I selected issues that have come up on Slashdot, Kuro5hin, and Technocrat.net and wrote a brief introduction and a petition for each. In addition, I compiled a list of relevant sources that would allow an uninformed reader to educate himself about the issues presented. However, I am wondering whether online activism is a lost cause.
While I have seen numerous sites succeed in uniting a community around individual issues (i.e. Napster, DeCSS, etc.), nobody has been able to educate users about other similar issues and create a center for online activism. Slashdot simply posts story after story about DMCA abuses, domain name trademark disputes, etc. but does not provide a forum where users can actually take action about the issues they present. My goal is to unify the disparate nerd-activism sites under a single open-source framework, so that visitors who are concerned about one issue can have that issue act as a gateway that introduces them to a greater ideology.
Unfortunately, though, the site is currently a failure. In almost a month of operation, none of the petitions have received more than 75 signatures, worldwide, and without digital signitures, there is no way of verifying the identity of the few people that have signed them. However, the site needs more than a single crafty perl programmer.
I have considered partnering with single-issue sites, or offering to host them free of charge, but that would not acheive the objective of having a single unifying framework for the issues to be presented in. There is only one possibility that seems like it could work.
On Slashdot, there was one individual who gave away the root password to his site to see whether the community could collaboratively develop the site into something more than he could. Needless to say, the site was cracked into oblivion in less than 24 hours. I was wondering whether there is any way of "open sourcing" the website that would allow for delegation of responsibilities (one perl programmer, one HTML designer, one news hound, etc.) and community collaboration without opening the gates and putting a "sucker" sign on my back. I'm thinking along the lines of SourceForge for websites--a system that coordinated development of an entire project instead of just a single piece of software.
Basically, I'm looking for people to help me with the site, as well as a trust management system that will allow me to ensure that I do not open the doors to crackers. If you would like to help out with the project, please post to this thread and I will contact you.