Blog

People Import and Queersync

July 4, 2019

FROM: OSDI Department of Outreach
TO: Progressive Interoperability Special Agents
RE: RFI on People Import Helper and Spoke Implementation

A proposal is on the table for People Import Helper, which is an evolution of the Person Signup Helper that can submit a batch of multiple people at one time rather than one at a time.

The scenario that prompted this is to support batch import in Spoke, the open source texting tool. https://github.com/MoveOnOrg/Spoke.

The OSDI specification GitHub pull request is here: https://github.com/opensupporter/osdi-docs/pull/335

It will stay open until July 10th, unless more time is requested, and then be approved, integrated and published as part of the OSDI Specification. This, along with OSDI Questions, Answers and experimental messages, assignments have been implemented in a pull request https://github.com/MoveOnOrg/Spoke/pull/1156

This allows people who take scripting classes to write simple integrations, and here’s a ready made example because it’s Independence from Monotonous Tasks Day.

Queersync will download the latest question_responses as OSDI answers and import them into VAN as survey questions. You can clone the GitHub repo, define your configuration and stick it in a cron job on your Spoke server.

From a specification point of view, while our definition of Questions and Answers is already published, we don’t yet have an agreed upon spec for the text messages. If you have a system would expose similar functionality, and would like to give input on or participate in the design discussions, contact me.

If you are interested in providing technical feedback and wish to do so privately, in the closet, you can contact me at the OSDI Closet Hotline (516) 701 1900. You feedback will be related anonymously and your identity will only be known by me.

Josh Cohen
OSDI Secretary

OSDI 101: Zero to Person Signup Helper

May 3, 2019

If you’d like to get a feel for the basics of the OSDI API, but aren’t a coder, this lesson is a quick learning example on how the OSDI protocol works. We’ll focus on one of the most common scenarios, which is to insert or update a person, and add a tag. It’s also campaign manager safe, (protective headgear recommended)

We’ll use the OSDI sandbox, which is a working OSDI front end attached to a mock-crm. It generates a sample dataset which you can interact with via the OSDI protocol endpoint browser, or the admin UI. It will also show you the deltas on resources that happen as a result of an API call or UI operation.

Together, we wil accomplish the following tasks:

  • Set up your OSDI Sandbox Dataset
  • Examine an OSDI Person resource through the Admin UI, and OSDI API
  • Create a new person with OSDI Person Signup Helper and examine them via the UI
  • Update and tag that person via OSDI Person Signup Helper
  • Invoke the OSDI person signup helper to match, update, and tag that person
  • Use the Admin UI to see the deltas as a result

 

Our Mission

OSDI’s formative goal is to create a more level playing field so that minorities, marginalized communities, and those customers with less resources can mix and match, integrate, automate, and add value even if they don’t have the major resources of a $12m statewide gay marriage or national presidential campaign.  At the same time, marginalized innovators who don’t have jobs at big firms or technical degrees can self-educate and provide value by reusing the common framework and pooled resources.

An example of this is that if you were to write code to perform the scenarios in this lesson, that code can work virtually unchanged against a number of systems via native and proxied OSDI implementations including  VAN/EveryAction, Action Network, TheDataBank, Salsa Engage, Salesforce, Spoke and others.  Without a common standard, if you are a marginalized innovator who came up with a good feature idea that could be provided to customers as an add-on at a reasonable price, you’d need to duplicate your integration work for each platform’s proprietary API.  Since one needs to put food on the table, there would be pressure to just support the biggest platform to keep prices low and support the most customers, but leave out grassroots projects, and be unable to act in solidarity with potential minority projects coming from TransTech, Black Lives Matter et al.

Finally, to ensure that the effort stays focused on lifting up marginalized communities, OSDI has a governance structure that divides power and responsibility into shards that can be spread across the spectrum.  This allows smaller customers and innovators to share power, and share the work, so that it is not dominated by entities with the most power and money.

 

Setup your Sandbox

Visit http://public.demo.osdi.io and create a new account

Click setup a new tenant.

For your slug, to avoid duplicates, pick something unique with your name, eg ‘chrisosdi’

Once you’ve done that, click the “Visit” button in the lobby screen, which will take you to your new sandbox

Once you are in your new tenant, you’ll see the main dashboard. This shows you basic stats on your sample dataset, which you can explore. You’ll also see buttons to manage the dataset, and access the HAL Browser and your OSDI API token

Examining an OSDI Person

Examining a Person in the UI

In the Stats table, click the link for “people”.

You’ll see the people in your sample dataset. (You can also use “Resources”->”People” via the navbar to get here)

Click “Show” on the first record.

You’ll now see the edit screen which shows their data in the form of the OSDI Person Resource structure, and links for their associated resources like taggings.

You can see more about the OSDI Person Resource here:
https://opensupporter.github.io/osdi-docs/people.html

Examining a Person via OSDI

Click “Dashboard” on the navbar to return to your home screen.

Click the blue “HAL Browser” button

A new tab will open with the HAL Browser viewing the OSDI API Entry Point (AEP).

The AEP is the API version of a home screen or dashboard for programmatic API clients when accessing an OSDI server. It lists the available resources, helper functions and metadata that an OSDI client will use to interact with the server. You can read more about the OSDI API Entry Point (AEP) here: https://opensupporter.github.io/osdi-docs/aep.html

Click the green arrow button for a GET on the “osdi:people” collection.

This will show the first page of people in your sandbox, which should include the person we viewed through the UI.

 

Create a Person with OSDI Person Signup Helper

We’re going to create a new person named “Testy McTesterson” who’s email address is testy.mctesterson@fake.osdi.info by using the OSDI Person Signup Helper. You can read more about this helper at https://opensupporter.github.io/osdi-docs/person_signup.html

Click the “Go To Entry Point” in the HAL browser navbar, then scroll to the Links section on the left side.

Now click the “non-GET” button in the row for “osdi:person_signup_helper”, and a dialog will appear. Fill in the person information above and it should look like this:

Once you’ve filled this out, click “Make Request”.

Once completed, the system will show your newly created person’s properties and links.

Return to your Admin Dashboard and click “Refresh”.

On the right side you should now see the newly created person in the Version History

 

Update,Add a Tag and List to an Existing Person

Now we’re going to update our new person by changing their first name to “Testarella”, and adding a tag “volunteer” and adding them to a list called “squeaky_wheels”

Go back to your HAL Browser tab and click “Go To Entry Point” again.

Click the make non-get request button for “osdi:person_signup_helper” to launch dialog

Fill out the information (including email address), and under “add_lists” and “add_tags” click the “+Name” button to add a new value.

Once filled out, your form should look like:

Click “Make Request”, and the system will return the updated record.

Along with the person’s properties, the “demo:status” attribute gives you information on what happened. It matched based on email to the exusting person with id 28, and added the list and tag (autocreating as needed)

 

Review Updates in Dashboard UI

Now return to your Admin Dashboard UI tab and refresh it. In the Version History on the right, you’ll now see those updates and the diffs.

What both the demo:status and the UI Versioning is telling us it did is:

  1. Updated the person with new first name Testarella
  2. Tagged them with existing tag “volunteer”
  3. Autocreated a new list called “squeaky_wheels”
  4. Added the person to the “squeaky_wheels” list

 

Congratulations, You’re Done!

Meet the OpenSupporter Executive Officers

September 30, 2018

In advance of the upcoming national midterm elections, the Open Supporter Data Interface (OSDI) project announces the results of its recent Executive Committee elections, where members chose six officers. OSDI, maintained on GitHub, is a democratic, community-driven open standard for interoperability between progressive-oriented software tools. OSDI is governed by a voting membership and an Executive Committee.

___

Soyna Reynolds, Chair

For the last 6 years, I have done data and tech for a collaboration of 60 non-profit civic engagement organizations across NY state called the NY Civic Engagement Table. Since they are users of many of the progressive data infrastructure tools, the pain of syncing data between systems has been a big part of that work. In that space, it was clearly illustrated the adverse impact that not having APIs directly has on the work. I also am a founding director of a community of data and tech volunteers who convene bi-weekly to both educate tech works about the progressive movement and build tools to advance it.

 

Tim Holahan, Vice Chair

As Vice Chair, my goal is to support the operations and processes of the group in whatever way is necessary and useful. I play an advisory role to the Chair, and can pitch in to assist other officers as needed.

I’ve been working with, appreciating, and when possible contributing to open standards and Open Source projects since the early 2000s, when I learned of the movement from a couple of colleagues at the software shop where I then worked. Not long after, I helped found a software company whose products are built entirely on Open Source.

I am the product manager for Broadstripes, a cloud-based CRM platform built specifically for labor organizers and labor campaigns. I live in New Haven, CT.

 

“Broad implementation of the OSDI spec has the potential to be transformative for the progressive tech ecosystem.”

Brady Kriss, VP of Membership and Customer Relations

My role as VP of Membership at OpenSupporter is pretty simple: to build and support the membership of OSDI. Broad implementation of the OSDI spec has the potential to be transformative for the progressive tech ecosystem. My focus is on recruiting companies and organizations to join OpenSupporter, and to encourage them to build for the spec.

I first became active in supporting open platforms and interoperability when I was in law school. I was involved in founding Northeastern University’s Free Culture chapter, and argued vociferously in my law school classes on the virtues of interoperability, tech standards, and the value reverse engineering technology. I’ve worked in political and organizing tech for eight years now, and I am very excited about being able to help support this open standard for political and organizing data.

I run Ragtag, where we organize tech volunteers to donate their time and skills to help non-profits, progressive campaigns, and activist organizations leverage tech in the work they do. My favorite project right now is CampaignHelpdesk.org, where the volunteers at Ragtag answer all sorts of tech questions from volunteers and campaign staff working around the country.

 

Pamela John, VP of Liaisons

As VP of Logistics and Liaisons, my goal is to support the OpenSupporter mission and help volunteer developers learn how to interact with OSDI to enhance integration and interoperability among open source products which further progressive causes.

I was introduced to Open Source software while working alongside the Coders For Sanders volunteer community as a grassroots volunteer for the Bernie 2016 presidential primary. Many of the 84 applications built by Coders For Sanders that year were reskinned and repurposed to support Hillary 2016 and progressive down-ballot candidates in the 2016 general election. I saw firsthand that Open Source campaign tech reduces the influence of big money in politics and levels the playing field for grassroots organizations. Open Source tech gives grassroots orgs the high-quality tools they need to compete in the marketplace of ideas and empowers them to build progressive movements that make meaningful change.

I am a Co-Executive Director for Progressive Coders Network (successor organization to Coders for Sanders), Strategic Communications Director for Magnify Progress and a member of Billings DSA.

 

Adriel Hampton, VP of Marketing and PR

My goal as VP of Marketing and PR is to reach more people with the message that OSDI can help grow adoption of progressive tech tools, while reducing the burden of coding to many proprietary standards. It makes life easier for the users, too!

I first got interested in open platforms after Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign inspired me with its use of distributed volunteers through my.barackobama.com. I was working in municipal government at the time and became very involved in the burgeoning “Government 2.0” movement to bring more collaborative technologies into government-citizen communications.

I run a boutique consulting shop where I work with commercial technology clients as well as progressive campaigns and causes. Most recently, I’ve been supporting the formation of The California Progressive Alliance, a corporate-free network of progressives organizing for change in their communities.

 

Josh Cohen, Founder, Chair Emeritus

My hope is to see continued adoption, growth, and diversity among OSDI contributors and membership.

My first experience with open standards was in the mid-1990s while working in the networking department at UPS. I was setting up a web proxy for employee web access using their mainframe credentials for single sign-on and audit logging. At the time, HTTP/1.0 didn’t yet support Proxy Authentication, so I convinced my boss to send me to the next IETF meeting. I joined the HTTP working group, and learned how to tie my Standards Development shoes working on Proxy support in the HTTP/1.1 release. I haven’t touched a mainframe recently, but I’ve been working in standards ever since.

As a gay male with a big mouth, I’ve participated in workplace diversity, and gay rights campaigns throughout my career. OSDI was founded based, in part, on the technical learnings in that work. One can still find me advocating for equal protection, or doing technical consulting for campaigns and organizations focused on that goal.

 

Get Involved

 

Do Gooder Brings a Dozen Unique Action Tools and a Global Focus to the OSDI Ecosystem with a New OSDI Native API Implementation

August 3, 2018

When Do Gooder struck out to create an API for its suite of progressive action tools, the Sydney-based company chose to use the OSDI roadmap, shaving valuable development time off the effort and ensuring easy integrations with major CRMs and activist add-ons from day 1 of the release.

“We implemented our API with OSDI compliance out of the box because we’re a progressive-only platform, so it made sense to make it easy for our customers to connect to other platforms that are values aligned,” said David Gravina, Do Gooder’s founder and CEO.

Read about Do Gooder’s OSDI API implementation and find documentation here.

“For up-and-coming progressive technology companies adding APIs to their feature sets, starting with the OSDI standard immediately links you to a community and a thoughtful specification that has benefited from hundreds of hours of open source development,” said Adriel Hampton, OSDI VP of PR. “It’s exciting to see this work continue to bear fruit with the addition of an internationally focused activist toolkit like Do Gooder.”

Do Gooder joins OSDI

Do Gooder is an innovator in online digital advocacy tools offering 12 unique action tools for campaigners to engage and build their supporter base. The company has customers all over the world with political databases in Australia, the U.S., UK, and Canada, and support for 10 languages. Its feature set includes do-it-yourself campaign action pages and petitions, and a selfie gallery that builds engaging user-generated content campaigns. Their new OSDI compliant API means it’s now easier than ever for progressive organizations to plug unique new functionality into an existing CRM or digital ecosystem.

The API is newly launched and Do Gooder customers are presently integrating with leading progressive CRMs. Gravina likens OSDI to “the network of roots and fungi in a rainforest” in his latest blog post. “The forest is stronger and more diverse because the separate trees are in fact interconnected. Progressives too should take a leaf out of nature’s playbook and focus on collaboration over competition. Alone we make a difference but together we’re a force of nature.”

Do Gooder’s core focus is creating accessible toolkits for organizations to engage their supporters online, while leaving the task of relationship management to other platforms.

“I’ve always maintained that who you support through your patronage matters,” said Gravina. “We create the world we want to see by connecting with and supporting like-minded people and organizations. By making it faster and cheaper to connect our progressive systems we make that easier and amplify our collective impact.

“We built Do Gooder to lower the cost of deploying high impact digital platforms for social change by an order of magnitude, and the OSDI framework represents a step-change in that journey. Our tools make it accessible and effortless for organizations of any size to launch a campaign and give their supporters engaging impactful actions to take. Integrating us with platforms that focus on the donor journey and fundraising takes it to a whole other level.

More about OSDI

The Open Supporter Data Interface (“OSDI”) is a coalition effort to define open API standards and data structures for progressive technology interoperability.

OSDI began as an outgrowth of the 2012 Washington United for Marriage campaign, after proponents experienced frustrations due to a lack of interoperability between the hodgepodge of tools needed to win progressive victories. After an initial conversation instigated by Josh Cohen, the director of technology for that campaign, and campaign vendors like Amicus, OSDI has grown considerably and is now led by volunteer technologists from across the U.S. In addition to progressive vendors like Do Gooder, OSDI members and adopters also include general technology providers such as telephony provider CallHub and data append vendor Accurate Append, and activist coder communities ProgCode and Ragtag. Integrations using the OSDI standard typically reduce technology integrations from weeks to days of development. http://opensupporter.org

Contact: Adriel Hampton, OSDI VP of PR, adriel@adrielhampton.com  

Read Specification Documentation | Contribute to the Specification

Bullying, Diversity and Inclusion Parliamentary Update

November 15, 2017

A message from the founder and chairperson, Josh Cohen

​1​ Bullying Awareness, Diversity and Inclusion

At OSDI, as we continue to grow and move forward, we continually evolve and refactor ourselves.  With the passing of the election, we can take a breath and patch ourselves.  Though many in our community are heads down on the election, October was Bullying Awareness Month.  So we can tackle that late.

In that spirit, the first update we’re making is for Diversity and Inclusion.  OSDI is a technical workplace, which typically can be a difficult environment for marginalized communities. As a gay software engineer with a substantive tenure in corporate tech, I’ve felt the discriminatory behavior that leaders from marginalized communities frequently face.  My path origin into the progressive tech space (from corporate) is a desire to address discrimination-based bullying and other circumstances and behaviors that treat people as, or make them feel, like second-class citizens.

 

​1.1​ Awakening

The most significant event that awakened me and shifted my path in this direction was the suicide of my friend Ryan in 2005.  Ryan was a fellow 30-something tech nerd, true to form, decided to publish his suicide letter online. It can be seen as the end of his syslog, which lays out the problem he was unable to solve.

“My experiences in high school left me deeply scarred. I came away from those years feeling fundamentally broken and not good enough. I always thought I could shake those feelings in adulthood, and have learned various techniques to distract myself from them, but they still haunt me. As much as I’ve tried to rid myself of certain feelings I can’t shake the idea that I’m not good enough and that I am unlovable.”

That passage has stuck with me ever since.  It describes the dent left in him from being bullied by people or situations where power was being used in harmful ways. This a common thread in bullying, sexual abuse, discrimination, and rape culture.  These kind of tragic consequences of isolating and exclusionary behavior are examples of the worst-case that happens all too common, not just to marginalized communities, but to anyone subjected to these ills.

​1.2​ Becoming an Upstander

A desire to fix that led to my first step to get involved by going to YearlyKos 06 (which is now Netroots Nation), and doing work LGBT campaigns and learning more about the broader progressive movement. Through those experiences and conversations with people wiser about the movement than me, I found a shared problem where I brought something unique to the table:  Integration.  OSDI is a community driven solution to that problem, but it is a means to an end: Inclusive Communities.

No one should be made to feel like they are unlovable, not good enough, not wanted, or subjected to the exclusionary harms which can lead to such tragic consequences. No one should be able to abuse power to cause those harms or betray core progressive values of fairness, equality, due process, and proportionate justice.

 

​1.3​ Abuses of power in our community

Let’s take examples from rape culture, which I know many others have experienced.  While selling consulting services, a potential customer expressed interest in demos and meetings. However, these were accompanied with increasingly explicit sexual advances, despite direct rejections from me.  It became clear that closing the deal would require putting out.  This person was able to control the sales decision making process which allowed them to extract a sexual toll. Another common example was being subjected to sexual misconduct while in a relationship with a much more powerful person, attempting to confront it, and that being a career limiting move.  In this kind of situation, like lets say with Bill Cosby, leaders in the shared community are incentivized (via reward or fear) to abuse their own power to isolate, ostracise or attack the victim.

One reason I’ve always gravitated to standards work is because standards bodies operate as a democracy, with parliamentary procedures.  This severely constrains personal power, which is a critical component of abuse.  The rules which the organization operates by are decided by democratic vote, and are designed to be fair and protect the weak from the strong.

 

​1.4​ Doing things differently

Let’s say you wish to join OSDI as a member and you fill out the request form.  This is transparent to leadership, and your membership will be decided by a vote of the governance committee based on merit. .Similarly, should you make a proposal for the technical committee, say via github, it will come up on the meeting agenda, and will be decided by vote.  Holding an officer position, does not provide additional voting power, nor can they.control or stifle your ability to interact with other members to argue the merits of your proposal, even if it dissents from the officer’s position..

Standardization work is also a perpetual exercise in conflict resolution.  Since many participants are also competitors, resolving conflicts, which will inevitably happen, in a fair, proportionate and inclusive manner is essential to the integrity of the organization.

The democratic nature of the organization ensures that resolutions to conflicts are not being made by a single person, and the transparency minimizes the opportunity to abuse power for one’s own benefit.

 

​1.5​ Peer to Peer Bullying

While many forms of bullying and exclusion come from the abuse of authority, community members can also be excluded by peers using other bullying or abusive means.

 

​1.6​ Non-Consensual Pornography

In 2010, Tyler Clementi was a freshman at Rutgers university just beginning his exploration into understanding his identity as a gay male. While taking those first steps and engaging in same sex intimacy, his roommate live-streamed the hookup surreptitiously and without his permission.  The result, was a shaming that led Tyler to commit suicide.

Non consensual porn, aka “Revenge Porn”,  can also be a source of power to be abused in the workspace, against women and men.  Intimate relations occur in our workplaces, and in the digital age or Tinder, Grindr and others, the potential for NCP arises.  One party can control and intimidate the other with a threat of shaming them by publishing or sharing intimate images.

 

​1.7​ Behind the Back Gossip

In communities and workplaces, adults do not commonly bully with their fists. The bullying is done via gossip that is done behind the back of the target, or spoken to those in authority while using power to prevent the target from being able to refute or tell their side of the story.  The result can be that the target is isolated without even knowing it, and the damage to their reputation cannot be undone.  

This can also be institutionalized in a conflict resolution process which deprives the target of due process and right to self-defense before punishment is delivered.  Even in a case where the target would ultimately be found innocent, the fact that punishment took place will damage and exclude them in a permanent manner.

 

​1.8​ Isolating Language and Rhetorical Devices

The OSDI workplace is a democracy focused on dialog and technical merit.  In the course of those discussions, isolating language can subjugate the contributions of others.  Use of gender specific language like “bizdev guy” or “nurse lady” can be isolating to people who pursue roles outside of historic gender norms.  Rhetorical devices like feigning surprise “Gosh, I can’t believe someone like you would actually understand something so complicated”,  or subtle -isms like “”It’s so easy my grandmother could do it” can stunt someone’s enthusiasm in a heartbeat.

​1.9​ Looking Ahead

As I mentioned earlier, OSDI is a technical workplace.  It is also a progressive workplace.  

In that spirit, we will attempt to set a positive example in defining code of conduct and conflict resolution procedures that promote inclusivity, education, and democratic decision-making.  We can do our part to make sure that participants in technical progressive spaces aren’t made to feel like they aren’t good enough, don’t belong, aren’t “wanted” or subjected to bullying behavior which can lead to depression, self-abuse, or in the extremely tragic case of Ryan, suicide.

That brings us to the next order of business.

 

​2​ New Officers

​2.1​ VP of Diversity and Inclusion

In our travels, we have come to know a great leader who is passionate about progressive values, inclusivity, learning and conflict resolution. This leader has already shown initiative within progressive tech spaces and we are proud to announce the appointment of Sonya Reynolds as VP of Diversity and Inclusion.

If you are interested in participating, you can contact sonya at diversity@opensupporter.org

 

​2.1.1​ Diversity and Inclusion Committee

In an effort to see these behaviors and solutions documented in a concise and consumable way according to our community driven democratic process, we have created a dedicated committee to focus on this issue, led by Sonya.

In the course of this work, we will be reaching out to other organizations with related domain knowledge, and soliciting ideas from others who have created their own solutions.

Though I’m a gay male and an anti-discrimination and anti-bullying activist, I’m also a pushy Jewish kid from NJ with a big mouth who makes wisecracks, sometimes when I shouldn’t. This is an endeavor we can all learn from, including myself.

You can also submit information and ideas to the committee using this form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdM4_OXkTcCcbDVGKW3HPILWl5VXknMK_JDGSjfplA008wdqQ/viewform

 

​2.2​ VP of Outreach Tim Holahan, Broadstripes

Tim Holahan, Product Manager at Broadstripes, has been a participant in our technical committee since 2014. He is an active participant in our discussions, taking an interest in topics critical to OSDI’s future beyond his own employer’s perspective.  Tim has decided to step up and has been appointed to VP of Outreach, where he will help coordinate our outreach at conferences and other community events.

You can contact Tim at outreach@opensupporter.org.

 

​2.3​ VP of Liaisons for Volunteer Engineering, Jacob LeGrone, Progcode

Jacob LeGrone hails from the Progressive Coders Network, a volunteer engineering organization descending from Coders4Sanders.  In the aftermath of the 2016 election, progcode has created a vibrant community of developers working on software projects to support the progressive cause.  Its sister group RagTag, which spawned from the volunteer coders for Hillary, has come on the scene as well.  Both of these organizations are doing important work and it is critical that the plethora of tools they build can integrate with other systems that progressive customers use.  Therefore, we realize that the relationship between OSDI and these efforts is so critical that have created an explicit officer position to ensure we stay in sync.  Though his title is a mouthful, Jacob will now be a single contact point for RagTag, progcode and other volunteer engineering organizations at OSDI.

You can contact Jacob at liaisons@opensupporter.org

 

​4​ Officers Incumbent

The following  officers will continue to in their roles

 

VP of Customer Coalition Russ Rampersad, Director of Product Management | Catalist customer@opensupporter.org
VP of Logistics Shai Sachs,Innovation Platform Director | NGP VAN logistics@opensupporter.org
VP of PR Adriel Hampton, CEO and Principal Consultant | The Adriel Hampton Group Ltd. pr@opensupporter.org
Chairperson Josh Cohen chair@opensupporter.org

 

​5​ Officers Emeritus

As we move forward, it is important to recognize those who have served terms as officers and the contribution they have made. Though they are passing the officer batons to successors, they continue to participate in OSDI as governance and technical members.  We thank Seth Bannon, Joe McLaughlin,  and Jason Rosenbaum for their service.

 

Before closing, I’d like to call out a unique contribution from Seth Bannon and his critical role in getting OSDI off the ground.

In 2012, I served as the Director of Technology at the Washington United for Marriage campaign, and had begun speaking with partners and vendors we worked with including Amicus. As many of you leaders know, that is an extremely difficult time where you face doubts from others “that will never happen!”, your own insecurities, and folks reluctant to attach their name to what is a mere fantasy in the would-be founder’s eyes.  Things don’t become “real” until you have convinced another respected entity to sign on and join in advocacy.   For OSDI that moment was when Seth Bannon, and the team at Amicus attached their credibility to OSDI.  Seth set a positive example that an ever growing list of leaders have followed.

 

​6​ Thanks!

We look forward to the continued community participation in our new Diversity efforts and beyond and welcome new members.

If you are interested in working with Sonya Reynolds on the Diversity and Inclusion work, feel free to contact her or myself.

Sonya can be reached at diversity@opensupporter.org

 

Josh Cohen

OSDI Chairperson

chair@opensupporter.org

Gender Pronouns and Netroots Nation

September 29, 2017

In August, we attended the Netroots Nation conference and held a caucus for our fellow data and technology nerds to meet, greet, and work on the OSDI specification. In the spirit of inclusivity and accessibility — core values to our mission — we held breakout discussions on topics like preferred gender pronouns, security, and how to deal with bulk data.

gpjson

Today, we’re highlighting the discussion on Gender Pronouns in OSDI with a short video from that caucus. If you’ve wondered about the kinds of discussions that building a progressive community standard entails, you’ll get a sample of that from this video.

If you watch the video and feel your passions rising for issues like these, or you just like to debate the finer points of JSON structure and serialization, maybe OSDI engagement is for you!

If you were at the caucus at Netroots Nation, or even if you’ve been following OSDI for a while but haven’t gotten involved, now’s a great time to formally join our organization. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’s easy to do — you can decide whether you want to be part of our customer coalition, essentially raising your hand publicly and saying, “OSDI is important and I support it,” or you can dive in a join our weekly technical committee calls and help us write the specification.

Either way, if you’re ready to join, email us at membership@opensupporter.org and we’ll get your membership started!

Thanks for reading and watching!

Contact: Adriel Hampton, OSDI VP of PR, 415-316-7903, adriel@adrielhamptongroup.com

New Integrations Boost Activist Toolsets: New/Mode, Mobile Commons, ActionSites, CSV2OSDI

July 2, 2017

Activists and organizers enjoy The Action Network because it’s easy to set up, free for small groups, and boasts all the critical tools for digital outreach. And as a toolkit built ground up using the Open Data Supporter Interface, it’s fast and efficient for developers to add new integrations that make Action Network more powerful.

In recent months, OSDI coalition members and affiliated developers have added tools for texting, digital lobbying of elected officials, and for WordPress.

“We want to be a hub for movement technologies,” said Jason Rosenbaum, CTO of Action Network. “New integrations from Mobile Commons and New/Mode, plus new options for WordPress users, mean that more organizations are using the OSDI to save time and money in their digital programs.”

Mobile Commons provides communications teams, marketers and program managers an enterprise mobile messaging platform for planning, executing, managing, and analyzing complex mobile messaging campaigns. Its new integration with Action Network means that activists are synced from text to email programs. You can sync SMS opt-ins, phone numbers, email addresses, and other basic activist information like names between Action Network and Mobile Commons automatically, allowing you to subscribe activists to your SMS list via Action Network forms and subscribe people to your Action Network list via Mobile Commons email collection.

Full-Spectrum CampaigningAnd, a new integration with New/Mode means that progressives can now call, tweet, or fax their elected officials, as well as write letters to the editor. The tools work in the US, Canada, the UK and EU, and Australia, and anyone who takes action in New/Mode can be subscribed to your Action Network list and marked as having taken the appropriate action.

“New/Mode is focused on helping progressive organizations access the most sophisticated digital campaign tools in the world at a cost they can afford,” said Steve Anderson, Founder and Chief Strategist at New/Mode. “We’re campaigners ourselves, and we noticed that many groups were recreating the wheel with their custom campaign tools. We knew that there was an opportunity to collaborate to enable the progressive movement to be more efficient and effective. We’re extremely excited to work with OSDI and ActionNetwork! We have a common goal to empower the progressive movement and we’re stronger together.”

OSDI and Action Network are also getting new play with WordPress, the open source content management system.

Jonathan Kissam has released a plugin for Action Network partners to improve their WordPress options. The plugin includes a calendar of events shortcode and widget, as well as expanded signup options that don’t conflict with Action Network’s on-page JavaScript embeds. And OSDI’s Adriel Hampton has a new website product called “ActionSites” for Action Network users on free and paid plans.

“Every organization needs a website and basic digital organizing tools,” said Hampton, who runs a boutique marketing and strategy consultancy for progressives known as AHG. “It was a no brainer to put together Action Network with WordPress into a packaged product that’s simple for organizations to customize and update, and it’s been a combo that our clients really love.”

Finally, csv2osdi, a ruby-based open source tool has been released to provide easier and more flexible imports from CSV files into OSDI systems. It has a flexible configuration system to map to your CSV format into OSDI fields as well as customer specific custom fields. It allows mapping phone numbers into custom fields for systems like Action Network.  Another significant features is row-level tagging. You can set the tags to be applied to records on an individual level rather than on the entire import. Csv2osdi can be found on github.

More about OSDI

The Open Supporter Data Interface (“OSDI”), a coalition effort to define open API standards and data structures for progressive technology interoperability, is coming of age with new implementations by commercial vendors ranging from activist toolsets to data providers.

OSDI began as an outgrowth  of the 2012 Washington United for Marriage campaign, after proponents experienced frustrations due to a lack of interoperability between the hodgepodge of tools needed to win progressive victories. After an initial conversation instigated by Josh Cohen, the director of technology for that campaign, and campaign vendors like Amicus, OSDI has grown considerably and is now led by volunteer technologists from across the U.S., in implementer roles at nonprofits as well as management positions at technology companies including NGP VAN. OSDI’s membership includes unions, advocacy organizations, nonprofits, political strategists and vendors. In addition to progressive vendors like Action Network, OSDI members and adopters also include general technology providers such as telephony provider CallHub and data append vendor Accurate Append. Integrations using the OSDI standard typically reduce technology integrations from weeks to days. http://opensupporter.org

Contact: Adriel Hampton, OSDI VP of PR, adriel@ahgnow.com

Read Specification Documentation | Contribute to the Specification

Ragtag Joins OSDI to Push Distributed Progressive Tech Further

May 25, 2017

What do you get when you bring together hundreds of volunteers from across the country who want to use their online tech chops to improve their communities? They call it Ragtag, a distributed tech-generation team that takes on tech projects for activists and organizers.

Ragtag, led by veterans of both political tech and the startup world, is one of the newest members of the Open Supporter Data Interface, which allows its projects to quickly sync with major platforms used by progressive activists and campaigners.

“Becoming a part of the all-volunteer OSDI coalition was a natural fit for Ragtag,” said founder Brady Kriss. “Organizers and activists have always benefited from sharing knowledge and best practices. The work the OSDI team is doing brings that knowledge-sharing and collective effort approach to the civic tech space. I’m excited to work together with the rest of the OSDI coalition to continue to grow the progressive movement.”

Before organizing Ragtag, Kriss worked as Director of Support for Obama for America, and with DevProgress organizing volunteers to create open source tools for progressive candidates.

Active Ragtag projects include:

Adopt+Bannock

  • Rapid Response Lawyer Alert: Ragtag is working with immigration and civil rights lawyers across the country to create a rapid response app for alerting lawyers and other community members when they’re needed for immigration actions. The team is currently doing in-depth user research with attorneys to determine the most effective approach for such an app.
  • Action Aggregator: The Action Aggregator is an attempt to consolidate information about ways in which people can get involved in their community and political action. This project involves creating a backend app to aggregate, consolidate, and standardize activist calls to action, such as attend an event or call your member of Congress. The ultimate objective is to make the list of calls to action available through an open API.
  • Technical Majority: Every day, more organizations and projects are launched to help people better use technology for the causes they care about. Technical Majority aims to be a catalog of the many organizations, projects, tools, and resources out there.
  • Adopt Bannock: This project aims to mobilize voters in Bannock County, Idaho for progressive candidates. It also is a political experiment about tech meeting the grassroots and its role in future locations and election cycles. Adopt Bannock is a moonshot. As a social, political experiment, Ragtag will attempt to turn the entirety of Bannock County blue in minor elections this year. Ragtag personnel and tech will support, infuse, advise, and mobilize on-the-ground resources to win votes as efficiently as possible.

Ragtag’s focus includes:

  • User studies on organizing and activism software used by volunteers.
  • Chrome extensions to improve or enhance the user experience of standard organizing tools.
  • Open source tools for organizations to manage their memberships and get out their message.
  • How-to’s and guides for best practices to protect privacy and maintain security online.
  • Providing direct online and in-person tech support for community groups and field offices nationwide.

Anyone who’s eager to use tech to get more active in civic life can join: https://ragtag.org/join/

“Along with ProgCode, which includes hundreds of technologists active in the 2016 presidential race, Ragtag’s participation in OSDI is a watershed,” said Josh Cohen, OSDI founder and chair. “Together, we present a critical unified front in the future of grassroots technology for the progressive movement. Our goal with this common API standard is to accelerate progress on the ground using all of this technical skill and civic passion.”

“As a progressive digital organizing vendor, we value the ability to easily integrate with other products,” said Jason Rosenbaum, Action Network Director of Technology and OSDI VP of Outreach. “We look forward to integrating with the exciting innovations coming out of Ragtag and ProgCode so customers can combine different products into a solution that truly fits like a glove.”

More about OSDI

The Open Supporter Data Interface (“OSDI”), a coalition effort to define open API standards and data structures for progressive technology interoperability, is coming of age with new implementations by commercial vendors ranging from activist toolsets to data providers.

OSDI began as an outgrowth  of the 2012 Washington United for Marriage campaign, after proponents experienced frustrations due to a lack of interoperability between the hodgepodge of tools needed to win progressive victories. After an initial conversation instigated by Josh Cohen, the director of technology for that campaign, and campaign vendors like Amicus, OSDI has grown considerably and is now led by volunteer technologists from across the U.S., in implementer roles at nonprofits as well as management positions at technology companies including NGP VAN. OSDI’s membership includes unions, advocacy organizations, nonprofits, political strategists and vendors. In addition to progressive vendors like Action Network, OSDI members and adopters also include general technology providers such as telephony provider CallHub and email append vendor Accurate Append. Integrations using the OSDI standard typically reduce technology integrations from weeks to days.

http://opensupporter.org

Contact: Adriel Hampton, OSDI VP of PR, adriel@ahgnow.com

Read Specification Documentation | Contribute to the Specification

Accelerating the Progressive Coders Network with OSDI

March 30, 2017

Presidential cycles have long been a driver of technology innovations. In 2008, President Obama’s “my.barackobama.com” turned thousands of activists into crowdsourced digital precinct captains, writing their own blogs, dialing voters, and competing for points as leaders in the campaign. And both the 2008 and 2012 cycles brought us new digital and analytics firms like Blue Labs, Civis Analytics, Edgeflip, Precision Strategies and many more.

The top of the ticket in 2016 also birthed and nurtured new technologies, including a host of apps to mobilize the grassroots by phone and text messages, through friends, door-do-door, and by shared vehicle and housing. And while a general election loss isn’t as fertile for new consulting firms, the fierce 2016 primary fight and new Republican administration shook out something new: a decentralized, always-on movement of coders, project managers and communicators fresh from the Democratic campaigns and ready to take on establishment DC.

“Progressive Coders Network,” with members collected from the Slack channels associated with grassroots pro-Bernie Sanders efforts and various other progressive technology groups associated with Hillary Clinton’s campaign and even non-partisan and international organizations, has grown into a community of hundreds of activists dedicated to building tools for movement progressives and removing big money’s influence from politics. Founder Rapi Castillo recently began dedicating his efforts to the community full time.

Progcode joined OSDI after the general election, and its members are using its open framework to quickly stand up new projects and integrate the movement’s disparate tools. One current project by an independent member of the network is “The Resistance Calendar” which parses user submitted events from several sources into a unified resource. The group is also working on a “Maps for Change” roadmap, which includes map and events aggregation, alerts, and a single sign-on for progressive technologies.

Resistance Calendar-OSDI

Another project working with Progressive Coders using OSDI is the “National Voter File,” which seeks to create an open source directory that authorized users can query for campaigns and other grassroots activity.

“I really like OSDI,” said Castillo “The HAL Browser makes it easy for people to browse the API and allows us to provide an interoperable process for all the progressive technologies that are being built by the community, as well as progressive tools like Action Network that grassroots movements have been using.

Active progcode projects are public on GitHub, and the group maintains a Slack group with scores of active channels (apply for membership here).

Individual members of progcode participate in OSDI technology meetings, and OSDI members recently joined the group’s weekly hangout to answer questions. In addition to progressive vendors, OSDI members and adopters also include general technology providers such as telephony provider CallHub and data append vendor Accurate Append. Integrations using the OSDI standard typically reduce technology integrations from weeks to days.

“Progcode’s efforts are where the OSDI standard can really take off,” said OSDI Chairperson Josh Cohen. “Each project, no matter how small or large, can easily plug into an ecosystem and individual coders can help build the movement.”

More about OSDI

The Open Supporter Data Interface (“OSDI”), a coalition effort to define open API standards and data structures for progressive technology interoperability, is coming of age with new implementations by commercial vendors ranging from activist toolsets to data providers.

OSDI began as an outgrowth  of the 2012 Washington United for Marriage campaign, after proponents experienced frustrations due to a lack of interoperability between the hodgepodge of tools needed to win progressive victories. After an initial conversation instigated by Josh Cohen, the director of technology for that campaign, and campaign vendors like Amicus, OSDI has grown considerably and is now led by volunteer technologists from across the U.S., in implementer roles at nonprofits as well as management positions at technology companies including NGP VAN. OSDI’s membership includes unions, advocacy organizations, nonprofits, political strategists and vendors.

Read Specification Documentation | Contribute to the Specification

Fighting back against Trump with collaborative technology

January 13, 2017

Eight years ago, we saw a freshman Senator use technology beautifully to enable activists to organize their own communities in a “snowflake” model where everyone was empowered. MyBarackObama.com turned on many activists to technology for the first time, and brought technology creators into political activism as well.

Today, we have a bombastic, disgraceful disaster about to take office as President. He uses technology as a weapon to attack union leaders by name, to praise sycophants, and to oppose others’ free speech. Trump’s campaign also used digital targeting to gleefully depress voter turnout through vicious, untruthful attacks on Hillary Clinton.

As a progressive movement, we need to not only resist Trump using technology, but stand up for our values with every tool available. Here at the Open Supporter Data Interface (OSDI), we’re working to create the glue for our movement to use technology as a force multiplier to not only take on Trump, but advance progressive values at every opportunity. He can use fear and division. We’re using love and collaboration. He’s using crass marketing and TV bombast. We’re using open source platforms and sharing our work on Github.

The District 13 house sent 10s of thousands of emails using OSDI member platform Action Network to raise funds for a "house of resistance" to fight Trump in DC.

The District 13 house sent 10s of thousands of emails using OSDI member platform Action Network to raise funds for a “house of resistance” to fight Trump in DC.

OSDI helps progressive technologists work together faster and more productively to create tools for the moment. In just the past few weeks, I’ve used OSDI-enabled tools to raise $40,000 in grassroots donations for the “District 13 house” to oppose Trump with direct actions in DC, organize volunteers and raise $17,000 for a first-time progressive candidate in Berkeley, and organize support for the progressive slate that won a majority of seats in San Francisco’s Democratic Assembly delegate elections. Because OSDI technologies sync donors, for example, I can target email asks using Action Network with data from ActBlue.

How can you get involved in using technology to further the movement in the face of Trump’s threat?

  • You can use your coding skills to continue to grow the OSDI specification and to build new tools connecting it to the platforms you use most;
  • You can ask your vendors to implement OSDI in their APIs;
  • You can add support for OSDI to your app or platform, and use it as the standard interface for new tools you build;
  • Or you can join OSDI and help advance and evangelize the specification yourself!

What are some platforms that are using OSDI now, and how can you plug in?

Join us now!

 

– Adriel Hampton