Sexism is bigger than any one person; it’s a system in which our entire society is enmeshed. Too often, such systematic discrimination as treated as discrete, individual acts, disconnected from the larger reality. What too many men miss is the reality that the system under which they face such inhumane expectations is the same one that limits the potential of women. This exists in the technology and nonprofit tech communities no less than the rest of society – and has to be faced in a systematic way, not simply by counting the number of women on a tech panel.
Online activism didn’t come out of nowhere. The methods and tactics of online activists – be they individuals or international nonprofits with hundreds of staff – are drawn on social change movements and community organizing strategies that have been tried, experimented with, failed, tweaked, and tried again, long before the Internet existed.
To Causes, leaving MySpace to focus on its core community on Facebook made good business sense, but certainly those organizations left in the lurch on MySpace feel otherwise. Simply put, you can’t rely on third-party, often for-profit services to support your organization’s interests. What would it look like if nonprofits and social change movements – which these third party applications often use to market themselves as effective and “good” – started demanding some openness?
Even if Bryght/Acquia/May First went out of business tomorrow, virtually all of its customers could find another vendor to take their system completely intact and get them up and running in an hour or two.