Communicating in a Transnational Network of Social Activists: The Crucial Importance of Mailing List Usage

  • Saqib Saeed
  • Markus Rohde
  • Volker Wulf
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6969)


Social movements need to coordinate their political activities. They are often characterized by a fragile organizational structure, and sparse personnel, financial and technical resources. In this paper we describe how a transnational networks of social activists, the European Social Forum (ESF), uses a central mailing list as a major communication tool. By means of a long-term field study, we analyzed the work practices of this network and observed the usage of the mailing list. The empirical findings highlight how the mailing list is used for a variety of different activities such as collaborative work, decision making, coordination and information sharing. We discuss the finding with regard to the discourse on cooperative work and come up with implications for design.


mailing list email communication community informatics social activists European social forum 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saqib Saeed
    • 1
  • Markus Rohde
    • 1
  • Volker Wulf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information Systems and New MediaUniversity of SiegenSiegenGermany

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