Examining structures in IATI

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 […]

FOSDEM 2010, getting up to speed again

FOSDEM 2010 (photo by fry_theonly)FOSDEM 2010 (photo by fry_theonly)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.

Going Open! Thursday at the Transnational Institute

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

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:

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.