Collaborative writing and self-publishing workflows

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Collaborative writing and self-publishing workflows
Location: Online at https://meet.greenhost.net/ParallelLibraryServices
Date: February 23rd, 2022
Time: 16:00-19:00 CET
Pad: https://pad.simonbrowne.biz/p/pls-meeting-9

Context

Experimentation with collaborative writing and self-publishing using open-source tools are common in free software circles, but what about within activist groups who want to share resources without the necessary specialist technical knowledge required to administrate them? What are the tools we use on a daily basis, and how does their use affect us in both our private and public lives?

We aimed to work towards making a "resonant publication", one which is made collaboratively in a do-it-with-others mode where everyone was involved in both making the editorial content and structure, as well as realising the design through use of a collaborative, experimental writing tool, Varia's Octomode.

Guests

Our guest for this workshop was David Benqué, a researcher and current design lead for CryptPad, a fully encrypted and open-source collaboration suite of software, which can be self-hosted or used at the public instance https://cryptpad.fr.

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Tools

For this workshop, we tried making a publication using the experimental tool Octomode, developed by Manetta Berends at Varia for "resonant publishing", which allows PDF publications to be made collaboratively using Markdown, Etherpad, CSS for paged media and Paged.js to preview the content in the browser.

Activities

We decided to begin with a section from a text David mentioned in his presentation: "Information Activism: A Queer History of Lesbian Media Technologies". The term "unspectacular labour" is mentioned in this section of the text as a description of radical media technology work done by Lesbian feminists. It set of an inspirational publishing sprint in the session to follow as we worked in Octomode together.

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