English orthography on fundraising page


#1

Hello.

First, let me say that I’m happy to see the idea of Mobilizon and its promising future. The campaign seems to be going well so far. I am not a Facebook user, nor need to create events/groups myself. But I am troubled by all the climate scientists and climate/environment activist groups out there who are using platforms like FB, LinkedIn, Ning, and so one to organize people around critical ecological issues. Being that growth economics, as corporations represent, is the primary driver of climate change and all that it’s bringing, it’s a big dose of bitter irony to see these communities coordinating on the surveillance-capitalist tools of some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. That is seriously wrong on many levels, so if something like Mobilizon (with additional pressure on those communities) can help turn that situation around, then all the better.

And that brings me to the point. I would like to contribute to the cause in a way that may improve your fundraising efforts. I am an editor (native English) and it pained me a little to read the fundraising page, as it wasn’t very polished. Granted it didn’t hurt the first step funding phase, but if you want to connect with more English speakers on a global scale, to keep reaching that bigger funding goal, you want to tighten up the English. Trust me.

Knowing you like Framapad :wink: … I spent some hours on it yesterday for the first time and made a number of line editing and copy editing suggestions. Gratis! Find it here…
https://mensuel.framapad.org/p/mobilizon

To my pleasant surprise, I checked in today to find many of my corrections and suggestions have been accepted and worked in. That’s no coincidence, so somebody is paying attention even though I’ve not been acknowledged. No worries. Now you know where that came from. :man_dancing:

If Framasoft is interested, I would be happy to continue working on English copy for this project as time allows, beyond just the campaign page. As an editor and native speaker of English (living in Haut-Rhin), who ran a Content Strategy community for several years, among other editorial projects, I have something to offer if you want it. No strings attached.

Last point, for the sake of interests of others… When trumpeting about Mobilizon, I was asked if Framasoft had mentioned anything, or plans for, ‘anti-harassment’ features in the system. Of course, I have no knowledge of Mobilizon development, but I said I would mention it here for the concerned party. Voilà !

But I could surmise from the fundraising text that such considerations might come when it’s certain there is funding for the ‘federization’ of the platform, at which point admin tools are developed? Phase 2, or whatever? In any case, this is why you’ll see such editing suggestion in the pad like this one made for the end of the second paragraph:

This sentence has a word spacing error, but let’s also make it transition better for a strong paragraph finish: ‘A platform in which privacy, activism, and safety are designed and built right in.’ (Note that by adding ‘safety’ to this sentence, we imply the potential for anti-harassment considerations in design without using forceful language like ‘anti-harassment’.)

It’s not my position to say what you do with your software. But from a position of advocating ethical software to a larger audience, I would say that finding the right words is wise, sooner than later.

Btw, a short addendum… I realize the workflow for English copy is probably a direct translation of the French version text. While this gets the job done, any editor/translator knows it’s only better than no English at all. A human editor still needs to pass over the text and line edit the copy with understanding of the regional audiences it’s intended. Generally this just means remove word bloat, etc, but it can also benefit from making diction more active, improving transitions across paras and sections, and other such things line editing takes into account. Thus why you’ll see my suggestions are not simply typographic corrections against the translation. Ideally it’s a bit more than that. Bon.


#2

Hello @dErrata!

First of all: thanks a lot! We can feel your enthusiasm and it really warms our hearts.

I have a question: are you, by any chance, Salvatos_ on Framagit? Because the corrections and changes you have seen on the website came from them : https://framagit.org/framasoft/joinmobilizon/joinmobilizon/merge_requests/25/diffs

Just to tell you more about our workflow: we believe in “release early, release often”. For JoinMobilizon.org, on the release date, the English translation was a DeepL automated translation that we (French natives) tried to edit and correct.

We knew that wouldn’t be enough and have asked British natives for help to improve this English translation before we really try to spread to word to English-speaking communities (and we still give ourselves time for improvement until early June). In the meantime, we received the contribution from Salvatos, and now yours!

FYI: this is the first time we see your Framapad, as we don’t have neither time, will nor means to watch over every Framapad created. So either Salavtos_ and you have worked together, or you’ve had the same corrections to contribute.

About anti-harassment features: there has been a huge miscommunication about PeerTube, that you can read about on this Mastodon thread. Because we are not a big tech company (not even a presumptuous start-up), we don’t aim for perfect from the get-go. Actually, we started to develop Peertube with just enough means (time, money and know-how) to make a software that “just works”, that just broadcasts federated videos with p2p streaming… It didn’t even had a comment system at the time! Then, we improved on it.

Peertube is still improving, and getting features to control who can and cannot follow your instance or videos (asked by people who wants a safer Peertube) just now, on the about-to-be-released v1.3. It is way from ideal. Ideally, PeerTube should have been harassment-proof from the start. We just don’t know how to work like this, we start small, learn from our mistakes, and try to improve and do better.

So we’ve learnt from this, and we are trying to make our priorities match with our means (once again: €50K is a quite a lot for a not-for-profit like us, but it’s peanuts for a tech company which want to do exactly the same project).

Because we are clear on one thing: safety and anti-harassment is quite important to us. I am an employee at Framasoft, and (even though I don’t like to talk about it) I, for one, have been a victim to online harassment, that lead me to stop my youtube channel (FR) (that was, otherwise, quite a beautiful adventure, at the time) along with any artistic activity (not to mention getting into depression, burn out, stopping getting out, and so on). So yes: we are (sometimes way too intimately) aware of such problems, and we want to address them.

Right now, we haven’t settled what features will or will not be present in Mobilizon, because as you’ve guessed, we don’t know how the fundraising will go. So we won’t announce anything, and we won’t promise an “harassment-proof Mobilizon” from the get-go, as it would be way too much pressure on our frail shoulders.

But yes, Mobilizon will be build with safety in mind (and as everything we do, it won’t be perfect at first !). We have chosen to work with Geoffrey Dorne on the UI (founder of Design & Human) and Marie Cécile Godwin Paccard on the UX (she defines herself as an intersectional eco-feminist: we need more opinions like hers in IT ^^), because we needed professional help on such matters.

To end on another note: I am going to prepare Framapads to help contributors in English and other languages… it will happen on this forum, so I will keep you informed (and thank you for proposing to continue working on the English copy : we need help!)


#3

Hi Pouhiou. Thanks for the reply.

I have a question: are you, by any chance, Salvatos_ on Framagit?

No. That’s not me. I guess it is a remarkable temporal coincidence. That would also explain why the changes are mostly the obvious typos and not much of the line editing suggestions.

Do you prefer copy revisions as pull requests instead of collaborative documents like the pad? Or is the project flexible on how revisions are provided? I’m not really a developer, though I am setup on Github for such things. I could create a Gitlab account, but I’d rather avoid that, if possible, unless it’s essential workflow for the team.

Anyway, offer for editing still stands for the future, if needed. Give a shout if new material is coming up and you want it looked at in advance. Always better to clean it up before it’s published.


#4

We’ve been working on how to facilitate contributions for translation of the joinmoblizon website: it will happen here, soon, on this forum, I will ping you as soon as It’s open!

Thanks again for offering!


#5

I see now that you mentioned that in the previous post. Sorry about that. But thanks for the confirmation. I think framapads are more convenient than pull requests, yes.