What we have seen these days in the movement 15M in the Spanish cities (and extensible to the Arab revolutions), has been a similar scenario to what we have lived all these years in ourproject.org, but condensed in a few days.
When a person or collective needs to have a space in internet:
- Either they depend on economic resources to hire the creation and management of these spaces… If they don’t have such resources, this option is not feasible.
- Either they have technical volunteers to perform these tasks. In this case, the people without Internet technical knowledge depend on the technicians, that suffer a lot of demand and are frequently a bottleneck (there are not enough geeks per square meter). In such cases:
- These geeks use free/libre tools that are old and difficult to use for the general non-geek public (mailman, etherpad, wikis, irc, etc)
- The geeks focus their efforts in teaching to use these tools to the users. The result is typically the frustration of both groups, as only a small percentage of the users manage to handle successfully in those complex environments
- There are issues with certain tools that demand too many resources (bandwidth, hard disk, management) such as the email, as it’s complicated to fulfill the demand of so many people for such a service (using free alternatives)
- When the geek community cannot fulfill all their demands, or when the people/collectives cannot afford these dependencies, these users end up using proprietary tools (groups, emails and chat of google/yahoo/microsoft , blogs in blogspot or wordpress.com , flickr , google-docs , facebook , etc) that due to their usability and simplicity they can manage by themselves. This implies:
- use of proprietary and centralized software, controlled by multinational for-profit corporations
- problems of privacy, selling our private data
- blocking of services, accounts or documents with political implications
- loss of independency
- forced to comply with foreign law
- In the worst case, they use tools that they know how to use (Powerpoint, Microsoft Word, etc) and they send each by email different versions of the created documents… communicating through long chain emails and/or without any netiquette.
- …or simply they cannot manage to have any presence in the internet, as they find it too complicated, turning into mere consumers (non-producers) of information.
In Kune we try to take benefit from our experience these years in ourproject.org in order to facilitate the creation of self-manageable web & communication spaces, for any person or collective, independently of their technical knowledge or economic resources.
That’s why this new version is codenamed 15M. Among other things, we have tried to integrate certain additional tools thinking of the needs observed these days. In fact, what can we do with Kune? Kune offers users and collectives services such as:
- Email service of new generation, hosted in the Kune server of your trusted collective
- Chat compatible with gmail and others: person-to-person or group conversations
- Allows the call for online assemblies with the members of your group/project/initiative and taking minutes (editing them all at once)
- Collaborative and simultaneous edition of documents (similar to Google Docs) thanks to Apache Wave
- Social network: management of personal and collective contacts with different levels of privacy
- Multimedia space: for sharing videos, photos, maps, twitter…
- Extensions useful for collectives: allows call and development of meetings, decision-making, translation of documents, sharing task lists…
- …and everything is free/libre software, usable and decentralized, that can be adapted and improved by anyone