Creating Technology for Social Change

Vozmob/Vojo merge sprint

In late Jan, the Vozmob and Vojo teams gathered in Oakland and LA for a work sprint.
Link to notes from the sprint:

The Vozmob team of IDEPSCA ( are based in LA were part of the original codesign team for Vozmob and continue to be codesigners as well as media makers and trainers. Pedro Joel, Luis Valentin, and _, from IDEPSCA joined via hangout periodically through the week.

Mirabot is a tech co-op based in Oakland and we are working closely with Squiggy Rubio and Matt Olenick on development.

From Civic, Civic Technologist Ed Platt and I joined in person, and Sasha Costanza Chock joined from LA with the IDEPSCA team.

If you’ve been in a workshop learning how to use Vojo, you know that Vojo grew out of the Vozmob Project. With the IDEPSCA Vozmob team, it’s possible to become an affiliate and to post to if your group meets the affiliation criterion. To maintain these criterion on, but to share the technology with other groups, we’ve been building Vojo.

Vozmob Affiliation Criterion

VozMob is a space that prioritizes the voices of:

  • groups of people who have been excluded, made invisible, and silenced in the mass media and online sphere
  • immigrant workers, low-income people, people of color, youth, LBGTIQ communities and folks who have been marginalized.
In order to be an affiliate you must:
  • iBe a group, collective, and/or organization organizing in your community for social, environmental, economic, educational and media justice among others. 

  • iUse organizing models based on popular education, that emphasize power sharing, participation, horizontalism, consensus, and community accountability.
  • iBe interested in creating a space for low wage workers to share their stories and connect with each other to amplify their voices.
  • In general, VozMob is not a space for:

  • random individuals or groups who would like a mobile blog. If you are just looking for a place to blog from your mobile phone, most social network sites and blogging platforms now support that functionality. Just google “blog from my mobile phone.” 😉
  • iNonprofit organizations that are primarily service oriented, or do not engage in community organizing. Remember, you are always free to use our code and set up your own mobile blogging community if you like!
  • iSocial movement organizations that primarily work with communities who are well-represented in mass media and online spaces.

Everyone is welcome to connect with VozMob. At the same time, it is meant to be a people of color and marginalized communities majority space who are actively involve in working for justice and sharing struggles and victories.

Our teams have been working separately — with the IDEPSCA team and Mirabot working on and the Civic team primarily working to create Vojo. We came together to synchronize our teams and our work.

The goals of the work sprint were to:

  1. unify the code
  2. unify the team
  3. develop a clear shared vision of how to work together from here until launch, scheduled for the Allied Media Conference June 20-23 (
  4. solve highest priority user stories on

How it went/next steps:

  1. We have merged the code for both sites, allowing to take advantage of improvements and fixes to, and vice versa. The merged code has a more reliable registration process, better multilingual support, and supports sms/mms messaging for a greater number of cellular carriers.
  2. We are testing the merged code. In our time together, we identified some features and functionality that was working on one tool and the other. We are working now to test those features and to test the basic features in the merged code. You can see the merged version of our software at When we are finished with testing at that link, we’ll update and so that both are using the same software.
  3. We now meet all together on Tuesdays at 1pm EST/10am PST. This is our opportunity to check in about needs from the IDEPSCA team, Vojo groups, and to reach a shared understanding of priorities.
  4. We have created a space on our work tracker now for our launch version, we’re calling Vojo 1.0. You can see here, what we are planning to develop for that date. We will also be working on the user experience of Vojo between now and launch.
  5. We continue to work to identify the highest priority fixes and changes. This is based mostly on conversations with IDEPSCA and a few active groups on Vojo about their experiences and needs with the tool.