Collaborative writing and self-publishing workflows

From Parallel Library Services
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Collaborative writing and self-publishing workflows
Location: Online at
Date: February 23rd, 2022
Time: 16:00-19:00 CET
Tools: Octomode, CryptPad
Guests: David Benqué


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.


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

Radical-google-docs 01.png Radical-google-docs 02.png Radical-google-docs 03.png Radical-google-docs 04.png

Radical-google-docs 05.png Radical-google-docs 06.png Radical-google-docs 07.png Radical-google-docs 08.png

Radical-google-docs 09.png Radical-google-docs 10.png Radical-google-docs 11.png Radical-google-docs 12.png


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.


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.

Octomatic 01.png Octomatic 02.png Octomatic 03.png Octomatic 04.png