Category: Tools

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This page needs revision to be brought up to date with our 2018 Relaunch

Overview

Guerrilla Translation and the Guerrilla Media Collective use a number of software tools, both online and offline. We have carefully researched, tested and chosen these particular tools to handle our production, development and governance processes. Our priority at the moment is to maintain both flexibility and resiliency, so we have chosen tools that we can rely on now, while keeping our options open for when change becomes necessary, or the change presents an improvement to our existing systems.

We’ve experimented with a wide selection of tools including open source and proprietary products. One thing we’re steadfastly avoiding is committing to an all-in-one tool. This is for a few important reasons, not the least of which is that it would obviously leave us vulnerable if the enterprise behind the tool suddenly folded. But more than that, we’re interested in learning more about, and getting involved with, the tools themselves and the people behind them.

A lot of what we’re doing is an exploratory learning process, while at the same time we’re trying to model new forms of collective business practices. We think that getting to know more about how online software tools are developed, sometimes with our types of businesses and initiatives in mind, is in everyone’s best interest as we further the new economic models we like to read about. Working with the teams behind some of these online tools might become part of our long-term project plans. We may even want to eventually build bridges and propose that we do translation for some of these platforms and tools.

We believe it’s important to nurture the development of the protocols and processes through which we use these tools. For that purpose, we've developed two "itineraries" of, if you prefer "tutorials" which you can check out in the links below. If you do, you may want to keep this index open for quick reference:

Also, we think the best way to use them for our work is through the use of browser-tab based workspaces.

Before diving into the particulars of each tool, let’s look at what we use them for. It’s much easier to explain how to use each tool and how they integrate with each other once their individual “personalities” are described, as well as our specific uses of each.

Please note that the first tool listed in each category is the one that is presently used the most. Others are either only occasional, or perhaps at this time “players to be named later” as we continue our research and trials for what might be the best fit for our needs.

Most important tools

Very briefly, and before diving in to examine the full range of tools we use, we'd like to mention the three main tools you'll be using for the bulk of your GT/GMC work.

1) Loomio: For discussion and group decision making.

2) Trello: For Workflow organization.

3) OPV/OS: For value tracking and allocation. (Currently in development)

Type of tools

It’s important to distinguish between two types of tools:

Procedural tools

“Procedural tools” are used across the board for the management and organization of our projects. They form the basic workstation for all GT/GMC work, the “backbone”, and are generally used on a daily basis. We've divided them into: Brainstorming tools, Discussion tools, Workflow tools, Website tools and Knowledge Base tools.

Task-specific tools

“Task specific tools” answer very precise needs. They interface with the procedural tools. We consider them "precision instruments” for occasional, concrete actions, and they're a crucial part of our cross-platform system.

PROCEDURAL TOOLS

"Procedural Tools" are grouped in five subcategories:

  • Brainstorming tools: For collective idea planning and solution seeking.
  • Discussion tools: For administrative, managerial and translation-related discussions.
  • Workflow tools: For distributed organization and follow-through of tasks and projects.
  • Knowledge Base tools: For easy access to our protocols and resources.
  • Website tools: For web-publishing of our materials.

Brainstorming tools

Freemind and Mind 42

Freemind and Mind 42 are free mind-mapping software platforms. A mind map is a diagram used to visually organise information. We use them to brainstorm ideas and organize information before it is either fed into the Trello Boards as a task or a project, or as Knowledge into our wiki. They're also ideal for collecting ideas for larger projects, where we may need to collect information such as contact information for outside sources, or possibilities to be explored before becoming concrete plans, which can be presented and reviewed in a comprehensive but easily comprehended, graphically organized way.

CO-MENT

Co-Ment is an online writing collaboration tool. We use it to brainstorm ideas that may not fit into the visual-mindmap format. These ideas are then discussed and voted on in Loomio. It is also an excellent "first step" for collaborative writing of material that will eventually go in the Wiki.

Discussion tools

Loomio

  • Loomio is an online discussion and decision-making tool used to propose, debate and reach consensus on managerial and administrative matters. It is our main managerial and administrative general communication channel.
  • Loomio homepage
  • GT/GMC on Loomio
  • Wiki entry on Loomio

Workflow tools

Trello

Trello is a workflow tool used to organize all task and project work, from inception, through development and until completion. It is the backbone of our system both for translation and managerial work.

Open Value Network Operating System

The OPV/OS is a value tracking software used for quantifying member’s contributions to the GT/GCM both for pro-bono and paid translation projects and for all managerial administrative work.

Knowledge Base tools

Wiki

Mediawiki is a free software open source wiki package originally for use on Wikipedia. It is used as a knowledge repository for the “backend” of Guerrilla Translation/Guerrilla Media Collective. It features easily accessed information detailing our procedural protocols and rules.

Website tools

Wordpress

Wordpress is a web-publishing platform. We use Wordpress for formatting and publishing all of our website materials.

TASK-SPECIFIC TOOLS

Task specific tools have a further distinction:

  • Language tools: Tools that are useful for translating, copyediting (dictionaries, glossaries, etc.) and are listed on the Language tools page.
  • Process tools: Tools that help or speed up part of the management process.

Process tools

Pirate Pad

  • Pirate Pad is a much simpler version of Co-Ment used when we need to share some unformatted text (or html) online. We use it to organize Social Media Campaigns for projects and for simple templates.
  • Site link

Wordcounter

  • Wordcounter is a very simple tool we use to determine word count for documents:
  • Site Link

Diffcount

  • Diffcount is a tool that allows you to compare two documents side by side and highlights all the changes, or differences between them. We use it when there’s some confusion related to updates to texts, different versions, etc.
  • Site link