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eaves.ca: Mozillians: Announcing Community Metrics DashboardCon – January 21, 2014

Please read background below for more info. Here’s the skinny. What A one day mini-conference, held (tentatively) in Vancouver on January 14th San Francisco on January 21st and 22nd, 2014 (remote participating possible) for Mozillians about community metrics and dashboards. Update: Apologies for the change of date and location, this event has sparked a lot of […]

Things Are Good: Open Hand: Low Cost Robotic Hand

A funding campaign on IndieGoGo is focused on making an open-sourced robotic prosthetic hand. This is wonderful because the end product will be shared with everyone and the hand can be made essentially anywhere.

The Open Hand Project is open-source, which means all of the plans to make a robotic hand will be published online with no patents, anyone has the right to make their own and even sell it themselves. You’re funding the full development of the hand with the Open Hand Project, after that companies will be able to use the designs and sell the hands all over the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Open Tech Forever Hardware Cooperative in Colorado

Colorado has a new permaculture and open sourced initiative taking shape and it look promising. The team is adding open source technology from hardware and software to a sustainable agriculture setup. On top of all of that they are also developing an open source business model!

This is an exciting project with the ultimate goal of having their setup to be replicated locally elsewhere.

“Open Tech Forever (OTF) is dedicated to developing new and improved, open source versions of modern and cutting-edge technologies. In the open source spirit, we create free, online, high quality educational resources demonstrating how to understand, (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Aaron Swartz’s Last Gift: Site Launches Whistleblower Safe House

In era of “most aggressive government assaults on press freedom,” new open source dropbox provides “secure route” for leaks By: Lauren McCauley | Published by Common Dreams on May 17, 2013 One month before his January 11th suicide, web pioneer and creative commons architect Aaron Swartz completed one last project—an “opensource drop box for leaked documents along the [...]

The post Aaron Swartz’s Last Gift: Site Launches Whistleblower Safe House appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

eaves.ca: CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

The other day Zac Townsend published a piece, “Introducing the idea of an open-source suite for municipal governments,” laying out the case for why cities should collaboratively create open source software that can be shared among them.

I think it is a great idea. And I’m thrilled to hear that more people are excited about exploring this model, and think any such discussion would be helped with having some broader context, and more importantly, because any series of posts on this subject that fails to look at previous efforts is, well, doomed to repeat the failures of the

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: CivicOpen: New Name, Old Idea

Things Are Good: Open Source Ecology Explained

Way back in 2008 I blogged on Open Source Ecology (OSE) which is an open source project to create tools and knowledge to build a fully sustainable village. The project has grown since then and they are going even further by designing tools that can be fabricated on site. Recently, they made a good video explaining more about what OSE is all about.

Via bOing

eaves.ca: Making Bug Fixing more Efficient (and pleasant) – This Made Me Smile

The other week I was invited down to the Bay Area Drupal Camp (#BadCamp) to give a talk on community management to a side meeting of the 100 or so core Drupal developers. I gave a hour long version of my OSCON keynote on the Science of Community Management and had a great time engaging what [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Making Bug Fixing more Efficient (and pleasant) – This Made Me Smile

eaves.ca: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

The other day the Vancouver Sun – via Simon Fraser University’s Public Square program – asked me to pen a piece answering the questions: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

Yesterday, they published the piece.

My short answer?

Trying to unravel whether the Internet is bringing us together or tearing us apart is impossible. It does both. What really matters is how we build generative communities, online and off.

My main point?

That community organizing is both growing and democratizing. On MeetUp alone there are 423 coming events in Vancouver. That’s 423 emergent community

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Is the Internet bringing us together or is it tearing us apart?

eaves.ca: Community Managers: Expectations, Experience and Culture Matter

Here’s an awesome link to grind home my point from my OSCON keynote on Community Management, particularly the part where I spoke about the importance of managing wait times – the period between when a volunteer/contributor takes and action and when they get feedback on that action.

In my talk I referenced code review wait times. For non-developers, in open source projects, a volunteer (contributor) will often write a patch which they must be reviewed by someone who oversees the project before it gets incorporated into the software’s code base. This is akin to a quality assurance process –

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eaves.ca: Transparency Case Study: There are Good and Bad Ways Your Organization can be made “Open”

If you have not had the chance, I strongly encourage you to check out a fantastic piece of journalism in this week’s Economist on the state of the Catholic Church in America. It’s a wonderful example of investigative and data driven journalism made possible (sadly) by the recent spat of sexual-abuse and bankruptcy cases. As a result some of the normally secret financial records of the Church have been made public enabling the Economist to reconstruct the secret and opaque general finances of the Catholic church in America. It is a fascinating, and at times disturbing read.

The articles also

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Transparency Case Study: There are Good and Bad Ways Your Organization can be made “Open”

eaves.ca: Using Metrics to Measure Interest in an Open Source Project

David Boswell has a couple of interesting posts (here and here) about how he is using metrics to measure how effective Mozilla is at attracting and engaging people express an interest in helping contribute to the Mozilla mission.

Some of the metrics being used can be seen at Mozilla’s Are We Growing Yet website. What I think is important is how the team is trying to look at metrics from the site to see if tweaks have an impact on attracting more people. Obviously, this is something commercial websites have been doing for a long time and it

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Using Metrics to Measure Interest in an Open Source Project

eaves.ca: Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?’

I’ve got a piece up over on the WeGov blog at TechPresident – Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?‘

Juicy bit:

There is however, a larger issue that this press release raises. So far, it appears that the spirit of re-use among the big players, like MySociety and the Sunlight Foundation*, only goes so deep. Indeed often it seems they are limited to believing others should re-use their code. There are few examples where the bigger players dedicate resources to support other people’s components. Again, it is fine if this is all about creating competing platforms and

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Is Civic Hacking Becoming ‘Our Pieces, Loosely Joined?’

eaves.ca: OSCON Community Management Keynote Video, Slides and some Bonus Material

Want to thank everyone who came to my session and who sent me wonderful feedback from both the keynote and the session. I was thrilled to see ZDnet wrote a piece about the keynote as well as have practioners, such as Sonya Barry, the Community Manager for Java write things like this about the longer session:

Wednesday at OSCON we kicked off the morning with the opening plenaries. David Eaves’ talk inspired me to attend his longer session later in the day – Open Source 2.0 – The Science of Community Management. It was packed – in fact the

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: OSCON Community Management Keynote Video, Slides and some Bonus Material

eaves.ca: Containers, Facebook, Baseball & the Dark Matter around Open Data (#IOGDC keynote)

Below is a extended blog post that summarizes the keynote address I gave at the World Bank/Data.gov International Open Government Data Conference in Washington DC on Wednesday July 11th.

Yesterday, after spending the day at the International Open Government Data Conference at the World Bank (and co-hosted by data.gov) I left both upbeat and concerned. Upbeat because of the breadth of countries participating and the progress being made.

I was worried however because of the type of conversation we are having how it might limit the growth of both our community and the impact open data could have.

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Containers, Facebook, Baseball & the Dark Matter around Open Data (#IOGDC keynote)

eaves.ca: Lessons from Michigan’s “Innovation Fund” for Government Software

So it was with great interest that several weeks ago a reader emailed me this news article coming out of Michigan. Turns out the state recently approved a $2.5 million dollar innovation fund that will be dispersed in $100,000 to $300,000 chunks to fund about 10 projects. As Government Technology reports:

The $2.5 million innovation fund was approved by the state Legislature in Michigan’s 2012 budget. The fund was made formal this week in a directive from Gov. Rick Snyder. The fund will be overseen by a five-person board that includes Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Lessons from Michigan’s “Innovation Fund” for Government Software

eaves.ca: Want to Find Government Innovation? US Military is often leading the way.

When it comes to see what trends will impact government in 20-30 years I’m a big fan of watching the US military. They may do lot of things wrong but, when it comes to government, they are on the bleeding edge of being a “learning organization.” It often feels like they are less risk averse, more likely to experiment, and, (as noted) more likely to learn, than almost any government agency I can think of (hint, those things maybe be interconnected). Few people realize that to rise above Colonel in many military organizations, you must have at least a

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Want to Find Government Innovation? US Military is often leading the way.

eaves.ca: Transparency isn’t a cost – its a cost saver (a note for Governments and Drummond)

Yesterday Don Drummond – a leading economist hired by the Ontario government to review how the province delivers services in the face of declining economic growth and rising deficits – published his report.

There is much to commend, it lays out stark truths that frankly, many citizens already know, but that government was too afraid to say aloud. It is a report that, frankly, I think many provincial and state governments may look at with great interest since the challenges faced by Ontario are faced by governments across North America (and Europe).

From an IT perspective – particular one where

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Transparency isn’t a cost – its a cost saver (a note for Governments and Drummond)

eaves.ca: Two Reasons I love blogging: Helping out great communities

Non profits and governments… this is how open source works: If someone is doing something that is of value to you, help make it better.

There have been two great examples of this type of behaviour on this blog over the past week.

On Monday, I blogged about Represent, a project by OpenNorth that seeks to track all the boundary data in Canada so that citizens can locate what ridings, jurisdictions, regions, etc… they are located in. Yesterday, Elijah van der Giessen, the Creative Services Lead at David Suzuki Foundation commented that:

The David Suzuki Foundation is really jazzed

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Two Reasons I love blogging: Helping out great communities

eaves.ca: Adapting KUALI financials for cities: Marin County is looking for Partners

Readers of my blog will be familiar Kuali – the coalition of universities that co-create a suite software core to their operations – as I’ve blogged about several times and argued that it is a powerful model for local governments interested in rethinking how they procure (or really, co-create) their software.

For some time now I’ve heard rumors that some local governments have been playing with Kuali’s software to see if they can adapt it to work for their needs. Yesterday, David Hill of Marin County posted the comment below to a blog post I’d written about Kuali in which

. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Adapting KUALI financials for cities: Marin County is looking for Partners

Things Are Good: Global DIY Window Gardening

A TED Talk by Britta Riley is filled with inspirational information about the online movement to get efficient, open source, window gardening. Worth every minute:

eaves.ca: International Open Data Hackathon Updates and Apps

With the International Open Data Hackathon getting closer, I’m getting excited. There’s been a real expansion on the wiki of the number of cities where people are sometimes humbly, sometimes grandly, putting together events. I’m seeing Nairobi, Dublin, Sydney, Warsaw and Madrid as some of the cities with newly added information. Exciting! I’ve been thinking [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: International Open Data Hackathon Updates and Apps

eaves.ca: Open Data Day – a project I’d like to be doing

As some readers and International Open Data Hackathon participants know, I’m really keen on developers reusing each others code. All too often, in hackathons, we like to build something from scratch (which can be fun) but I’ve always liked the idea of hackathons either spurring genuine projects that others can reuse, or using a hackathon [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Open Data Day – a project I’d like to be doing

eaves.ca: Weaving Foreign Ministries into the Digital Era: Three ideas

Last week I was in Ottawa giving a talk at the Department of Foreign Affairs talking about how technology, new media and open innovation will impact the department’s it work internally, across Ottawa and around the world. While there is lots to share, here are three ideas I’ve been stewing on: Keep more citizens safe [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Weaving Foreign Ministries into the Digital Era: Three ideas

eaves.ca: The State of Open Data 2011

What is the state of the open data movement? Yesterday, during my opening keynote at the Open Government Data Camp (held this year in Warsaw, Poland) I sought to follow up on my talk from last year’s conference. Here’s my take of where we are today (I’ll post/link to a video of the talk as [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: The State of Open Data 2011

eaves.ca: Calling all Mozilla Contributors Past & Present

As some friends know, I’ve been working with Mozilla, helping them design an engagement audit, something to enable them assess how effective they are at engaging and empowering the community. This work has a number of aspects, much of which builds on ideas I’ve blogged about here and spoken about in the last year or [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Calling all Mozilla Contributors Past & Present