No post since last week when we kicked this thing off. You can blame me for that, but I plead the rigors of travel as my excuse. It won't happen often, gods willing. I'm out here in San Francisco this week, visiting CompuMentor / TechSoup (the folks behind this project), and also for the Web 2.0 conference, which starts tomorrow.
Since I'm here, and I have at least as many questions as you must have, I cornered Marnie Webb and Billy Bicket and browbeat them into a mini-interview I could share with you here.
CompuMentor has been around for 18 years now, assisting a community of non-profits that has grown to over 60,000 organizations. Marnie is VP of knowledge services, and has been with CompuMentor for five years. I asked her to say a few words about the project.
Lester, my Acadian friend sent this letter. I'm not sure how it fits into the hunnerd dollah laptops for po' folks model of world changing intentions, but it's poignant and it resolves one of my questions regarding the recent bad weather. Avery Island survived with little damage...
A few years ago my wife and I, my son Lucas, and her daughter Jody, spent part of our vacation in Holly Beach, Louisiana. It's fondly known in south Louisiana as the Cajun Riviera, and to reach it one drives south from Lake Charles across miles and miles of marshland populated by waterfowl, nutria, and alligators. There wasn't much to it--a few rows of houses and cabins raised up off the beach on on pilings made of telephone poles, a few trailers, a little store and gift shop, a
seafood wholesaler, the water tower. The year-round population was only about 175. The beach was a rather dark-colored sand and the Gulf waters were far from clear--they were sort of muddy, actually. But that didn't keep us from enjoying the beach and the surf. Lucas, who is blind, was
bothered a bit. It was hard to get him out of it. We stayed overnight in a "resort"--a few trailers owned by a family who lived in one of them, and a couple of mature fig trees with delicious fresh figs ripening on them. One of the children had a chronic illness, and my general impression of the family was that they had a hard time making ends meet.
In the ocean of media that we live in, what we think of as 'life' may already just be a series of 'media interrupts.'
In the year and a half that I spent with the US Navy's Underwater Demolition Team 13, in 1969-70, I spent far less time each day immersed in water than I now spend immersed in media. So do you, unless you happen to be related to Aquaman.
Launch. Now. Tomorrow. Every day. Don't wait until its perfect to put it out in the open. No more closed invite-only betas. Your idea of perfect may not jive with your users' ideas of perfect. Put whatever you can out there and get people using it as soon as possible. Feed them daily with new features to keep them interested and coming back. No one likes waiting six years for new releases.
Look mom! My first blog entry. I have always (and consciously) opted not to blog (aside: which is kind of interesting in itself, as the ECMS solution my company develops provides a perfect platform for blogging) …because after spending 10-12 hours a day staring into this “window” …I need/want/like to spend some time with the love of my life, sans the electronic gadget-based asynchronous communication. Direct eye contact, candlelight, and a bottle of exquisite red wine are so much more pleasurable don't you think? BTW, thanks for the invite you guys (Chris & RB) ..
Things happen because people connect. Or fail to. Luck plays a role, of course, whatever we mean by "luck," exactly. It seems to involve people connecting. Which, as luck would have it, is what this site is all about.
As everything seems to depend on people, I want to kick this off in a very personal way, telling you a bit about myself and some of the people I've met along the way. My name is Chris Locke. There's a bio around here somewhere, but never mind that for now. Instead, I want to tell you a story about how I ended up writing this blog. It may say more about what I think I'm doing here than a more abstract, i.e., people-less, form of explanation. At least that's the plan. The only way to connect with you, Valued Reader, is to risk failing altogether.
Hi, my name is Chris Locke, and it is your misfortune that I'll be your host here on this Net² blog. Although there are many things to talk about as we bring this thing up -- "we" because there's a kickass team working flat-out behind the scenes -- I guess I should first introduce myself and say a bit about why I'm doing this. It's a long story, but I'll try to keep it brief. For now.
At the end of your rope with clueless managers demanding unreasonable deliverables in ridiculous timeframes? You are not alone, Fearless Hacker! Maybe it's time to put your skills to work part-time for people who will truly appreciate your efforts.
The recent tsunami and hurricane Katrina have heightened awareness of the need to assist nonprofit orgs that are delivering help to the people who most need it -- without the red tape and delays that can beset larger, better-funded projects. And open-source professionals (that's you) are plugging into these sorts of initiatives in unprecedented numbers. Here's a handful of examples...