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Communicating in a transnational network of social activists

The crucial importance of mailing list usage
: Saeed, S.; Rohde, M.; Wulf, V.


Vivacqua, A. (Hrsg.):
Collaboration and technology: 17th international conference, CRIWG 2011 : Paraty, Brazil, October 2 - 7, 2011. Proceedings
Berlin: Springer, 2011 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6969)
ISBN: 978-3-642-23801-7
ISBN: 3-642-23800-9
ISBN: 978-3-642-23800-0
ISSN: 0302-9743
Collaboration Researchers' International Working Group Conference on Collaboration and Technology (CRIWG) <17, 2011, Paraty>
Conference on Collaboration and Technology (CRIWG) <17, 2011, Paraty>
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Social movements need to coordinate their political activities. They are often characterized by a fragile organizational structure, and sparse personnel, financial and technical resources. In this paper we describe how a transnational networks of social activists, the European Social Forum (ESF), uses a central mailing list as a major communication tool. By means of a long-term field study, we analyzed the work practices of this network and observed the usage of the mailing list. The empirical findings highlight how the mailing list is used for a variety of different activities such as collaborative work, decision making, coordination and information sharing. We discuss the finding with regard to the discourse on cooperative work and come up with implications for design.