Introduction
This website shall strengthen progressive social movements around the world through the sharing of contacts, event information, ideas and resources. We want to help you win! The Activism Network team created this website to empower *YOU*. If *you* contribute, and use it to contact fellow activists then this website will succeed.

We are proud to maintain the largest open online database of activist related information. Our goal is to facilitate every aspect of your activism.

We started working on this project in the summer of 2001. Our website has been online since April 2002. This software was originally to focus on students in the US and Canada ('Campus Activism'), but the new version (Activism Network) is a platform for activists of all ages and countries.


The Activist Database

Join
There are entry forms where you can add your information to the database. If you want to connect yourself to a group or school that isn't in the database (check first!), you should first add those (using the 'Add your Group' and 'Add Your School' pages). Note we have almost all of the colleges and high schools in the US already in our database. Next you can 'Add Yourself'. You can delete an affiliation by clicking on the red 'X' next to it.

Your Username Account
The database is publicly accessible, however we use usernames and passwords to ensure a minimal level of reliability. When you add a person or group to the database, you create a username and a password. You use this username to edit or delete the information for anything that you added (person, group, event, resource, email list, etc). There are two types of usernames. First, there is an individual username which is tied to a person. Most of the time you'll want to use this. Second, there is a group username which is tied to a group. The group username is intended to be passed on from one member of a group to another when the first group member graduates or is no longer active in the group. You might want to assign one person in your group to be responsible for keeping your group's information on this website up to date. PLEASE keep your information current!

Other people who do not know your password can view your data, but they cannot edit it. If you forget the password, then if you included an email address in your entry, you can have it emailed to that address. Otherwise, you can email the webteam.


Find Contacts
The website includes a database of activist groups, activists, and schools. The content is searchable and relational. Thus you can find all the groups in a state, in your area, working on peace, or all of the groups at a certain school.

Find People, Groups, Events, and Schools that are NEAR You!
This website lets you find contacts and events that are near where you live. We do this is by converting your zip or postal code into a longitude and latitude. Note: this only works for the US and Canada. For other countries we try to convert your city and country into a longitude and latitude. This allows you to plug in a zip or postal code, and to search for all of the people, groups, events, or schools within a user-defined distance of that zip code. You can also subscribe to receive an email every two weeks that will send you upcoming events for your area and a list of new uploaded resources.


Resources
We have a resource database that allows users to upload and download files. Our goal is that people will upload leaflets, posters, essays, graphics, and any other information that will be useful to other student activists. This information is organized by issue that the resource applies to (a resource can have multiple issue categories) and by type of resource (leaflet, essay, graphic, etc). People can search for resources by type, issue, resource name, or description. To upload a resource, you must already have created a username. That will allow you to edit a resource or delete it. There is a limit to the file upload size, however if you need to upload a larger file you can send it to our webteam and we'll be glad to help.

Suggestions for Creating Resources
If you want people to be able to customize a poster or leaflet (for instance, to add local contact information), then you should upload it as a Microsoft Word document. Word is far more common than Adobe PageMaker and creates smaller files than Rich Text Format (RTF). If customization is not necessary (or you just want to leave a space where people can hand-write in their contact info), upload the file in Acrobat PDF format. The best way to create a PDF file is to use PageMaker to either directly create a PDF file, or to make a postscript (.ps) file by using a postscript printer driver and saving it to a file instead of printing it. You can convert a postscript file to PDF by using Acrobat Distiller or Ghostscript and GSview (freeware). If you don't have PageMaker, you can use Microsoft Word and then pretend to use a postscript printer and 'print to file'. That will create a .prn file that you can convert to PDF using Ghostscript and GSview (or Acrobat Distiller). For most purposes, because our disk space is limited you should set image resolution in fliers to 100-300 DPI (600 DPI is ok for short documents).

If you have any problems converting a file to PDF, email us and we'll love to help!

Graphics should be GIF, PNG or JPEG.


Calendar
We have an event calendar that is primarily intended to be used for important state, regional and national events. You can search it by event type (protest, conference, convergence, day of action, etc), geographical scope (local, metro, state, regional, national, international), and issue. You can also find events that are in your area, based on your state, or your zip or postal code. And of course you can add your own event to it.


Email Lists
You can add an email list related to student activism, and search for email lists by issue or name.


Forum
We're using phpBB - an excellent open source forum. It's nifty. Feel free to start a discussion on any topic related to student/youth activism. Let us know if we should add new categories or new forums within existing categories.


Networks
To add a network to the database you need to first 'Add Your Group' and then designate it as a network and define what area your network is for (state, region, national, etc). Groups can now affiliate with your network. In addition, your network can have events, resources, and email lists that are connected to it. All of this should make it easier for networks to promote themselves, to find new members, and for unaffiliated groups to find networks that they will want to join.


Subscribe to Receive Customized Updates
You can subscribe to a service that will provide you with a customized email that will include new information from CampusActivism.org.


Navigating the Site and Search Results
Say you click on a group and it shows the group works on peace issues. Then you can click on the word 'peace' and it will show you other groups, resources, events, and people who are interested in 'peace'. You can continue by clicking on an event related to peace, and so on.

If you do a search, the results are displayed twenty at a time. You can jump from one page to another using the numbers at the bottom (for instance: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10). You can also sort the results by clicking on a column name. For instance, if you want to sort by state name the first time you click on 'State' it will sort them alphabetically. The second time it will sort them in reverse alphabetic order.


Moderation
We strive to maintain a high standard of quality for information on our site so that that you do not have to sort through junk to find what you're looking for. Our first line of defense against junk is that a moderator must approve submitted information before it is publicly available. Our second line of defense is to rely upon your suggestions.

If you think we should edit/moderate the information of another person, another group, a school, event, etc - then you can submit this request to the web team using the 'Moderate This' link that is included on many pages. For instance, if someone enters information that is a joke (ex. 'long hair' as an issue) or that lies outside of the purpose of the site (ex. 'College Republicans' which is not appropriate because it is not a left-wing group), or makes a mistake (for instance identifying their group as a 'national' group when it is obviously a local chapter of a national group) - then you should point it out to the webteam so that we can edit or delete it.

For more information you can read our User Policy.


Avoiding Spam
The problem with making information publicly accessible is that it increases the probability that someone will use to send emails to people who don't want them. This website discourages spamming by encoding email addresses so that spam programs will not be able to automatically collect emails posted on our site. If someone wants to collect email addresses they must copy and paste them one at a time. If you receive any spam that can be traced to having your email listed on our website, please inform us and complain to the person who sends you spam.

If you want to avoid all spam, you can set your contact information to be 'private' so that nobody will be able to view it. This is useful if you want to subscribe to receive updates from the site, or to post events, resources, and other information without having people contacting you.

You can also limit the information that you post on the website. If you provide a city, state and zip code then you really don't need to give your street address. If you don't want any email, just leave a phone number. Or if you don't want calls, just give your email address. If you are really concerned about your privacy, you can have people send things to your group(s) instead.

Finally, we urge local activists and groups to learn how to say 'NO.' If you already have too few members and too many campaigns, then you should not feel obliged to take on every national campaign that someone contacts you about. Stick with your own campaign(s)! Most groups will maximize their effectiveness if they focus on running only one or two major campaigns.

Adding an Entry - Avoiding Duplication
Before you add an entry (whether it is a person, group, school, resource, etc), please do a search to make sure that it isn't already in the database.


Miscellaneous
Funding
When I see an exciting organization, I always want to know who is funding it and what goals they might be pushing. Well, this project doesn't have any funding, other than Aaron's personal slush fund and is currently primarily financed by google ad revenues. Aaron has been working on this project full-time since January 2002 without pay. We need money for web-hosting, printing, outreach materials, making phone calls, travel (for outreach), to rent an entire dedicated server so we can start hosting lots of projects, and eventually to pay our webteam. Our latest idea is to get into part-time computer consulting to pay the bills. If you have an online database project, email us! Within the next year or two we intend to either form a nonprofit organization, or become a project of an existing organization. However it could still easily take us a year before we got funded and the money is not guaranteed. If you know foundation(s) that might be interested in supporting this project, please email us.

Browser Issues
We have tested the website primarily using Internet Explorer 6, Mozilla 1.x, and Opera (8.x and 9.x). It should work fine for Internet Exporer 5.5 and Safari. If you are having problems with your browser or using a different operating system (Mac or Linux), please let us know.

Statement of Non-Affiliation
In case you are wondering, this website is not affiliated with any organization. Any information collected in the database will be publicly available - and thus equally available to all organizations.

Statement of Diversity
We are striving to achieve diversity so that our website empowers and represents a broad spectrum of leftwing student and youth activism in the US and Canada (We have no interest in empowering moderates or conservatives). Our webteam needs to be diverse to achieve this aim. We seek diversity in race, gender, sexual orientation, class, political views (within the left), issues, ability, and by region.


CampusActivism.Org Project Team

Aaron Kreider
Aaron started this project and has been arduously working on it 30-50 hrs/week since late January 2002 during which time he has eaten at least 100 pounds of chocolate. Aaron is from Vancouver, Canada, but currently lives in Philadelphia. He attended school in northern Indiana. At Goshen College (1993-1997) he was involved in Pax and studied Economics and Computer Science. At Notre Dame (1997-2003), he was active with the Progressive Student Alliance and got a masters degree in Sociology. He has been involved with networks such as the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), Movement for Democracy and Education - 180, Pax Christi, United Students Against Sweatshops and several unaffiliated local groups.
Skills include: database development, PHP, MySQL, PageMaker, GIS, object oriented programming, Drupal, and yes... Turbo Pascal!
aaron@campusactivism.org
Aaron Kreider's Personal Website

Nick Lally
Nick graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in sociology and fine arts. He is responsible for website design and general graphics wizardry. He eats smoothies. He is a projectionist. He plays soccer and DJs. Rumor has it that he only pretends to be involved to tap Aaron's supply of chocolate chips. The rumor is false. He occasionally updates this bio, which is then promptly changed by Aaron due to Aaron's authoritarian tendencies (see the political compass quiz results here!). You can visit his underdeveloped personal site.


Project Related Links
  • Over Twenty Reasons to Use this Site
  • Technical Notes - How We Did This
  • Release Notes for Campus Activism Version 2
  • Release Notes for Campus Activism Version 3
  • Project Timeline
  • Our Old Sourceforge Site
  • Download the source code
  • Future Features - exciting stuff that we're working on implementing within the next year or two.
  • Support this Project - Donate money securely using Paypal.