Makerba.se documents all projects

The Beauty Project

I recently joined makerba.se.

Makerbase is:

  • A place to tell the world what you made, and to find out who made the things you love.

  • Edited by everyone. You can change and add to anything that you see.

  • A way to see projects: Stuff like apps and web sites and digital works of art. (Not companies or employers.)

  • A list of makers: People who create projects, described by what they’vedone, not their job titles.

  • Limited access, for now, while we get things ready for everyone. We’ll add you to the waitlist if someone hasn’t already added you as a maker.

I like the concept, which allows you to document all types of project. When I say project I mean anything you class as a project. This means anything!

A while ago I mentioned documenting geekdinner and the past generally. I tried to do this with Wikipedia but my entries were rejected. Makerbase seems much more apt for this type of thing. The whole thing is a wiki, so you can easily link and join items together. It reminds me of Lanyrd in underlying structure, which is good. But like lanyrd I wondered about building up this tangled web of information and what happens when investment goes into it?

So before I signed up I read through the terms/end user licence agreement which was actually really well written with plain english. Theres nothing about what happens if the service ends, I was looking for a data portability angle but I’m sure its coming… something to tweet them about.

Is this a linkedin killer? No I don’t think so, its filling in the area in between linkedin and the stuff which happens on Github. Neither have the space for things like geeks talk sexy or personal projects like learning a diabolo trick. I can already imagine the links with other sites like meetup and even lanyrd.

I like it and the only thing better would be if it was distributed instead of centralised. It seems worthy of backing.

Legacy and documenting the past

Wendy g said it best.

The problem is the next generation seem to think they are tackling new problems.

Next year is the 10th anniversary of the open rights group, something I’m proud to say I was at and supported from the conception. Its also 8 years and a couple months since BarCampLondon1. The Geeks of London did something special to say thank you to everybody who attended over the 8 years.
Its also coming up on 10 years since I ran London geek dinners and although gone the legacy lives on through Girl geekdinners, tuttleclub, social media cafe (come back to this in a moment) and geekup to name just a few I know.

Here’s all the geekdinners I remember running or being a part of…

  • 7th July 2005 – Robert Scoble – Texas Embassy, 1 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DL
  • 11th July 2005  Seth Godin
  • 22nd July 2005  Jeremy Zawodny
  • 13th October 2005  Tim Oreilly  – Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London
  • 24th November 2005  Molly Holzschlag  – Hogs Head, 11 Dering Street, Westminster, London
  • 10th December 2005  Robert Scoble  – Texas Embassy, 1 Cockspur Street, London, SW1Y 5DL
  • 23rd January 2006  Dave Shea  – The Crown and Anchor, 22 Neal St, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9PS
  • 23rd Febuary 2006  Paul Boag  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 5th April 2006  David Teten  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 1st May 2006  Marc Canter  – The Polar Bear, 30 Lisle Street, Westminster, London WC2H 7BA
  • 17th June 2006  @media  conference social with Geekdinner – The Livery, 130 Wood Street, London, EC2V 6DL
  • 7th July 2006  Chris Anderson  Geekdinner – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 1st Sept 2006  Ben Metcalfe  – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 22nd Sept 2006  Howard Rheingold  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 20th October 2006  Molly Holzschlag  – The Bottlescrue, 53 – 60 Holburn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2FD
  • 9th December 2006, BBC Backstage Christmas Special – The Cuban bar, City Point, Ropemaker Street, London EC2Y 9AW
  • 26th January 2007  Molly Holzschlag  – City Spice 138 Brick Lane, E1 6RU
  • 21st Febuary 2007  Tara Hunt  and  Chris Messina  of Citizen Agency – The Bear, 2 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DE
  • 17th April 2007  Paul Boag  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 3rd May 2007  Mike Culver  – The Bear, 2 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell, EC1M 4DE
  • 30th May 2007  Becky Hogge  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 12th June 2007  Jyri Engeström  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 26th June 2007  Julie Howell  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 16th July 2007  Brady Forrest  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 14th August 2007  Eric Meyer  – The Thai Terrace Restaurant, 14 Wrights Lane, W8 6TF
  • 1st November 2007  Stowe Boyd  – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 13th March 2008 Holmes Wilson – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  •  7th of April 2008 David Terrar – Ye Olde Cock Tavern, 22 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA
  • 29th May 2008 Moo! -Thai Smile Restaurant, The Ivy House  8-10 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AE
  • Joint London Girl Geek/Geek dinner with Dr. Sophie Kain –  Horse Bar, 124 Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo, London SE1 7XG

This is about the point of when I moved to Manchester and the Geeks of London took over. I tried to document a part of it on this blog post and many others throughout the blog, but it doesn’t feel like nearly enough. I tried to add it to wikipedia but it was rejected and deleted multiple times.

I won’t lie I’m also one of those people who thinks there striking new ground everytime but I would be foolish to not think about the legacy of these things. But where should such history live? So others can be inspired or learn from the mistakes I made?

Where would you put this information? Maybe something which can aggregate blog posts together in someway?

Neurodiversity?

I haven’t really heard the term neurodiversity before and from what I read, its a controversial term for many reasons. But dyslexia would be covered under Neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity is an approach to learning and disability that suggests that diverse neurological conditions appear as a result of normal variations in the human genome

This term was coined in the late 1990s as a challenge to prevailing views of neurological diversity as inherently pathological, and it asserts that neurological differences should be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability status. Neurodiversity is also an international online disability rights movement that has been promoted primarily by the autistic self-advocate community (although other disability rights groups have joined the neurodiversity movement). This movement frames neurodiversity as a natural human variation rather than a disease, and its advocates reject the idea that neurological differences need to be (or can be) cured, as they believe them to be authentic forms of human diversity, self-expression, and being.

Interesting stuff, I guess a label is always going to cause people to shout fowl. But for me its nice to have a label for mind based abilities (or disabilities if you prefer). Regardless, the diversity of ideas and thoughts still applies…

Geek history worth keeping

Early in the evening

While talking to Martin, Sam, Chris and others over the last few weeks. I have been thinking how things have been forgotten.

The history of geek culture seems to get forgotten too often. Recently a discussion about the tech community in Manchester with Martin raised a bunch of questions in my mind.

How much of geek history is still available now? What do I mean?

Great people have said….

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

And to be honest I’m seeing the same thing over and over again in the limited time I’ve been around the geek scene. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing necessarily wrong with this… But no one seems to be documenting the past… Which seems crazy with the amount of social media or in the past user generated content created. But the issue seems to be putting it all together. For example if you search geekdinners on my blog, theres quite a few posts. But its a mishmash of stuff. Look for the same on Flickr (assuming you knew flickr was where most geeks uploaded stuff in the past and flickr had not gone dark) and you get a mishmash again. If your smart you might try the clusters and find the London geekdinners.

Geekdinners.com is actual up for sale at $2.5k. But this isn’t so much my point. In the past we would write blog posts about events (don’t get me started on the blogging) but this is a bit like throwing a pound in a tip jar. Whats need is something to aggregate the blogs, tweets, photos, videos, etc together. Tell the whole story in long form. This is what me and Martin were discussing, and the natural place seems to be wikipedia and archive.org.

I had a discussion recently with Tom Morris who is very knowledgeable about wikipedia. I was discussing the recent addition of a page about myself. But it got me thinking Wikipedia is a great place for the type of thing I was hinting at before.

So I’m going to start filling in pages on Geekdinner, LondonGeekdinners, BarCampLondon, BarCampManchester, Geekup and Over the Air. Hopefully people who go on to write pages about Technights, Social Media Cafe, Tuttleclub, etc will link and reference. Then we can start to trace back events and community efforts. Give attribution where its well deserved and encourage more people to get more involved in shaping the future of geek culture.

The history of the pacemaker

pacemaker_sonar_june_2007_04

I just noticed the other day Pacemakerdevice.org added a history page. Although most of it is on wikipedia.

In January 2005 Jonas Norberg saw a gap in the market for a handheld portable DJ device that would do away with a DJ’s need to lug around boxes of vinyl or cases of CDs, and the idea for the Pacemaker Device (PMD) (PMD) was conceived. In 2006 Jonas, Daniel Wallner and two friends Martin Renck and Ola Sars founded the Tonium company and developed the hardware which became known as the Pacemaker DJ device and the accompanying Editor software for music library management.

The team rapidly expanded from just a few people to more than 30 employees and Pacemaker was launched with a bang at the Miami Winter Music Conference in March 2008 in March 2008 receiving wide coverage in New York Times, Wired Magazine, Monocle, The Guardian and many more. The Pacemaker Device also received several of the most prestigious innovation and design awards including the Red Dot Design Best of the Best and no less than three CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards. The Pacemaker was released to the DJing public, supported by the on-line Pacemaker.net community website for Pacemaker users. Sales of the Pacemaker device are thought to be in the region of 50,000 units.

In 2008, Tonium had become a fairly large large company and Jonas handed over to a new CEO. One of the first visible changes was that Pacemaker.net turned into LetsMix.com, and all support interaction was moved to a third party “Get Satisfaction” site. Unfortunately for us that meant losing all the posts from Pacemaker.net and the Pacemaker community that had been built up was lost overnight. Let’s Mix ultimately became an on-line mix sharing site for DJs creating mixes by any means and not just Pacemakers.

In July 2010 Fazz, a Pacemaker user, created the Pacemaker User’s forum as means of rebuilding the Pacemaker community that was lost. Although this free forum was not without problems, it has built a membership of nearly 1000 members in just over 2 years. Most of the posts here were technical queries from users and the administrators Fazz, Sox, Regis & Migzy were only too happy to provide an answer if they had one.

A number of our members such as DJ Pip, Doogyrev & Ubergeek were not only keen Pacemaker DJs, but also coders and tinkerers and so the hacking of the Pacemaker began. Pip found access to an unreleased version of firmware 16219 on the Tonium website, and methods of manually installing it were also found. It included new beat-lock functionality, but unfortunately the device would sometimes stop working as it hadn’t been finished.

In June 2011, Tonium decided that Let’s Mix was no longer financially viable, and the company filed for bankruptcy. As the owners of the rights to the Pacemaker, this meant that the Pacemaker would no longer be in production from that time on. A sad time for all Pacemaker fans.

Although the Pacemaker was no longer being manufactured, there were (and probably are) still units available for purchase (both new and second-hand), and the Pacemaker Users forum continued to grow. On Thursday 12th January 2012, Jonas announced on the Pacemaker User’s forum that he, the inventor of Pacemaker, had just purchased back the rights to the Pacemaker software from the liquidators. Not only that, but he had plans in the pipeline that would help ensure that the Pacemaker lived on – in one way or another – and he was fully behind what we at the Pacemaker Users forum were about.

Also interesting reading the patent filing. No wonder I’m buying another one and getting my current one upgraded with a SSD and new battery.

Post Pam Warhurst to Wikipedia

Pam Warhurst

I received this in my Flickr Mail the other day…

Have you thought about uploading one of your Pam Warhurst pictures to Wikipedia? Her profile (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Warhurst) doesn’t have one and I think www.flickr.com/photos/37421747@N00/7323713702 would be a good fit.

FYI: I am publishing a quote using this picture, credited, on Feb. 27 on my blog yahooeysblog.wordpress.com/

Must have been a slight mistake because looking for the quote I had to do a tag search for Pamela Warhurst. Finally I found this page. Right day wrong month.

“There’s so many people that don’t really recognize a vegetable unless it’s in a bit of plastic with an instruction packet on the top.” — Pamela WarhurstHow we can eat our landscapes

To be honest I’d love to have one of my pictures used for the wikipedia entry but its a real pain uploading to wikipedia when you forgot the account details (*smile*). So once I sort out the login, I’ll make the changes to Pamela’s entry. May have to do the same for a few other people…

Done….

Some thoughts on the Wikipedia changes

I like many people have not said much about the recent stuff with Wikipedia but this post by Danah Boyd pretty much sums my thoughts and position on this subject. A few choice quotes.

Welcome to being a public figure – people will say mean things about you on the web. None of it is guaranteed to be true – its the web. (Of course, my view probably stems from being a native web kid – no one likes the meannies but weve gotten used to it.) Wikipedia is better than most of the web because YOU CAN CHANGE IT

I watched Internet Researchers take up the same anti-Wikipedia argument. I was floored. These arent just academics, theyre the academics who study the web. The academics who should know better. But they felt as though it was a problem that Wikipedia would allow for a man to be defamed

Its searchable and in the hands of everyone with digital access (a much larger population than those with encyclopedias in their homes). It also exists in hundreds of languages and is available to populations who cant even imagine what a library looks like. Yes, it is open. This means that people can contribute what they do know and that others who know something about that area will try to improve it. Over time, articles with a lot of attention begin to be inclusive and approximating neutral. The more people who contribute, the stronger and more valuable the resource. Boycotting Wikipedia doesnt make it go away, but it doesnt make it any better either

It will be truly sad if academics dont support the project, dont contribute knowledge. I will be outraged if academics continue to talk about having Wikipedia eliminated as a tool for information dispersal.

Comments [Comments]
Trackbacks [0]