Press Release

Mobilizon, a free and federated tool to get our events off Facebook!

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the non-profit organization Framasoft launched a fundraising for the Mobilizon software. You will find here elements to understand its context and discover functionalities.

Why Mobilizon?

During the Contributopia campaign, Framasoft announced that we’d provide a new web service that will allow communities to create their own event publication spaces, in order to make it easier to emancipate themselves from the tech giants platforms. Indeed, when we organize gatherings through Facebook tools or on Meetup-like services, we provide group members private data to these Big Tech’s platforms. Clicking "Going" on a Facebook event is problematic: it says much more about yourself than you might think, gives significant power to advertisers who pay Facebook and encloses the community events into a tool that will prevent it from self-managing. We should not forget that terms and conditions of use on these platforms allow their owners to close a group or a community without any reason whatsoever. Moreover, their centralized structure represents an entry point for intelligence agencies and malicious hackers.

Mobilizon, a free and federated alternative

Mobilizon will be a free software respecting fundamental freedoms for people who want to gather together. Mobilizon will be a digital common which respects privacy and activism by design. Mobilizon will be a user-friendly, emancipatory and ethical tool.

Because we want to offer the software the most suited to the needs of the users, we took time to think about what a tool that would really empower individuals and groups might look like. That’s why we’ve spent the last few months analysing existing tools to understand their various features and to consider how we could respect users by deploying them. It also seemed essential to us to study the digital practices of activists to understand their needs for gathering, organizing and mobilizing. That’s why we worked with two designers: Marie-Cécile Paccard and Geoffrey Dorne.

Moreover, we want Mobilizon to be federated in order to allow communities to install their own instance (event publication website). Mobilizon instances will be able to connect to each other. This will help to foster interactions between communities and their users. As the ActivityPub federation protocol allows interaction between software applications using the same protocol, We can imagine Mobilizon being linked to Mastodon (alternative to Twitter), PeerTube (alternative to YouTube) and many other similar tools.

Mobilizon, the fundraising

Framasoft have invested time, work and money to imagine Mobilizon’s design. Since our organization is financed only by donations, we set up this fundraising to keep investing in the development of this software . We have chosen to organize it on our own website in order to reduce bank and administrative costs to the minimum. Thus our aim is to propose a new model for financing digital commons.

Launched on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the Mobilizon fundraising is organized around 3 levels to reach before July 10:

Level 1: €20,000 - Free & basic version

This amount will cover our prototype expenses. Thus, we will recover the initial investment for design and promotion of Mobilizon. Namely: the functionalities benchmark, the designers work on uses and interfaces, and the development time on basic functionalities on events.

→ This 1st level was reached in less than 5 days.

Level 2: €35,000 – Federated version

With this extra €15,000, we will be able to finance ActivityPub protocol implementation and the development of administration tools for instances. The fact that Mobilizon is federated is important to allow users to connect to several communities. Each Mobilizon account could be linked to other federated softwares.

Level 3: €50,000 – Ideal Version

If we reach €50,000 in donations, we will get involved in design and development of new features. Thus, we would like Mobilizon to provide a groups feature, which would integrate messaging and exchange tools between members. Another feature that seems necessary to us is the possibility of integrating external tools which community members already use (survey tools, decision-making tools, collaborative tools, etc.). Finally, we intend to integrate the possibility for Mobilizon users to manage several identities depending on the communities they are part of.

With €50,000, we would have the resources to produce the best software we can create until fall of 2019. Then, we will publish a beta release built on a solid base which will allow us to offer you more features. With extra cash, we could consider going beyond this beta release. The users feedback and comments on this beta release will allow us to improve Mobilizon in order to propose a first complete release in the first half of 2020. Producing Mobilizon is not a sprint race, where you promise everything, right away, to everyone. It’s more like a cross-country race whose first step is to develop a tool which will allow you to create events and do it well.

The success of this fundraising depends on each of us. Framasoft is committed to broadcast Mobilizon’s progress at each new step, on the News page and in the dedicated newsletter.

Framasoft

Framasoft is a non-profit organisation created in 2004, which focuses on popular education on the stakes of our digital world. Our small organisation (less than 40 members, including 9 employees) is known to have carried out the project De-google-ify Internet, which proposes 34 ethical and alternative online tools. Since 2017, we have been developing PeerTube, a free and federated alternative to YouTube. Recognised for its service of public interest, our organisation is more than 90% funded through donations, mainly from our French supporters.

Contact us

Would you like more information about the Mobilizon fundraising or to conduct an interview? Feel free to contact us via medias@framasoft.org.

Relay our fundraising on your social medias

A free and federated alternative to organize our events off Facebook, Meetup and others?
#Mobilizon, the new #Framasoft project needs you!!!
A free software who allows communities to create their own events publishing spaces to better emancipate themselves from the tech giants’ platforms?
#Mobilizon, the new #Framasoft project needs you!!!
  • Hashtag ideas to go with your posts:
    #Mobilizon #JoinMobilizon #Framasoft #DigitalCommon #EmancipatoryTool #FundRaising #fediverse #ActivityPub

Visuals

Mockup

Press review

Here are some extracts from our Press release.

You can find articles in other languages below.

Date Media Links
5/15/2019 NextInpact Link to the article [fr]
5/21/2019 Stéphane Bortzmeyer Link to the article [fr]
5/24/2019 TOOLinux Link to the article [fr]

Useful information

Framasoft

Framasoft is a freely available public education network which aims to promote and spread free software and free culture.

As a link between the world of free software and the general public, our association offers many projects (directory software, a publisher, a websearch engine, etc.), with three main goals: Free Software, Free Culture, and Free Services.