Crabgrass is an internet organising tool, developed and hosted by riseup, that allows a network or distributed group of people to have discussions, store files, and cooperatively write ‘wiki’ pages online.
The first thing you need to use it is an account. If you don’t already have one, go to we.riseup.net and click ‘new acccount’.
Once you have an account, you can join any Climate Justice Collective groups that you need to. The web address for the network is: we.riseup.net/cjc
For now, all groups in the network are ‘closed’ so you will need to be invited by an existing member before joining. There will be more groups added to the network as time goes on – it’s possible that some of these could have open membership.
On the main page of each group you should see general content that’s relevent to the group. There may also be ‘committees’ within each group to deal with more specific areas, much like working groups.
As a member of the Climate Justice Collective, you’ll be able to access any content posted to any of the groups and committees that you’re a member of. If you think the network needs a new group or committee to deal with an area that’s been overlooked, feel free to set one up yourself.
To add content to a group or any of the committees, go to the relevant group or committee page, then click the ‘create page’ button at the top of the menu on the left. You’ll be given the option to create different types of pages. The main ones to consider are ‘Group Discussion’ for general questions or points for consideration, ‘Wiki Page’ for content that will need to be edited or re-drafted, and ‘File’ for any non-textual content that needs sharing.
Polls, Surveys, Votes and Task Lists are useful tools to use in specific situations. Their use should be fairly self-explanatory.
Using crabgrass helps to streamline discussions, enables cooperative working and prevents huge amounts of traffic appearing on this list. To keep track of information shared within the group, regular summaries of important updates and discussions added to the crabgrass site should be posted to an email mailing list. For important updates, you can use the ‘Send Notification’ option to notify everyone with access to the page of the fact that a change has been made.
Using crabgrass takes a little while to get used to, but is generally straight forward and intuitive. If you have any questions, just ask.
You might also want to read all about Crabgrass.