Vision and Purpose
The Activist Network Platform (“ANP”) is an online movement platform designed to support the decentralized growth of movement networks. Individuals and groups to create a space (called “sub-sites”) that are connected to a main site which is the container for all these smaller connected sub-sites. Each group can promote their specific actions, news items, events and projects on their own sub-site. News, events and user profiles from all of these projects and actions are then published on a “main site” and automatically shared across the network.
The effect of this technology unifies groups that are currently acting in silos but are in reality connected by a common purpose within their decentralized network. The framework of this platform allows these individuated groups to continue to create their own initiatives autonomously but gives them a better view of the lay of the land. Groups can now see each other and get to know who they are and what kind of work they are doing. This enables them to strategize even more astutely, and, as a result, they can further the larger network’s overarching goals with more efficiency and cohesion.
The ANP is a pre-configured WordPress multisite that includes a Main Network Site that serves as an umbrella to an unlimited number of sub-sites. A sub-site is the website where each group can maintain their own content. Information from these sub-sites flows into the Main Network Site which is universally accessible. If a group already has a website, they can add their RSS feed to a sub-site on the network so that they can still have a presence within the network, sharing their news content with a wider audience, while not having to manually maintain content on an additional site.
Main Network Site
The Main Site is the primary website for the network. It displays aggregated news and events from all of its sub-sites. The aggregated information can be categorized using taxonomy terms which ensures content organization. For example, all posts from across the network that have been categorized as “News” or “Blog Posts” could be configured to automatically display in a designated section on the main site. Alternatively, website administrators can have a more curatorial role, selecting specific pieces of content to promote to the Main Network Site. Using core WordPress functionality, the Main Network Site can also be customized to display any other information needed. The navigation and content are fully managed using the standard WordPress.
Each group will have its own web presence on the platform called sub-sites. Each sub-site has features that include:
- General information about the group
- News posts to keep the full network apprised of group updates and activities
- Public Event Calendar of meetings, workshops, calls, etc.
- Social media integration with which each sub-site displays feeds from its social media properties
- Cross-Post published content to commercial social networks like Facebook and Twitter
In addition to displaying aggregated news and events, we are developing a directory feature that will list and categorize all sub-sites. A network’s sub-site directory will display a list of member group sub-sites on the Main Site. The administrators of the network can organize the directory and display the groups by type (i.e., location, Issue, etc.). This allows website visitors will be able to dynamically sort and filter groups by type.
Glocal will install and configure CiviCRM (Constituent Relationship Management) on the Main Site for administrators to manage memberships and organize contacts for ongoing outreach. If used in combination with CiviCRM, a group’s contacts are automatically organized into groups in CiviCRM. Glocal is a full CiviCRM provider which includes installation, development, training and ongoing support.
Additionally discussion groups can be created so that users can join to participate in community dialogue. Discussion groups can be created on the main site that allows users from across the network to easily connect with each other about specific topics. Discussion groups can be public or private and can be linked to the sub-sites on the network.
We also support a complimentary technology tool, OwnCloud, for activists who want to collaborate effectively without using proprietary and corporate-owned software such as Google Docs or Dropbox. Using the same username and password they have created with ANP, activists will be able to login and share files, private calendars, and documents without their data being spied upon or used by corporations. Integrating this tool into the ANP is the next phase of our technical development.