Like many years before, I will attend FOSDEM, the biggest open source convention in the neighbourhood: up to around 8000 attendees at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a good reason to take the train down south for a weekend. Obviously, this year it will be (more than ever before) an online event. So from the comfort […]
Dozens of new organisations are getting ready to publish IATI data: the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it a requirement for the grantees in the strategic partnerships programme on lobby and advocacy that started this year. The Ministry has published their guidelines on how to create a useful IATI data set, and part of […]
But what did we learn from open source? Two days of Open Knowledge Conference gave lots of food for thought. And lots of inspiration as well: plenty of projects doing interesting work, and experiences to share. And to add a cherry to the cake, we had a great “open lunch for development” with several people active in development aid. My (delayed) take-aways for Open for Change.
Racing back to Amsterdam at 270 km/h, time to consolidate my takeaways from this year’s FOSDEM in Brussels. More geeks (5,000+ expected), more lectures (200+) and more topics I wanted to follow: succeeded with OpenOffice, Drupal, and CouchDB, but not with Mozilla and XMPP. A geeky overview of my takeaways.
First post here after a long silence… maybe too busy with twitter, Nabuur, WebEnq, Ecampaigning Forum, NetSquared. And now preparing my short intro into "open everything" to set the stage for Thursday’s meetup of the E-collaboration group.
Within a smaller group, we had some discussions about "open", and about how choosing technology for your campaign or organisation is also a political, cultural, and ethical choice. Features and price often dominate, and lots of stuff on the internet is for free. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch: there are many lessons we learned in development aid that equally apply when your organisation gets such "free" web development aid. Lets not spend decades to learn them again.
So while on the one hand, people are trail-blazing the concept of "open everything", there are, on the other hand, many people working in international cooperation who are just starting to look at why all this "open" matters, and how it can help them achieve their mission.
Back from FOSDEM in Brussels. In their own words on the information booklet: "4000+ geeks, 200+ lectures, 2 days, 0 EURO". I had two motivations to go there: Brussels is close to my home in Amsterdam and always nice to visit; and I could sit and listen a whole day to Drupal presentations, and get the opportunity to check out some other projects too.
As the FOSDEM booklet says, it’s a gathering focused on lectures, so I got my portion of sitting still and getting powerpoint-poisened in over-crowded and under-ventilated rooms. A lot of people breaking the "show me, don’t tell me" rule. But Brussels was nice, and some of the presentations on Drupal and Thunderbird were useful for me:
Last Friday, Adam Hyde pressed the big green "go" button for flossmanuals.net: a place to read, write, and remix free manuals for free software. The Netherlands Media Art Institute provided the place and time as part of the opening of the Video Vortex exhibition (they call it their response to Web 2.0). Part of the exhibition is a workshop space for projects, available for a week, and flossmanuals.net is the first one there. Adam also announced a good Board of Advisors that’s just established, and a grant from the Digital Pioneers fund.