The result was my 1996 book on the labour movement and the internet — and after that, LabourStart.
Twenty years on and I’ve been looking into how we in the trade union movement use the new communications tools — smartphones and tablets — and the result is a new book I’ve just co-authored with Jeremy Green, “Firefox OS for Activists“.
Chances are you’ve heard of the iPhone and iPad, and probably Android phones and tablets too. Maybe you even own one of these devices.
You may even know about Blackberry and Microsoft phones and tablets — though they haven’t made much headway in the fight against the two giants, Apple and Google.
Firefox OS is part of a new breed of alternative, open source mobile operating systems that aim to take on the big corporations.
It’s been created by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation and in our view, it’s a very big deal.
Firefox OS phones are already available for sale in a number of countries (Spain, Germany, a few Latin American countries) and will soon be available where you live.
They’re extremely cheap, and making apps that run on them is cheaper and easier than doing them for Apple and Android products.
Firefox OS is part of a broader open source revolution that includes such things as the Ubuntu Touch project — and even Fairphone, the first attempt to create an “ethical” mobile phone that, among other things, respects workers’ rights.
You can read more about our book, see the full table of contents, and even read a sample chapter here: