04/06/2006 Meeting Notes

Posted by j, 4/6/06 at 7:23:19 PM.

Disclaimer: Please note that all live notes are taken by attendees, and are permanently editable by all blog group members. In note-taking by multiple parties during a running event mistakes of both content and attribution are highly likely. Live Notes are not a reliable source of quotable material; all notes are (sometimes significant) on-the-fly paraphrases by the various note-takers. When possible we attempt to return to the live notes and edit them to greater accuracy, but this is not a guarantee.

Meeting notes are a best effort – comment with or blog your corrections.

Attendees:

  • EG: Erica George
  • GE: Greg Epstein
  • AC: Andy Carvin
  • SG: Steve Garfield
  • RF: Randy Fenstermacher
  • MW: Mal Watlington
  • new guy (sorry–was still getting set up during intros; didn’t get a name)
  • j: j Baumgart
  • Introductions
  • Andy Carvin, bandwidth waster, international traveler, blogger, sharer of fabulous tails and tales, who does really important things, has a new book coming out. The book is available as a pdf or for free from this link.
    • (Aside: j missed about ten minutes of Andy’s talk while getting the notes running.)
    • The book as a physical object is quite impressive. Each chapter has different paper. It’s brightly colored. For the chapter on Chile, the designer chose rough blue paper to reflect the winter and the coldness the writer felt.
    • AC warns not to succumb to the temptation to pull the book apart. Many of the pages look like they weren’t cut properly, but many are intentionally double folded. Slicing them open will damage the book.
    • In the intro, I think I heard Andy say he spent most of 2005 working on the book.
    • People wrote chapters about activities in many areas of the world that help people get access to computers.
    • The centers play very many roles. Some people use them for projects. Others use them to keep in touch with people. In Hungary, there’s a movement among the Rroma to do e-commerce.
    • AC’s going through the book chapter by chapter and telling us the highlights.
    • AC worked on the Ghana chapter. Ghana is like the Silicon Valley of West Africa. Many people there are business savvy. Some of the centers offer lots of educational opportunities. One center raises money by getting used bicycle parts from all over the world and building bicycles for farmers so they can take their crops to markets farther away.
    • Many communities are working to network various villages together.
    • In some places, telecenters are rather sophisticated–computer labs offering high-speed connections for thirty or forty people at a time. In other places, it might just be a solar-powered computer with a GSM connection to the Internet.
    • AC feels strongly that in Ghana, faith-based organizations coming together with common goals will do more for bridging the digital divide than the government or other organizations.
  • Upcoming blog meeting stuff in the works:
    • April 13: j will demo how to import a Manila blog into WordPress and possibly give a brief into to WordPress.
    • April 20: Hopefully, Amanda can round up some people from the Webmasters conference in Boston. (Thanks, Amanda!)
    • Dan Bricklin, known for his work on VisiCalc and wikiCalc
    • Ookles, perhaps — if their Boston road show works with a Thursday meeting
    • Someone who can fill us in on what’s happening with China and the Internet (RMack? Eric Priest?)
    • FYI: Berkman’s got a conference on 4/28: Bloggership: How Blogs are Transforming Legal Scholarship. It’s focusing pretty heavily on legal (and academic) blogging, but is free/open to public.
    • If you want to help shepherd a potential future topic or if you have ideas of your own, please talk to Erica or j. We’d love – and could really use – your help!
  • Eat:
    • This week:
    • Last time: well, last week several of us were at the RSS Alley Geek Dinner…
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