Gnomedex is the geek’s geek conference. This single track conference produced by Chris Pirillo and Lockergnome has always provided the best and brightest in high-tech to technologists and enthusiasts alike. This conference is in its ninth year. The first few Gnomedexs were held in Des Moines, Iowa, with a quick crazy year spent in Lake Tahoe and then finally settling into its Seattle home where it has been for the last few years. This conference has always hosted a prolific line-up of speakers and created an experience that is optimum for attendees.
We all get our own electrical outlet and power-strip.
There are some really awesome speakers this year at Gnomedex 9.0. Here are just a few from the rockstar lineup.
Amber Case – Prosthetic Culture
Amber Case is a cyborg athropligist who resides in Portland, OR. Spending her time taming the robots and spiders on the internets, Amber is a wealth of knowledge on human interaction with the cyborg culture. Her talk on Prosthetic Culture will be an interesting look into prosthetics and human interaction with enhancements. Her talk will be the closing session on Saturday at 4:15 pm.
Drew Olanoff – My Cancer is Social
Drew Olanoff is a community director at GOGII who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA. Drew was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer earlier this year. He has turned the unlikeliest of situations into a new media campaign based around Twitter hashtags called #blamedrewscancer. His full of life approach to a heavy topic has changed the way people interact with new media on topics like cancer. This talk will surely be informational, awesome and might even shake a few tears out of some eyes. His talk will be on Friday at 4:30 pm.
Leah Nelson and Jay Grandin – 20,000,000 vs. 20: Audience versus Impact
Leah Nelson and Jay Grandin are a dynamic duo that are integral components to the video production and media studio Giant Ant Media in Vancouver, BC. Their studio has produced documentaries, micro-campaigns, web series, commercials and even stop-motion productions. They have lots of experience with how numbers can dictate how content produces a general impact and what kind of audience is created in the wake. Their talk will be on Saturday at 11:30 am.
I will be creating a photography showcase/recap of Gnomedex 9.0 on Saturday at 5:00 pm right after Amber Case’s talk. It will be a selected portion of the photos that I will be taking at this year’s conference. It will be an awesome experience to recap live the chaotic events of the conference in real time with new friends and old.
There should be a lot of fun events planned around the Gnomedex single track this year. From parties to networking the events somehow tie all the awesome presentations together to make this two conference the awesome geekfest that it is. One of these events being scheduled around the main track of programming is a photowalk with some professional photographers that will be in Seattle for the conference. Robert Scoble, Chase Jarvis and myself will be heading up this fun outing Friday morning at 7 am. The early bird gets the worm and the best photos.
Just a side note: I will also be booking some photoshoots during Gnomedex this year. This would be the good opporunity for those of you who need to update your headshots / avatars.
Gnomedex is always a blast. Hopefully I will see you in Seattle!
Mid-august can be exciting for a few things: summer vacation, hot weather, long days. For the geeks of the digital community, this is always a very exciting time of year. It is this time of year that the panel picker is released for panels submitted to the SXSW festival. This year over 2200 panels have been submitted, all of which 300 are selected for the Interactive portion of the SXSW festival. Of the voting system, 30% of community user votes count towards the final selection. The list is quite impressive but it can be a daunting task to sort through all the awesome submissions. I did a bit of wandering through the list and found a few rad ones.
Pretty Rad Panel Submissions: Tantek Celik – Open Science on Today’s Web
The open movement is growing in all areas and this panel on open science should be a really interesting introspective into how open science will play out in the internet. The idea of developing science in the open and public eye will revolutionize the way science discoveries are made.
Angela Schroeder – Photoshop and Other Photography Tips for Concert Photography
This panel should provide a interesting overview of the basics for live concert photography. Capturing the energy of a live concert can be pretty confusing while worrying about your gear, the lighting and your camera. This should be a rad discussion with tips that can be applied for the music section of the SXSW festival.
Ian Davis – Set Your Data Free
Data is definitely different than content and this talk should shine some light on data within the context of copyright, creative commons and public domain. Concise talk about data is perhaps one of the few not addressed issues in new media literacy.
Thankfully I am not the only one tackling the 2200 SXSW panel submissions to give a list of suggestions! A few others have done the same with awesome lists of their own. Rebecca Bollwitt and Dave Olson provide great suggestions of panels submitted by Vancouverites. TechZulu provides a great listing of panels submitted by people in the SoCal area. Alexandra Samuel gives some awesome suggestions of panels submitted by women.
Phew. That was alot. Have fun voting! (voting ends September 4th!)
TED is a great conference format that is focused on the theme of ‘ideas worth spreading’ in technology, entertainment and design. Showcasing the brightest and coolest minds our times, TED is an all around impressive event that videotapes all their speakers and puts the videos up for free on their TED talks list. They really stand behind their principles of sharing ideas, even if people are unable to attend the highly anticipated TED event.
They just recently announced TED x which is a franchised community version of the bigger TED conferences. They’re encouraging folks to take the spirit and format of TED and have local events focused on the coolest in technology, entertainment, and design. It’s a great concept that initiates community support, discovery and definitely promotes ideas that are worth spreading. I had the chance to speak at TEDxShanghai this past June. It was a great experience to give my ‘Open Everything‘ talk to an international audience in Shanghai and I was surrounded by brilliant local and international speakers that were incredible. TEDx is a great experience and really opens up the TED idea to a broader audience.
It is very exciting to hear that we have a TED x Vancouver event coming up for the first time. Vancouver (and its surrounding area) is saturated with brilliant innovators and pioneers, especially in the sectors of technology, entertainment and design. This event will hopefully be a great presentation of the amazing people and ideas that are coming out of the Lower Mainland. Nominations are now open for speakers and everyone is welcome to throw the names of their favorite heroes in the hat. Here’s some hardworking, interesting, kind peeps that I think would be great to consider as speakers for the event. Some of these people I know, some I don’t know, but either way they’re doing good work and it’d be rad to hear them speak.
Bev Davies is an international rock and roll photographer. She has been photographing live concerts since the 70s and has pioneered the art of capturing the energy of live concerts. Her most famous work is based around the punk scene in Vancouver for the last three decades.
Michael Turner is a Canadian poet living in Vancouver who’s writing explores the concept of the seemingly ordinary adapted from the concept of the means towards a desired end. Turner is also a musician and a film maker.
Dan Savage is the author of Savage Love, which is an international relationship and sex advice column. Located in Seattle, Savage is poignant in his discussion of sexuality and rounds out explicit controversy with humor and wit of pen.
Irwin Oostindie is a Canadian activist who co-created Under the Volcano, a music festival that has a social-activism theme. He was also the executive director of Gallery Gachet in Vancouver’s DTES which is an art gallery geared to promote DTES resident artists. He is currently the executive director of the W2 Woodwards project that is a legacy project for the new Woodwards building.
John Fluevog is a internationally renowned shoe designer whose flagship store is based out of Vancouver. His designs often push the conventional boundaries of shoewear but have maintained a popularity devoid of mainstream conversion. In 2002 Fluevog opened up Open Source Footwear which allows people to submit shoes designs and if chosen, the shoes are produced and named after them.
Dave Olson is a literary genius that has dabbled into the visual arts as well. Whether it is constructing love letters from a Russian War era to water color paintings of natural settings, Olsen captures the renaissance attitude of the modern day beat generation.
Tzeporah Berman is an environmental activist who lives on Cortes Island. She first began her work with forestation in BC and most of her work was put into national forest campaigns. Lately her central focus has been around Climate Change and has started up PowerUp Canada to spread information to Canadians about climate change.
Eoin Finn is a yogi instructor who created the wellness portal that is Vancouveryoga.com. He also co-founded the largest yoga-focused fundraiser called the Camp Moomba Yogathon & Blissfest in 2007. He founded Positive Force Yoga System which is framework for a healthy yogi lifestyle.
It is a pretty amazing time that individual communities can host TED events like these. Hopefully the spectrum of speakers will represent the diversity and awesome people of this area. Make sure to nominate someone! You can find the TEDxVancouver speaker nomination here.
PS. I’m not involved with the planning of TED x Vancouver… just an excited and hyperactive community member!
Our digital world is changing as rapidly as it is expanding. When the internet was first introduced to our world, the main concern was understanding websites and their proficiency in this new landscape of media. This was the first time ever that we had an online format to say anything and we were just figuring what to create for this new outlet. The idea of dialoguing was not even part of the picture of the internet for we were just learning to how to speak in this new way. Yet as the internet grew and the world explored new ways to communicate with each other, content management systems started to appear.
Flickr was the first content management system for photos and also the first inclination towards interactive social community networks. The world was given the opportunity to comment and favorite the content posted on Flickr with the artist themselves. Then Youtube was introduced under the same format as Flickr but with the management being around videos. Purely social networking systems were also surfacing so that as individual, we could have a identity online and communicate with others online via their online identities. We went from having sites representing us, to having images, videos and personal information creating our online identities.
At one point our identities were a centralized idea, housed wherever our internet ‘address’ was. Now our identity is housed in smaller bite-sized pieces all along the map of the internet. We were the curators of our own digital identity, using the videos, photos and information from our lives to create it. The videos that I favorited on Youtube or the photos that I uploaded to Flickr spoke louder about who was I than one static website could ever say. The internet has turned into a massive playground of information cultivating, self-identity, discovery and expression.
We are seeing the static nature of sites evolving into the open-platform of blogs for the nature of the internet is evolving as well. Blogs tend to be a personal look into a person, place or thing with a centralized theme around the writing. Micro-blogging is a relatively new term evolved from the process of blogging, which is creating written digital content. The construct of minimizing blogging for the internet has made this an impressionable part of our digital stream and footprint. The most common micro-blogging format is Twitter, with over 22 million users creating miniature blogs in a stream-like format. Read individually as tweets or collectively as a stream, these bite-sized pieces help to make up who you are online.
The most common complaint of the current evolution of the internet is the inability to ‘keep up’. I don’t believe it is potentially possible for all of us to keep up with the fast changes that are happening on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. All of the expanded ability of different content management systems, search options, data, and social networking can create a false sense of convenience at a high price of time investment. The beauty to this current state of evolution is that the internet is creating ways for it to work for you and not just having you work constantly at its demand. I like to call this new technology ‘robots’. The robots act as filters that listen to the internet so that we can continue creating dialogue in a concise format that is not time-consuming.
The idea of robots or filters can be pretty confusing. First we are given the freedom of an online format. Then we allowed to create information, content and art which can be quite overwhelming. The next logical step would the aide of a filter that helps sorts through all the information, content and art so it is not all viewed as noise. Noise is literally when a dialogue becomes to saturated; we are unable to hear the really important stuff. A great filter that I use to listen to the Internet is a dashboard system called Netvibes. This system basically lets you pick out the streams on whatever person, place or thing that you want to listen to and delivers them into one format. Netvibes is completely customizable so the internet can work for you.
Growth is a natural state of evolution even within technology. The internet is something that almost everyone has some sort of interaction with on a daily basis. We email, tweet, blog or upload photos and videos to our friend, family and co-workers. Though it is a big place the internet is here for us. If we are able to understand it better, understand our digital footprint, and how to listen to the internet, our entire online experience will be amazing. If the internet works for you then having access to all of mankind’s knowledge at your fingertips, isn’t a very scary thought at all.
Pop!Tech started in 1996 as the Camden Technology Conference . Originally it had a more focused theme which was the impact of information technology. Since its creation this conference has broadened its topics to encompassing discussions with world leaders and the social change makers about issues that revolve around the events, media, information and projects that are affecting their lives globally.
Each year Pop!Tech has a designated conference theme in which all of its discussions and talks are more or less focused around; the past few years have seen such themes as "Dangerous Ideas", "The Human Impact" and "Scarcity and Abundance". The entire conference is held in a 19th century opera house which provides a visually stimulating and inspiring environment. Andrew Zolli has been the curator and director of Pop!Tech since 2003 and has helped develop the conference into what is known for today.
There are many different components to the Pop!Tech conference that happen before, during and after the actual fall event. One the really amazing ones is the Fellows Program that has since evolved into the Social Innovation Fellows Program . This program is an intensive training for 10-20 people from around the world that are working on global change through the vehicles of innovative projects with potential widespread positive repercussions.
This program provides the skills in networking, media relations, branding, social media, finances, organizational development as well as many other areas that are necessary skill sets in the work that they are doing. All of the fellows involved in the program also get a chance to present briefly at the actual Pop!Tech conference with additional mentorship for a year following the program. Last year I was also given the opportunity to photograph the Social Innovations Fellows Program, which was its first official year.
This specific conference hosts a variety of speakers and often incorporates music from innovative creative musicians from around the world. Some of the musical highlights from the past years have been John Legend, Amos Lee , Imogen Heap , Zoe Keating , Vanessa German and Abdominal . Each of the musicians presents and performs at the conference which provides a musical interlude between some of the heavier topics.
Between shooting presenters and discussions, I had the opportunity to help out in the National Geographic Photocamp that was held at last year's conference. Whether it was documenting other young and inspiring photographers as they took photos at sessions or general photo assisting tasks like holding up reflectors, I had the chance to share my photography knowledge with others.
Each year the conference hosts so many amazing people from around the world that is definitely hard to pick favorites from all of the various sessions. Each presenter is creatively captivating on the topics that they are speaking upon combined with the vibrancy and impact of their presentations, which are often filled with infinite energetic passion.
Pop!Tech Conference 2007:
Elizabeth Streb is considered an action inventor and presented on her dreams of the future of human body motions.
Jonathan Harris redefines the theory of story-telling thru various platforms.
Van Jones is an activist whose new plan of promoting a green revolution for green jobs instead of jails.
Frank Warren , the founder of PostSecret, discusses his initial solicitation of people's secrets on the streets of Washington, DC. His presentation was just a snippet of the thousands of secrets that have accumulated into PostSecret.
Malcolm Gladwell , author of the Outliers, discusses what separates the extraordinary people from the average people.
Saul Griffith , inventor, engineer and the recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, discusses his own investigation into his personal carbon footprint and the shocking discoveries that are made in that journey.
It is very exciting that I get to shoot Pop!Tech for the third year in a row. This year's conference should be just as amazing as the last two!
The following is an interview with me done by Kemp Edmonds of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We spent a couple hours talkin’ “Philosophy of the Internet” and this is what came out of it. Thanks a lot Kemp for capturing lots of my ideas and writing them up!
Kris Krug is a technology, idea and thought leader with a strong presence in the digital world. He is also described as ‘a tech-artist, quasi-sage, cyberpunk anti-hero from the future’. The more you get to know him the more that description rings true.
I like to imagine him as a cyber surfer on the front of the wave enabling arts and culture in the internet age. If you’ve never heard of Kris check out his Wikipedia page here. Kris describes himself on www.kriskrug.com as, “a photographer, web strategist and author based in Vancouver.” Kris speaks all over the world on the topics of technology and the arts. I was inspired by his presentation at Pecha Kucha in Vancouver titled, “Open Everything”. In the presentation Kris talks about the move away from traditional blogging towards a digital footprint.
To Kris the ‘digital footprint‘ is represented by his photos on flickr, his videos on YouTube, his blog posts, links he shares, comments he leaves, interactions he has and comments others make about him. See a digital footprint by googling his name or mine. I am writing with many links embedded in the hopes that if you are interested you will explore and try these tools for yourself. Powerful computing tools are increasingly moving online and Kris knows his stuff. So join me as I go into the mind of a current thought leader for a lesson or two.
When did you realize that technology was part of your vocation? I really started working with web technology while I was at University. In early 1996 I was introduced to Netscape(?) and I started creating web pages. It was when my Communications professors approached me to build web pages for them that I knew things were really changing. It was an upheaval of the traditional power structure. Normally students want help from professors, suddenly these same professors were coming to me for help with their work. I went onto to create web pages for my professors, to promote and sell books, and the university.
In 1998 I created Spark-online.com, an online magazine exploring electronic consciousness and digital philosophy. It grew pretty big and we were using content management systems before blogging which required us to build new HTML pages every month. 11 years later my life is a continuation of those explorations and the addition of more. I am publishing online and speaking live exploring how we are changing and how the medium is changing.
When blogging first started it was for everything [pictures, videos, discussions]. Now each of these media has their own tools outside the blog [flickr, YouTube, Twitter/Facebook]. People are no longer blogging every day; comments on blogs aren’t the place for discussions they once were. One great new tool [Disqus] aggregates tweets about a particular post and then includes a link or embeds those tweets into the blog in the comments section.
Now, instead of writing a blog post after an event I can tweet from the event, post photos and video directly to the web in real time and the day after the event I can do a blog post. I can use tweets from others about the event, embed some of the photos or videos I posted the day before into the post. I feel like we are moving from a web of pages to a web of streams. These streams allow us to aggregate our presence into one central place.
On the Olympics… [from a video of a recent Olympic roundtable w/Kris]
I currently represent “The True North Media House” and we are working to build an independent, alternative media center for the 2010 games. There will be a period of time in the future where the stories we are sharing 20 years after the games will be things that happened online. This is the first Olympics sitting on that brink and I hope to help tip the scales in that way through the organization of this 2010 media house.
A video from Northern Voice 2009 with True North Media House and others
KE: You often talk about a ‘digital footprint’, what does it mean to you and where do you see it going?
KK: Every time we interact online we are leaving digital breadcrumbs. These little digital ‘bits’ leave a trail of information about us. We reveal things about ourselves and others make statements about us. This could be what you read, when you favourite a video or post a comment. It’s an amalgamation of what you do online. Even when we think we don’t exist on the net in fact we do. [Google your name and add your main city of residence to see for yourself]
What do you think of Aggregators? Will that be the digital footprint?
Tumblr is one aggregator but it sucks things from other people and puts it together so it is not necessarily original content. Friendfeed is for your own stuff. These days we aren’t spending all our time in one place online so aggregators do a good job of bringing together our online persona. Our information and activity online makes up our persona. I see aggregators like Friendfeed but with better filters and more ways of making things fit together enabling a true digital footprint.
[Get an idea of how FriendFeed represents the digital footprint at Kris’ feed or mine]
Do you see any really good Filters out there?
I am currently consulting for 2010 and the David Suzuki foundation, building custom dashboards. I am running searches for “Cultural Olympiad” through PostRank. It tells me who is saying what about this topic anywhere on the internet. I am also using Netvibes and Yahoo Pipesmixing and filtering feeds, Technorati and Google Alerts to track online content in real-time. The really good filters are custom built for their users to enable the most focused result.
Should we be using custom or proprietary filters to gather information? The easiest to use and cheapest solution is good for the average individual. For companies or individuals needing custom in-depth solutions complete with statistics and analytics a custom solution is the way to go. The current market for these custom solutions is a bit of an arms race and the key is to dial in and refine searches and filters. Techniques like keyword segregation and optimization help enable custom solutions to increase the value for users. To those who understand the power of the media, know what’s possible and want to utilize that power will use custom systems going forward.
The internet is an incredibly visual medium, what does this mean for the written word?
I don’t know. Media literacy is very interesting. In the advertising age with TV we saw a movement away from literacy and ads towards visuals and real stories. Young people are continually tuning out traditional advertising. The internet is based on text, HTML=Hyper Text multi-language. It’s all about machines being able to read text and understanding linking and language. We are observing changes in communication. Things may not be better or worse, but they are certainly they are different. The approach to media is changing as media power becomes more decentralized. We are now able to receive many different perspectives, a myriad of voices representing different sides of an issue. Biases are now more explicit compared to the old system where biases were less obvious and people were tuning out advertising a lot less.
What would u like to see on the internet/web that is not currently available? I would like to see more philosophical dialogue and less pure entertainment, more art and culture and less funny cat videos. I would like to see more true art online, more cultural interaction and above all; more collaboration. Canada Code is a great example. We now get to tell our own stories. VANOC’s people are doing a great job working inside an organization [the IOC] which is resistant to the internet as a means to create culture and identity. I would like to see us reaching out to artists and Canadians because we can tell the best stories.
You are an artist and creator who wears many hats, how do you keep it all in order?
I am constantly trying to do things that I love. I was raised on TV and the internet. My advice is to stay engaged in your passion projects. My love has resulted in my business. I love teaching, photography, geeking, creation, web design and promotion. The tools I am leveraging are fulfilling the promise of greater efficiency for me. I see a drastic increase in digital literacy, but there are still a large number of people who believe that if you reveal info online you will be stalked. This is the fear. Geeks used to be loathed and laughed at. Now there is great credibility to the knowledge that former geeks possess. Any people or businesses that steadfastly stay away from the internet will need a new solution to remain relevant in the digital age.
What about bloggers or creators whose work isn’t really seen by anyone?
In regard to doing stuff that no one sees, if they keep it up people will eventually stumble upon it. Do it for the love of subject matter and it will come; the audience and the money. Learn more about your subject matter and figure out how to use it. I am a firm believer that there are different strokes for different folks. ‘Create your own reality’ with these tools and a community will grow around you if you engage them.
Do you think the sale of the Pirate Bay is a turning point in the proliferation of piracy on the net?
People’s attitudes about piracy are changing. BitTorrent is becoming like TCP/IP to email. In the sense that everyone uses email but few people know its backend is TCP/IP. People will get content anyway using peer to peer sharing. BitTorrent is a way to handle billions of users.
KE: Is web video the new billboard?
KK: A billboard thinks one message is good for all. The internet is the best place to spend your ad dollars because you can customize your message to your audience. It’s the best bang for your buck and you can’t argue with the measurability of it. Billboard analytics are messy at best. They’re hard to track while web tracking and analytics are freely available and very measurable; segment and target. I see more Facebook ads of friend’s businesses. Targeting ads to my interests is pushing me to click more. We want to know more about what we are interested in. Advertisers are picking up on this and making smarter decisions based on that data. -kk Photo Tim Bray [For great free analytics for your site check out Google Analytics]
In your opinion are Facebook Apps an effective way to engage your audience? I love connecting other info into my Facebook account using Facebook Connect. Spammy apps, like quizzes, will eventually die off. Smart apps are rad. They can now add cool functionality to Facebook through outside sites and applications. The old way of site transition was difficult and now with various API (application programming interface) I can integrate everything. This is the promise of the internet. Using widgets and linking I can unlock true power by transferring my work, stories and reputation from one medium to another. [Check out Kris’ Netvibes page it is a great showcase of some of his ‘hats’] You have spoken in the past about the ability to access your all of your personal information online from any internet terminal anywhere on earth, how does that work?
Storage is the essential thing in this concept. Amazon s3 (simple storage services) is the simplest storage area right now. That is where I would store files and information. You can use Plaxo to store all of your contacts online, while videos can be stored in one place and pictures in another. Using web based email access allow you to access your email from anywhere. (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
What do you think the iPhone will do to the mobile computing landscape?
The iPhone essentially puts the power of a printing press in your pocket. It has the power of video creation and study with YouTube integration. Oh yeah, it also has access to all of mankind’s knowledge. It allows us to be always connected to everyone and to all the information in the world. All consumers of this product also have the ability to produce as well as consume. It will help bridge the digital divide. With an iPhone I can do 70-80% of the work I normally do on the computer. The iPod Touch and the iPhone are available to a larger group of the people than conventional computers. This fact has the potential to allow a whole new group of people access to computers.
What do you think educational institutions should be doing with new media/social media that you don’t see them doing right now?
A lot of the changes we see in the classroom will be around wikis and online collaboration. Students and teachers are moving towards posting homework online. They are using technology to create roundtables and meetings, to share more freely. The essence of this shift is the integration of collaboration. I have really enjoyed the benefits of using twitter at events and conferences by putting a Twitterfall on a background at the front of the room. The discussion is democratized and leads to more diverse feedback.
Some teachers are using Twitter in the classroom to aid and encourage discussion
How do you think higher education institutions could be using new media and social media to improve recruiting practices?
Recruiting is only one area where social media should be used. Collaboration is the most interesting aspect of these tools in education. It changes recruiting from a traditional top down system to an inside out system. It’s about drawing people into the real community/culture that is going on around the institution. There is an opportunity to highlight the content being created from inside institutions. It’s about being a storyteller inside the institution not about marketing and sales. It puts the responsibility on the institution to have programs, research and teachers to draw in students in a real way.
What is your least favourite thing about all of these new tools?
I love all of these tools although I can’t see my screen very well at the beach. So I have to be inside too much. The one thing I miss is being outdoors more because this stuff ties you indoors. Also because it’s always on, sometimes it feels like a moving goal post. There is a feeling that, whether we are present or not, things continue to go on without us. It’s hard to get away from. There is no more end of the work day. These tools bring the world into our lives 24/7.
[Kris’ photography was brought to global prominence by a bizarre situation where another user attributed his work as theirs.] Can you tell us about that incident?
It was back in 2004-5, I had developed an audience online and they had a good sense of the style of my work. Eventually it came to my attention that this young photographer was passing off my work as his. It was obvious that it was my work. I proceeded to blog about it and the blogosphere was angry and pushed back at this guy. The subsequent blog posting was picked up by Digg resulting in over 1700 ‘diggs’. I was then was sent a phony cease and desist order to try and get the post taken down. You see because of the strength of my blog in search engines whenever anyone searched his name this story about how he stole my work and passed it off as his own would come up at the top of the search results.[Three years later the incident is still the top three search results from the thief’s name]
Kris talks with Leo Laporte about Creative Commons License
He was trying to pull a fast one on the internet, but it didn’t work. Legal academic journals have used this case study as an example of intellectual property rights and the internet. After I was served this fake cease and desist order he has continued to beg me to take down the blog post, but it remains up to this day. At one point I even told the guy that he should change his name, it’s the best option.
Thanks so much for all of your great insights Kris it’s greatly appreciated. I look forward to speaking again in the future. –Kemp Edmonds
When you live in Vancouver, summer time is all about spending time on the Gulf Islands and this summer is no different. I just got back from a seven day adventure on Cortes Island which five of those days was spent at Hollyhock at the Summer Gathering. The Summer Gathering is an invitational conference that gathers the best thinkers, activists and social change agents from around the world! Artist Chris Jordan, scientist Rupert Sheldrake, wordsmith Rachel Bagby, photographer Kevin W. Kelley, filmmaker Bill Weaver, social technologist Leif Utne, engineer Jeff Vanderclute, and educator Rennie Keats were just a few of the participants of this event.
The entire week was hosted by Rick Ingrasci who specializes in consciousness research and poverty eradication activist Torkin Wakefield. Each day started off with an opening circle invocation, a series of morning talks that were organized around a specific topic and then an afternoon of offered workshops from all of the 120 participants.
The morning sessions included talks like global climate change with Tzeporah Berman, student activism with Michael Cox, living with hope and a spirit of possibility with Pravin Pillay, the support & healing of marginalized people with Aqeela Sherrills, the destruction of the world’s oceans resulting from plastics with Chris Jordan and Manuel Maqueda, global peace and social justice with Dot Maver, aboriginal and first nations issues in Canada, and lots of other super intellectual powerful presentations… thankfully the intensity of the topics was broken up by performances by some of the remarkable musicians in attendance. At any given point I could hear drums beating, a flute playing, a trumpet, guitar or even Christen Lien-McArdle‘s viola carrying a melody somewhere on Hollyhock.
There were so many really brilliant people here that often times the morning sessions were so jam packed with information. When proposed with what afternoon session to attend, I was drowning in the flow of awesomeness. I managed tho and spent my time attending sessions on akido, climate change activism, creative writing as well as swimming in the ocean and hangin w/ people one on one. I really liked the closing night puppet show by Little Woo for it was a highly creative way of incorporating new media with brilliant story-telling.
I had the opportunity to give one of talks during the ‘emerging cultures’ morning session. I gave my ‘Open Everything‘ talk from Pecha Kucha 5 Vancouver and TED x Shanghai. It was great to be able to share the ideas of free culture and openness with a group of individuals where some had never even heard about Creative Commons. My talk was a lead into an afternoon skills workshop I facilitated with Leif Utne called (New) Media Literacy. This session was a success in the fact that it was well attended but also generated a lot of discussion around new media skills that could be great additional skill sets for all of the other discussions that were generated this week around activism, global issues like climate change, social justice, empowerment through technology and poverty eradication.
The Summer Gathering was also a full week of exchanging ideas and making connections with people from all areas of study to find cross-disciplinary connections. Wilford Welch announced his Beyond Sustainability conference in 2010 which connects the weeks discussions on climate change with the notion of what is really beyond the next step in such a task. Another connection that was announced was Manuel Maqueda and Chris Jordan’s morning talk about the effect of plastic on our society and the devastating effect of it in our oceans. They announced, along with Bill Weaver, that they were taking a trip to Midway Atoll to explore and document the effects of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This garbage patch is one of the largest collections of plastic and garbage in the ocean and is destroying the local oceanic ecosystem. Combined with the artistic talents of these three individuals plus their drive in activism, this trip will be a huge eye-opening experience for everyone on the downward spiral that is happening to our oceans.
Established over 25 years Hollyhock is a retreat center that hosts many conferences all year round that range in topics from writing, to social entrepenuership, to leadership and philanthropy. Often quoted as providing “learning holidays”, each of the retreats provides information sessions by talented experts in all fields. Their mission statement says that they inspire, nourish and support the people who are making the world a better place. The actual land of Hollyhock is surrounded by beautiful ocean, a flourishing garden full of flowers and 15 different building structures that host the talks, workshops, meditation and sessions for all of their programs. A few really amazing conferences happen at the center are Bill Weaver’s Media That Matters, Jason Mogus‘ Web of Change, Open Everything which was a retreat conference focused on the open culture and Joel Solomon and Pam Chaloult‘s Social Venture Institute. I had the opportunity to attend a few of these conferences and the experiences were life-changing.
This September Hollyhock will be hosting Web of Change again. This conference gathers the upcoming leaders and forward thinkers that are involved with social media, technology and the digital world. Started back in 2001 as a smaller gathering on Cortes, Web of Change has just continued to grow every year with the newest addition of Social Tech Training being added to the WoC umbrella. This conference helps leaders and peers to share their wealth of knowledge and become adept with skills in the digital social change area. When I attended in 2005 I was connected with many different people interested in the area of social change in the digital/online spectrum. I learned a lot from these connections. I hope to attend the Web of Change 2009 at Hollyhock!
For 3 years I was the editor-in-chief of a great online magazine called *spark. It was a culture and technology monthly with a philosophical bent and great design and photography. Here are the archived issues.