Monday, 24 October 2011

A final walk up the hill, perhaps. To the hotel, perhaps. To another night's sleep and to another morning's awakening, perhaps. Things are moving and refusing to return. Ending my second week in unfamiliar beds, frustrated that I've not been able to write more here. I stand facing crossroads and - to my great fortune - all of them seem like exciting junctions, seem like exciting junctures.

New York was a blast. Gave a nice workshop on Booki, a phenomenal open source social production platform for the writing of books. Spoke with nice people from the Parson's School of Design. Got to understand a little more about the structures behind Wikimedia. Visited the US's longest-standing freeform radio station WFMU. Hung out with the very creative folks at Hacks and Hackers NYC.  Engaged with UNICEF, laid plans for Sierra Leone radio networks. Talked tech with WNYC radio people and toured their digital newsroom. Hung out with former DocumentCloud programme director. Forged links with Creative Commons and those lovely folks at Mozilla. Drafted plans for a peer-to-peer university school that will materialise in the next month. More, much more to come. Considered moving to NYC, decided to move to NYC, will wait and see. Now is not the right time, new structures need to be set first.

The last week was spent in Prague with the united nations of Sourcefabric. I never fail to be amazed by the breadth and scope of the talent attracted to this organisation. Sourcecamp is the annual yearly meetup - this year we number 42 (we've quadrupled in size in 16 months), with more joining us every day.

Witnessed presentations of stunning newsroom projects, new software lines, graphical representations of team growth, inspirational mission statements, lightening tours of communications activity, business plans, marketing initiatives. These things can be seen all over, but to see them partnered with an open source ethos, a team that cares like no other I've experienced, and an unbelievable work ethic... the sky is the limit.

I'm proud to be heading up our communications gang. Our team is expanding and a new structure emerged in the last week, not one I can easily draw, one that works less like root-and-branch forms, but more like overlapping circles - areas of influence and expertise that complement and support. From coders to community managers - these people I work with are some of the finest around.

Then to Mediafabric and Mediathon, where the impact of our work worldwide began to hit home with amazing conference stories of independent journalism. Not just tools (and I like tools), but ethics and principles and philosophies of the right way to work. Of mainstream media's responsibilities. Of the challenges of digital. Of data's power. Of the strength of crowds. Of democracy's accountability. Of transparency. Of plurality of voice. Of access to information. Of distributed support. Of social progress through connection. Of infrastructures built through words. Of narratives that speak beyond work and to a calling. Beyond work, a calling.

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