Via Boing Boing comes a brief description of a very cool-sounding resource from the Portland area:
“Portland’s Independent Publishing Resource Center — a zine-maker’s co-op that provides a lab for self-publishing zinesters who can come in and use the center’s computers, printers, copiers, and fantastic letter-press workshop. They offer courses in zine-making (especially in the use of the letter-press, which produces really handsome materials).”
The zine scene has always been a source of fascination for me. There are many similarities between the production of an independent magazine and an independent piece of software. How awesome would it be to have a place where independent web workers – whether they were developers, bloggers, freelance journalists, web marketers, etc. to have a shared space to create. Sure, there is always Starbucks but both the treats and Internet connections can be too expensive to make it a weekday normalcy. There are free wi-fi connections at local libraries but often those spaces weren’t build to support discussion and lounging about (although the newer buildings seem to be incorporating these spaces more). When you’re not at home where do you work?
As you may have seen in Laura’s live post we had a good time in a bubble filled room. When the events are held in a public space you never know what amateur art may adorn the wall from one month to the next. Thankfully the ‘Web 2.0′ jokes never got going.
The in depth review of Windows Vista was definitely a highlight, with insider info and rumor to spare. We were lucky to have Dave stop buy (formerly the volunteer coordinator for the Pete Ashdown campaign). He talked about what worked and what didn’t, how technology was used, and just what needs to happen in that space. I talked for some length about various software migrations I had been writing to move data off of phpbb, the immaturity of bbpress, and just how nice Akismet is. Laura showed off her ‘White and Nerdy’ sweatshirt, cursed Flickr, talked about her and Mike’s upcoming trip to a 2007 conference, shared what its like meeting Jason Calacanis in person (yes, he is as advertised), and provided ambient techno via their iPod boombox. And, given all the launch craziness, discussion of next generation video game consoles was on the tips of everyone’s tongue.
Because of the holidays there will be no CodeAway in December. We’ll circle the wagons and come back in January. Thanks to everyone who contributed in some way to the CodeAway events in 2006 – it’s been a great experience so far!
We are coding as I write this! Nathan had a copy of Windows Vista and the new MS Office to show off. We took a full tour of all the new bells and whistles and it looks like it’s actually going to be cool!
The Sprague Library is working out so well for us, we set up the next CodeAway in January here. Here is the info!
January 2007 CodeAway
Saturday, January 27, 2006 1-5pm
Sprague Library – 2131 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT – Google Map
Downstairs Conference Room
Free wi-fi courtesy of X-Mission
If you’re of the PodCasting persuasion and in the San Francisco area you might want to check out PodCamp West. It runs Saturday and Sunday, form 12PM-6PM. More information can be found on the PodCamp West website (if nothing else go and marvel at the big ticket sponsors that they’ve been able to line up).
One major difference that I’ve noticed between business and technical types is how they flock. Technical people need a purpose or a problem before they’ll commit to meeting. Business folks, however, seem to be hard wired to interact with others whether or not there is a tangible payout. There seems to be an intuition there that interacting with other people will lead to something worthwhile. From that perspective it was just a matter of time before the suits adopted the unconferencing model for themselves.
Fred Wilson, a VC in NYC, has a recap of the Biz Dev 2.0 (yes, I shuddered too at the trite name). The following got my attention:
“I really like the format they used. They got a good group of “discussion leaders” who in most events would be panelists. But instead they put everyone in the audience and we just talked to each other. Much better.”
Now if we could just get the technical and business camps talking to each other… Or is that too much to ask?
Have a big presentation at your next get together but don’t have a projector? Take a page out of Ken Krugler’s playbook. From ValleyWag:
“The Krugle co-founder, at a perl hackathon in Chicago, wanted to give a demo of the company’s code search engine. No projector. No problem. According to a tipster, he dashed out to Office Depot, bought a projector, and returned it after the show. Krugler calls it borrowing.”
Resourceful if not sustainable… of course if you hit every single office supply, electronics, and big box retailer you could probably get away with this for quite awhile.
The next CodeAway event is November 18th, 1-5 PM at the Sprague Library, 2131S 1100E, Salt Lake City, UT. WiFi will be provided. Bring your projects, a willingness to share, and let’s build something better.