One of the features of the May 15 movement in Spain that's attracted my attention is the use of software and communications that the demonstrators and hacktivists invent on their own. This is a continuing process that seeks to keep up with new developments and possibilities for action, for example a software program that helps neighborhoods rally to resist housing foreclosures. The hacktivistas have been busy at such project for months now (even longer, if you study their history).
Now it seems that ideas of this kind are making inroads with people involved in the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and similar protests around the U.S.A. The first notable application is an alternative to Twitter. I haven't had time to study this carefully yet (got to run off to my classes today), but here is the link to a BetaBeat story on the matter. Excerpt:
For anyone who wasn’t aware, there are a few hundred protesters hanging out downtown in a park plaza two blocks from Wall Street. Despite allegations of Twitter censorship, tweets are collating around the hashtags #occupywallst, #occupywallstreet, #ows and #nycga. So when Betabeat walked past an iPad hooked up to a projector showing short hashtagged messages with the occasional photo, we assumed we were looking at a Twitter client. Turns out that’s not what it is. This app is called Vibe, the “new kid on the social media block,” and it’s something different: a Twitter-esque messaging system built by Hazem Sayed, a professional developer from California who built the app as an anonymous alternative to Twitter, reports the New York Daily News.
Mr. Sayed flew out to the protest after he saw people there were using his app; he’s now earned the nickname ”White Hat” as he wanders Liberty Park Plaza, passing out flyers for Vibe and explaining to people how to use it. Vibe is anonymous, temporal and location-specific–perfect for organizing flash mobs (or protests!) or any event you want restricted to the people in the vicinity.