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#4good brekky returns to Melbourne on 25 September

#4good – a place for changemakers to meet!

If you work, volunteer or are studying for social good, you are warmly invited to Melbourne’s second #4good brekky  on Wednesday, 25 September from 7.45am  at STREAT cafe, 5 McKillop St, Melbourne.

#4good brekky combines a bunch of good things – breakfast, great coffee, and conversation with people who are working to make the world a better place.

#4good aims to bring together people who work face to face helping people, along with people who might be designing social good programs, or are studying in order to go out and change the world in the future! We’ve had social innovation program designers, social work students, youth outreach workers, and drug and alcohol counsellers, and non-profit communications people at #4good brekky.

#4good brekky started in Adelaide in 2011, and was inspired by my work at TACSI – seeing the great conversations, ideas and work that can happen when you bring people from different disciplines together to solve social problems!

If you are the kind of person with your “hands in the dirt” doing stuff to make social change happen and  want to connect to other people like that, #4good brekky is definitely for you. So please, help me spread this invitation online and offline to people who are doing good stuff in Melbourne.

Inspired by the wonderful community building of Kate Kendall who started #socialmelb brekky in Melbourne, #4good brekky will happen before work on Wednesday morning. For many of us, meetups during work hours just aren’t doable – and swapping ideas when you’re freshly caffeinated in the morning can be a really inspiring start to the day!

If this sounds appealing, pleas come along for a coffee or brekky before work!

#4good brekky is happening on Wednesday, 25 September from 7.45am at STREAT cafe, 5 McKillop St, Melbourne.

Want to stay in touch with #4good? Follow @stokely and @4goodgroup on Twitter.

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Webstock 2010 – Rives

Webstock does a great job of picking wonderful speakers to close each day of the conference, and Rives‘ appearance at the end of Day 1 this year was no exception. Here’s a taster of his charming performance poetry – A tale of mixed emoticons:

There were several lines so gorgeous that I wrote them down and underlined them emphatically in my notebook, including “my wierd mind wanders and my brave heart breaks” – then later in his talk, Rives showed some photos from his blog of handmade kites which fans had made which included that very line. Lovely. :)

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Webstock 2010 – Shelley Bernstein from Brooklyn Museum

I had the pleasure of attending my second Webstock conference in Wellington last week. Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology at Brooklyn Museum was the standout speaker – I came away really impressed by the museum’s use of social media to further its “community-oriented mission through projects including free public wireless access, podcasts, cell phone audio tours, projects for mobile devices and putting the Brooklyn Museum collection online”.

Some cool examples she mentioned included:


The museum’s done a number of things to get involved with patrons who are using the location-aware app/game, FourSquare.

  • They’ve used the Foursquare API to create a Brooklyn Museum landing page which is worth checking out. It aggregates the comments and suggestions made by people who’ve checked in at the museum. For example: “Saturdays are tough because of the crowds. Naturally the earlier the better and I find it best to start at the top floor and work your way down. (Alex). They’ve also added staff picks of local eateries. The page displays a gallery of recent visitors to the museum by grabbing the user icons of people who have used Foursquare to ‘check in’ at the museum, which is a nice touch.
  • They also offer a reward to the patron who achieves Mayor of the museum on the first Saturday of the month; and they’re working with Foursquare to create a special Brooklyn Museum badge which patrons can unlock.

#mummywrap on Twitter

  • The Museum’s conservators live tweeted the CT scanning of several mummies from its collection. They posted pictures and answered questions live. “Layer 8 has lots of ties – seems to be a lattice, but hard to tell how to put back together #mummywrap” (the museum tweets from @Brooklyn Museum)

Crowdsourcing recommendations and tags and feedback

  • Brooklyn Museum Posse – the museum has made its online collection interactive by allowing patrons to create tags & recommendations for items. Shelley gave a great example of the great effects this interactivity with the public can have – it was via a patron’s comment on its online collection that Museum staff discovered that the TV series True Blood included a statue inspired by a piece in their collection. Their initial blog post about it resulted in a conversation with the Production Designer, providing fodder for cool and timely social media discussion.
  • BklynMuse –  A community-powered recommendation system/gallery guide.  Posse members who have created “sets” of favourite items  can access them as they tour the gallery. “Those same sets can be shared and featured for other visitors to see, so your voice…your notes…your selections…may be highlighted, in all their Posse glory, for all to see.”
  • Video comment kiosks – The museum replaced their comment books with video kiosks, in which visitors can record their own comments to video. These are shared on the web (hit the link to see the collection of comments).

I came away with a lot of neat ideas for using social media to further the outreach of museums and galleries – which I know will be useful in my teaching as I get a lot of curatorship students enrolling in my digital publishing courses. I also really liked the look of 1stfans –  a “socially networked museum membership” which offers meetups, artist created content via Twitter.

Thank you, Shelley, for your thoughtful and information-packed talk.

I’d also like to say thanks to Google’s Open Source Program for sponsoring my Webstock registration. Especial thanks to Leslie and Cat for making it happen. :)

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Upcoming OSIA talk: Open Sourcing PR

I’ll be talking about “Open Sourcing PR” at OSIA this month. The meeting starts at 7pm, on April 16 here in Melbourne town. Details of the meeting are here and the blurb for the talk can be found under the cut.

» Continue reading “Upcoming OSIA talk: Open Sourcing PR”

Comments off 2009 roundup is done and dusted for another year, and its been revealed that we’ll be heading to gorgeous NZ in 2010 – yay! I didn’t have even a spare second to blog from the conference (running a miniconf and giving two papers will kind of do that to you!) but I did write a couple of news stories for ZDNet.

  • LCA ’09: Wikipedia’s new mobile platform – a writeup of Angela Beesley’s keynote. The news hook was the new mobile platform, but I was much more interested in the fact that WikiMedia has set a goal to remove tech roadblocks and get more editors involved in Wikipedia this year, but they hadn’t identified the need to get rid of some of the social barriers which might put people off.After her keynote, Angela told me she’d raise that as a suggestion – I hope she does. Wikipedia is such an incredible resource, it would be a shame if things like the ‘deletion wars’ and other actions by a minority of the community continue to dissuade people from participating. 
  • Sysadmins after the cloud – my writeup of Tom Limoncelli’s keynote. As I noted on Twitter, he used his employer (Google) as an example of taking an abundance approach to tech support via it’s famous Tech Stop, but unfortunately they recently laid off a bunch of contractors, including making cuts to Tech Stop headcount. So tech support’s not as abundant at Google as it used to be. (Tom responded here, but unfortunately we didn’t get to discuss it further than clarifying that it was contractors rather than inhouse Tech Stoppers who’d been laid off).

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Check out the cool talks coming up at the "Free as in Freedom" miniconf

If you’re attending in Hobart later this month, I strongly recommend you look at the lineup of talks which Brianna Laugher has organised for the Free as in Freedom miniconf on Tuesday, 20 January.

I’ll be speaking on journalism in the age of citizen journalism at 1.45pm (“It’s all fun and games until someone wants to sue you”). I’m also really looking forward to the other talks, especially Matthew Landauer from, who was recently voted best speaker at the Open Source Developers Conference in Sydney. Matthew won’t be speaking at the main LCA conference – so this will be your only chance to see him speak  – so make sure you come along to Free as in Freedom. 🙂

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On Geek Parenting – call for panelists

I’m co-convening the Linux Chix miniconf at (LCA) in Hobart in January. I’ll be able to post the lineup of speakers for the day soon, but in the meantime an overview of the day can be found here. But one of the cool things we’re planning is a panel session on Geek Parenting, which will be open to all LCA attendees.

We are now looking for some experienced geek parents as well as an expert or two (educator, counsellor or other professional who is experienced in matters parental) who would like to share some ideas, tips and discussion on the challenges that being a parent can present.

Read on for details including how to nominate yourself for a spot on the panel.

» Continue reading “On Geek Parenting – call for panelists”

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Kate Lundy to host "Foundations of Open" event this week

I spoke with Senator Kate Lundy this morning ahead of the “Foundations of Open” event which she is hosting in Canberra on Thursday. In the leadup to the national 2020 summit, Senators and Members were encouraged to host their own local summits – and Senator Lundy elected to focus on Open Source technology. I was intrigued and asked her why.

“I had a look at all the big public policy issues that I think have the most capability to change the way we do things for the better, and Open Source was the standout for me. I’m involved in a lot of different policy areas ranging from sport and health promotion, right through to things relating to IT, but this one has the greatest potential because it’s a different way of solving problems, and it’s a way that I think can help organisations capitalise on corporate knowledge and share that knowledge”

The program for the event is online here. The day will look not only how Open Source technology is being used in government and private sector, but also at open standards and free access to information.

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OSCON 2008 – call for participation

OSCON – the O’Reilly Open Source Convention is being held in Portland Oregon this September – and this year will be celebrating not only 10 years of OSCON, but also ten years of “the Open Source Initiative, of Mozilla, and of the term “Open Source”, blogs Allison Randall at O’Reilly Radar.

OSCON will be co-located with the Ubuntu Live conference, if you need another reason to be there.

Submissions for OSCON presentations close on February 4th, and they’re especially keen to see proposals for papers on state-of-the-art open source technology, which also look ahead to the future of open source.

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