Passion, the Participatory Web, and the Potentials of ICT

"The Participatory Web - New Potentials of ICT in Rural Areas"“The Participatory Web – New Potentials of ICT in Rural Areas”I haven’t been able to go to the Web2ForDev meetings so far, but have encountered the typical problems of ICT and knowledge sharing in rural areas around the world. So when Christian Kreutz approached me to contribute to a publication by GTZ, the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Technische Zusammenarbeit (German Technical Cooperation), on how NABUUR offered a new way of connecting people and letting knowledge flow, I got in touch with Raul Caceres, who has done amazing work as a NABUUR volunteer, resulting in a United Nations Volunteer of the Year Award, and an invitation to speak at the Nobel Summit on Public Services. Together, we wrote one of the seven articles in “The Participatory Web – New Potentials of ICT in Rural Areas”.

Meeting “my project” and the N2Y3 community IRL

NetSquared already has started. Sitting next to again an impressive cake, the room is buzzing while I write my intro. Rolf Kleef, from Amsterdam, here to enjoy San Francisco for some three weeks, and doing the last little bits with Roshani and Mike of Oneworld US to be ready for two rollercoaster days!

read more

Back from FOSDEM in Brussels

Mozilla room meeting (photo: Martin Creutziger)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:

Our first Nivocer office is open

Klooster DolphiaWe’ve got our first Nivocer office space this month! My business partner Jaap-André is based close to Enschede, in the east of The Netherlands, and found this lovely former seminary-now shared office building not too far from his home, where we now have our first room and access to facilities in an inspiring setting. A building completed in 1937, but having a pretty rich history of use already. Far away from my Amsterdam home for Dutch standards, so I will continue looking for something closer by. Canadian friends remind me that a two-and-a-half-hour commute to work is not even really rare within the Toronto area, but my 1-minute journey to my home office is quite precious to me still. Meanwhile, Jaap-Andre is connecting his now truly separated business and private life with his recumbent bicycle.

Dear Humane Society International,

Today, I received an action alert from you, through my membership of Care2. It’s great to hear your contributing to the fight against Japanese whaling, but I was somewhat taken back by your approach. You’re asking me to "Help Humane Society International lead the opposition on Japan’s Whale Hunt!". Pardon?

Humane Society's message

Having worked at a desk next to the international anti-whaling campaign team of 2006-2007 of "another organisation", your name wasn’t at the top of my list of anti-whaling campaigns. Frankly, it wasn’t at my list at all, and I’m sorry to say, I didn’t even know Humane Society International existed.

So I wanted to find out a bit more about your campaign. But…

Inspiration and hope?


As I am not from the US, I have no vote in the elections there. But as a world citizen, I am experiencing the choices made. I’m ambivalent about each trip I make to the US: going through the crazy bureaucracy at the border is a perfect way of demonstrating how much the US government likes to invade into my life.

The contrast with the people I meet once inside the country could not be bigger: many of them are passionate about making the world a better place, and equally feel their own government as the main obstacle in realising that. So with their elections this year, I’m trying to make sense of the candidates.

FLOSSmanuals is go

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.