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This Lockdown DOES Feel Different

Kiwi Foo - sleep is so overrated

[Updated] Correct an error, add few more links AND
If anyone has my sunnies and/or "Stockholm" baseball cap I'd love to have them back - drop me a line

There are so many cracking write ups about Kiwi Foo that it's almost easier to just link to them - and I will after my wee review.

Kiwi Foo overall
Totally and amazingly cool.
The organisation was second to none (thanks Nat, Russel and Janine and to us all) and it's quite brilliant to watch how people just chip in. Also the infrastructure by Vern Dempster from the venue, Mahurangi College, was top notch - the amount of laptops (most with fruit on) using the WiFi was large but not unexpected. Vern is on the lookout for more Macs and so if you have decently new ones, like eMacs and G4s that you don’t need then email me and I'll pass it on.

I also have to thank Brenda and Sandy for taking me to/from the airport, putting my tent up (paid by me pumping up their airbed .... airbed, what a great idea) and for being around to smoke with me *cough*.

As for the quality of sessions, well, what can I say, they were all informative, collaborative and made me think. By 8pm on Saturday my favourite line was, "My brain is full" - but then I had another session to run so it couldn't be too full.

Oh, and the drinking, fire games, Werewolf ('til 4am) and mostly the meeting of brilliant people just adds to the experience. And I have to say the person that I am so glad I talked with was Dave ten Have from Ponoko - the passion, insightfulness and general around great guy-ness about him was infectious to the max and he was a great Auckland airport companion for a few hours.

Oh and ... oh and ... sorry, I keep thinking of so many moments - there were loads, thanks to all that made it a great time, on with the nuts-n-bolts.


Sessions I went to
Oh, just so you know the session titles are almost what was written down but it is coming out of my notebook so may be totally made-up. Also, these notes are really a scratching of the surface compared to the actual conversations held; some I can't report, some I can't remember and some would just take ages to give context to - happy to expand more in comments or email if you want (and I can).

The Technological Singularity - Can we survive it? - Mike Barley
What can I say - it was high falutin, deep in thought and set me up perfectly for the weekend. I am totally into such futurist talks (watch out for my Netocracy posting) and loved every minute. The fact that it started Friday evening as the sun was setting and none of us could turn the lights on meaning it ended with around 15 people sitting in the dark talking about how computers may end up running our lives will be a memorable moment for ever.

Learning - it's almost certainly coming, it's probably happened, society has probably experienced something similar and there's probably nothing we can do/predict now to prepare ourselves. And humans will probably not care as they move through it.

Getting out the world - Dave ten Have, Tim Norton and others
Totally fascinating to hear about how the startups (which all seem Wellington based) are doing over in the USofA gaining support, "buzz and fizz" and eventually VC $$$s and a footprint. I was particularly impressed by the openess about how hard it is, some of the "traps for young players" and just how honest about how hard it is - particularly on the soul and body. Great interjections from Mike Cannon-Brookes who has done the hard yards from Australia and knows how it's played (and what is "fizz" and what is "real").

Learning
- talk with people and the speakers are a great place to start!

OOXML
- Don, Colin and Matthew

What can I say - fascinating and not a little scary to hear the ins-and-outs of the political play at an international level. The "fight" to stop Microsoft overriding the ISO organisation with it's dodgy-as (my view) OOXML standard still goes on, show your support by getting informed and writing to the NZ Standards Organisation.

Learning - never assume it's all nice at the top and corporations have our best interests at heart - not so much a learning, more a reminder.

Data Opennes - Mike Pearson

Loads of talk about how the Government can be more open with their information/data. In the end it came down to - Government, just do something and share! Mike was thinking of starting a group for DataPortabilityGovernment - will let you know if it kicks off.

Learning - just do it!

IT Recruitment and the lack of people - what do we do - John Clegg
A passionate and invigorating talk from John (and everyone else) about the lack of young uns coming into ICT - particularly women. The Summer of Code seems a great initiative from the young ICT community but a lack of "big guns" on board may not see it grow to its potential. Lots of talk about what unis, government and the industry (whatever that is) can do.

Learning - it's bloody hard to get a members in a competitive and "young" industry to think outside their own four walls.

SSO/Trust - the society level - Marek and Rob O'Brien
Probably the most difficult session for me as I couldn't really see where it was going for a long time. Basically it was around OpenID and an idea of sharing trust within NZ providers.

Learning - a little but I will be watching that space.


NZ "Web Community" - what is it and how can we nurture it - me
I can add little to the write-up from Ludwig but it's worth reiterating about the "NZWC" (New Zealand Web Community). I will, however, caveat this technological solution by echoing my own closing remarks that we must remember the best communities still happen face-to-face. The NZWC is a great pointer, reminder, hinter-at but NOT the actual community!

And now back to Ludwig:
NZWC

What is it? Basically NZWC is the agnostic activity aggregator I talked about stemming from the building web communities session. We decided the best thing we can do is to create an aggregator of everything happening in the NZ web scene. It’s open to anyone to post to, just tag your stuff with “nzwc” and our stuff should start appearing on the site.

Currently the actual site is just some information about the project and a quickie MagieRSS mashup, but we plan to build it out into something a little more useful. Of course, if you start tagging content you believe is relevant to the NZWC then we’ll be able to see how people use it a lot better and build a better experience around the content.

Something to note about posting to NZWC. The content you put up there doesn’t necessarily need to be your own. You can add it as a del.icio.us bookmark, tag it with “nzwc” and it’ll show up just as well. The idea is to surface as much content concerning the NZWC as possible.

We are planning to support Flickr, Technorati and del.icio.us but could possibly later include support for Twitter, Upcoming etc. All we need from you right now, is to tag stuff. Surface it, for the rest of us to find on NZWC


Getting geeks to get outside / Barcamps - Natalie and Simon + me and Ludwig
A talk about how Natalie and Simon using Oxford GeekNights generated a very successful community in Oxford (UK) whihc might have even got a little too successful. I was applying learnings to the Barcamps and hooking in with Ludwig who ran the Auckland Barcamp (all on his student lonesome - top work!)

Learning - loads, um, how about "150 is about the maximum an unconference can be before it is too large for everyone to work with"

NZOnScreen - Brenda L
A glimpse behind the scenes on this new site (NZ On Air archival film/TV via the web) and where this totally fascinating project is going. As this was my final session of the weekend it was cracking to end seeing an actual bit of work and something to look forward to later this year.

Learning - "content, content, content" ... is not such an easy mantra when the content is "owned" by so many people. Also, not sure how the site will be used but it's good to see they are building for growth.




Photos
Mine are stuck on the camera until I get through the last lot but here's a Flickr tag to keep you going.

Flickr: Happy campers


Other Kiwi Foo round-ups - now here coz I kept updating it

Comments

  1. nice wrap up mike :)

    "Remember, NZWC is a great pointer, reminder, hinter-at but NOT the actual community " - i've stolen this for the fb group description ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mike, it was great to meet you in person at the KiwiFoo. I occasionally come to read your blog, prior to KiwiFoo.

    Cheers,
    Sione.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cracking to meet you Sione and I am still amazed at your beverage on Sunday morning ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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