1. Begin with You
Ghandi never said "Be the change..." still doesn't mean it ain't great advice. We need to be the web we want to see.1
Change yourself and you have done your part in the changing the the world. Every individual must change [their] own life if they want to live in a peaceful world. Paramahansa Yogananda
The web is no different. Be pro-social if you want the web to be pro-social.
I also think beginning with you in terms of learning goals strengthens the #prosocialweb. When you have shared goals with others in your network people learn. Humanity always worked this way.
The web is no different. Constantly model learning and reflection. Ask for help when needed and offer when asked.
2. Create Innovation Systems
Recently I have focused my efforts on the idea of innovation systems. I remixed this concept remixed from those who take an ecological viewpoint of sociotechnical systems
According to Freeman (1987) Innovation Systems are “networks of institutions, public or private, whose activities and interactions initiate, import, modify, and diffuse new technologies.” This is usually towards a shared goal.
Massive corporate powers have quickly created market-based systems. I am not one to think these goals are diametrically opposed to #prosocialweb (but some do) yet they are different. The goal of a corporation is the stock price. In fact in the United States it is a legal obligation for corporations to focus on profits. Sometimes, often, people suffer.
The web is no different. We need to focus on change but this change occurs at the system level only after a swelling at the agent level.
3. Use What You Build
The #ProSocialWeb will only thrive when you have your own space online that you control, preferably from your own domain. The silos built for the masses and the web suffered.
I'd rather have a tent in the fields I own than rent a room is a Castle with someone else's rules....where I toil all day for someone else to profit.
Also something happens when you write from your own place. Folks are not as willing to write graffiti on their own house or shout profanities from their door step. But is more than that. People find an immersive joy in owning and shaping their own truth.
You will never know all the tech and we should never expect people to do the same. Instead, we want folks to know what they do not know and then how to go out and ask the right people to learn it. What Castells and Cardoza called "self programmable learners"
The web is no different. You have a goal and want to learn something just get a website or blog and start documenting the journey.
If you need help just ask us.
4. Keep it Purpose Driven
A shared purpose unites us and this aligns with our personal goals.
The web is no different. Network around ideas and not people.
5. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
Many find controlling and owning your space online to beyond their means "in financial cost, ability, time, and confidence."
This has always been the case with literacy. I consider literacy to be one of the great equalizers in society (up there with birth control, suffrage, expanding markets, and open borders). We need to fight for basic web literacy as a human right. A #proSocialWeb means not building FOR the most vulnerable but building WITH everyone to ensure we do not recreate the past.
Silos provide both a haven and a hell for marginalized people. When the web was born people did their identity work building the web. Now, this identity work gets sold back to us.
When we claim we can not "do tech" in communities of color or expectations of owning your content do not recognize historical inequities we end up reinforcing these equities.
We simply can not name the problem. We must actively work to solve the issue.
Yet even today the Open Source community is the whitest and most male of the tech sector. We can not fix this in the board room or through outreach. Efforts must begin in the classroom and the community. This is where #literacies always developed
The web is no different. Make the "Community the Curriculum." We must focus on web literacy across the globe. The time is now.
6 Go gLocal
Not sure where @wiobyrne got the idea or who he lifted the meaning from but the #ProSocailWeb has strong local nodes (like Antogonish) and these Local networks connect to a much bigger global one. Either with direct relationships or as allies. Go gLocal Ian says.
Creative Commons is trying this approach right now. Mozilla tried with Clubs but looked for VC like growth overnight, their more successful Reps programs and Firefox contributors, in general, reflect a gLocal approach. IndieWeb has been running camps for nine years with minimal funding.
EdCamps, as an innovation system may represent the best model. 100s of camps occur each year and 1,000s of teachers get connected
The Web is no different. Build strong local groups connected to a global #proSocialWeb movement.
7. Post Positive
Be a good person. Say nice things. Document the good you and others do. The lesson we learned in preschool can still teach us much.
The web is no different.
1. h/t to Tantek for pointing out the misattribution of Ghandi and sending me into a months long rabbit hole into famous misquotes.
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