Pledges and a Geekcamp update


My pledge's have failed. Actually they failed on the first of March but I've been so busy moving server to actually blog it. So I did really badly on one Pledge and the other one not so bad.

I will setup and run a geekdinner on new years 2006/07 but only if 100 other self described geeks will help out and/or commit to going to the geekdinner.

11 People signed up, 89 more people were needed.

So yeah this one is certainly not a goer. I might give it a another try in October or September when people might be thinking a lot more about christmas and new years. I only need about a few months to find a venue and get together a good group of geeks and special guests. Yes its much harder on the run up to Christmas but not impossible. So anyhow, keep an eye open for a new pledge after summer.

I will setup and help run a geekcamp somewhere in Europe but only if 30 other self described geeks will join me and/or help out.

13 People signed up, 17 more people were needed.

This pledge was much more interesting. There was tons of comments from people about geekcamp. Some came in comments on the pledge others through comments to me personally or emails. Someone told me, they frankly wouldn't ever go to a geekcamp unless it was in London. While Matt Biddulph wrote Sounds intriguing. Location is important – somewhere interesting and inspiring to take people out of context. Not England! The best geekcamp event I've been to was CCC (, which was in tents in a huge horse-paddock by a lake just outside East Berlin in 2003. My feeling was that it would be somewhere like Devon or Cornwall but I would have prefered somewhere tucked away in Spain or Holland. Someone suggested Brighton Beach as it has Wireless and would be mind blowing if we could get power somehow. This wasn't actually a bad idea and started thinking this could be done if we got a generator. But I don't think we will get the permission to do such a thing easily. Saying all that, on Bournemouth beach last year it was easy enough to have a full on beach party without too problem. But honestly I don't think sea and computers go together really well. But hey its maybe something we should at least try once.

Another issue came out of the comments, time. See in the UK we get about 5 weeks off a year and people don't like to take time off without there partners. So the idea of Geekcamp is maybe very difficult to justify to others. My first thought was to keep it down to a weekend but that limits how far the camp is. For example if it was in Spain, would you take a plane to go for 2 days? Cost a side, its still too short. Even Devon and Cornwall can take sometime if your going by Train or Coach. But then Sarah (my wife) suggested a long weekend might be better. So you go on the Saturday and it all starts on the night. Then it finishes on Monday morning which gives people time to get back before work on Tuesday.

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The serious side of pledgebank

Sipesiyoza preparing for finals

I've been aware of pledgebank for a while now and its seems like a really good idea. First through this one about setting up a EFF for the UK. But just recently I was asked if I would pledge to the global mentoring pledge.

I will mentor a minimum of two people in the developing world in the area of my skills base and expertise (media, communications, broadcasting , democratic media building, participatory media, community video). I will do this for free for a minimum of six months (in my free time). The mentoring will be in person or via email/skype and the mentoring connections will be established by a website and database that I am willing to take responsibility for creating but only if 250 other people will mentor a minimum of two people in their skills.

My first thoughts was to add my support to the 108 people who have already pledged. But then I stepped back and started really considering what this means in time, effort and self management. And in the end opted to sit it out. Its a huge commitment and I would really hate to let other people down because I could'nt spare the time to do this correctly. See thats the thing too, if I was going to pledge to do this, it would need to be done correctly and faithfully. I certainlly should not enter into a pledge like this lightly, not that I'm saying anyone else is. But good on Lucy for setting this up and props to Tom Steinberg for its inspiration in setting up Pledge bank. Who knows maybe now I'm subscribed to the RSS, maybe I might find something which I will pledge.

I hope Pledgebank links to details of how pledges go once they go live. As I would like to keep an eye on how Lucy's Pledge progresses.

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