies. Secondly, ICTs facilitate autonomous organising by allowing activists to communicate directly with each other (and members) without the mediation of the union machine. Both are essential to renewal. ICTs have the potential […]

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Are FOSS and Creative Commons important for unions?

“The new order is predicated upon open access, decentralized participation, and cheap and easy sharing.” (David Bollier) The Commons Movement is a political, ecological and cultural movement to reclaim the Commons. Its central principle is that the resources of the earth – the Commons – are the collective responsibility and property of all. This includes […]

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