For nearly a decade, we have turned to big social media platforms at Meta, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help sustain our connections with diverse groups across Canada and internationally. We are now actively rethinking these choices as our comfort and trust have been eroded by the growing abundance of ethical transgressions and scandals, data and privacy breaches, exploitative profiteering and surveilling, abusive trolling, tumultuous takeovers, and more.
Going forward, we would like to create or support virtual communities that prioritize the values we hold dear, including transparency, safety, respect, right to own and financially benefit from content shared online, and more. We have already left Twitter. We would like to leave Meta (Facebook and Instagram) by 2024. For now, we are planning on sticking with LinkedIn. You can also find us in the federated universe at Mastodon.
What else is in the works? We are currently developing a Discord Server that is imagined as an open, respectful, and safe space for professional exchanges and mutual aid around arts and social change issues in Canada and internationally. While still very much in development, those who are feeling curious are invited to take a peek behind the curtain prior to formal launch later this spring.
For a richer media experience, we are exploring the possibility of setting up a more personal Facebook-like community powered by Peepso, a plugin for WordPress. We will also have updates to share later this spring on our open source arts management software platform, Hatch Open. It includes an interactive component for storytelling and knowledge resource sharing that helps users engage with deep wisdom and experience in the community. Other services in development include a community board for posting jobs, call for submissions, housing, and other classifieds. We are also looking at developing a database of funding proposal deadlines and other useful dates that community membes can subscribe and contribute to.
We are seeking your input and guidance on the means and timing of all these changes. We will have a monthly drop-in session to discuss the development of our Discord community and our larger social media strategies on second Tuesdays of the month from February to May 2023 at 6 to 7:30 pm Eastern. Honoria of $100 each will be available to a small committee of advisors from any arts and culture discipline in Canada for a few hours of guidance and reflection. Send an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 30, 2023.