Morning at #mozfest

Despite being good last night and leaving the pub at a decent hour I still managed to be late this morning and as such missed the start of the Anil Dash opening keynote😦 (luckily its available online – though there is some dead space at the start ) I did show up in time for him to speak about the need for people to learn from the history of digital and avoid making the same mistakes all over again. This gave me the warm feeling of vindication🙂

As ever this opening session was full of whoops, awesomes, love and ‘f’ bombs and a whole load of North American enthusiasm. As usual I found it slightly unnerving but a useful opportunity to tune in to the atmosphere!

I spent the morning on the fifth floor for the ‘Build the Web’ strand. The wall of wonders that is the ‘scrum’ backlog is pretty amazing and a significant move forward from previous years in terms of focusing efforts it feels. Within minutes of the intros being done by the various people representing the areas of works teams were forming and coding away – always slightly amazing to behold!

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There are a couple of things happening in this space that I might try and get involved in tomorrow but as I don’t really add any dev or design skills its hard to get started.

Instead I focused on the less techy but no less important session with representatives of various organisations which have ‘open’ agendas. Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Open Knowledge Foundation, Global Voices, Working Examples, the BBC, Mozilla and others (oh and me!).

It was an interesting opportunity to share thoughts on how these organisations could better collaborate, avoid duplication of effort and sometimes work together to ‘speak with one voice’ on topics which effect them all.

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There was no shortage of problems identified and it was clear that collaboration and communication relied on a huge amount of different online tools and a lack of opportunities for face to face discussions. Given the international nature of most of the organisations that isn’t really surprising but it does identify a weakness.

That said we decided to focus on a more practical outcome from the session immediately – creating an aggregated blog that different organisations could contribute to (automagically) to provide a single clearing house for latest ‘open’ activities etc that might be of interest to the audiences (and members) of all the organisations. I might even have a stab at building this myself in WordPress!

This isn’t that different to the ‘Global Melt’ meet ups that Michelle Thorne (current Empress of #mozfest) organised in her Creative Commons days but I think it is something we need to keep trying. From my point of view, as someone who supports (with his wallet) a number of these organisations the more they work together the better the wider impact will be.

Lunch now. More posts later.