Technology | Diversity | Democracy

Covid 19: Who’s afraid of digital comms?

pic of vintage camera

During the Covid 19 crisis, we’re being inundated with queries about how to do things like move tutorials and workshops online or keep collaborative projects going despite social isolation. We’ve found that corporate tools are designed for corporate teams rather than professional CoPs or NGOs. So Fossbox is putting our heads together with the Culture Capital Exchange to provide information and practical support for simple, free or low-cost ways to keep working collaboratively, keep the creative flow, and ameliorate the stresses of social isolation. We’ll be experimenting with solutions for different needs and putting together not only a free guide to open source collaboration and communication tools but also some ideas around how to stay in touch, stay connected, and stay buoyant. 

We’ve put a quick-and-dirty guide to get you started with remote collaboration here which can be used for everything from delivering a class/workshop/tutorial session to small events, meetings, catch-ups, collaborations. We’ll be working on this, adding visual guides and expanding as we go along with an action-research approach to developing low-cost and simplified ways to facilitate a range of professional activities. All the tools in the guide are free and simple to use with privacy in mind.

Things have come a long way and immersing yourself in communicating online has never been easier — we love experimenting with new ways to communicate so tell us what you need to do and we’ll tell you how. We can provide the support people need to feel confident in venturing beyond Facebook to something that feels a bit more like ‘real life’ and where we can carry on being productive and achieving our professional goals. We’ll also help you select tools with privacy in mind.

If you’d like tailored consultancy, training, or support, please do contact us. We’re asking organisations for a small/sliding donation to cover our costs at Fossbox.

Our hearts go out to the precariat in particular, whether creative freelancers or on zero hours, as so many of us are somewhat preoccupied with paying the rent as workstreams dry up. But we also want to be positive — we see an opportunity here to be able to continue to work effectively by using online collaboration tools. This will not only cut out unnecessary admin but has other positive benefits. We’ve been aware of the importance of developing digital communications from the point of view of the climate emergency for a long time but we really do understand how so many people struggle with the fear-factor in diving into virtual communication. We hope that better ways of keeping our wider networks healthy with less of a toll for the planet may also come out of the Covid 19 emergency.

Having spent the past few days glued to webcam chat with our friends and professional contacts, we’re also keenly aware of how difficult isolation is — most particularly for the high proportion of Londoners who live alone. We want to do something positive about this too. 

We’ll be posting more detailed information soon, in the meantime, if you would like some support to figure out how to keep your professional activities on the rails or would like a tailored virtual collaboration space/meetings/events using low/no cost tools with the minimum of ‘techieness’, please do contact us to talk about consultancy.