FLISOL 2015, review of the event

This year we accomplished another milestone, by we I mean the Tequila Valley Cancun group. We finalize a new FLISOL event. This one with way more support than the previous one. Although there are still a laundry list of things to improve, this definitely was a great effort, and an opportunity to evaluate how well we can play together.

The Free software installfest in Latin America got a great amount of attendance, mainly because this time we implement a press release which helped us gain an exposure we haven’t got before.

This time we had a platform to coordinate the tasks that were needed for the event. A type of canvas digital board called Trello. This gave us the chance to be able to delegate responsibility and improve our continuation.

Another big lift was the sponsorship from a major company that allowed us to not worry about space, and infrastructure (Desk, chairs, tables, etc). Which by the way, were top notch, although it’s a bit odd that in the end we couldn’t really used it as intended and end up handling the same projection presentation.

On the other hand we had a lot of things we really missed specially on promotion:

  • Visit universities and high schools, we missed many of them.
  • Academic ambassadors, people that help us from these schools.
  • Visit companies and provide a good outline of what the event is about for them to get there.
  • Promote it on more radio stations, TV shows and newspapers.

We also could have work out better on scientific software as well as games. The demos were something that we could have organize better not to say we missed showing off the VoIP, Media Center (to a degree) and the overall Linux Desktops.

Swag was something that we rushed in the end, but with better support this could have been much better. It was great we got T-shirts but with better swag we would have got USB with free software in it, as well as other things.

In the end what we need to do is also reflected on how this can benefit TQVCancun and I think that invitations were not offered as open as I would have wished for. To invite people to the group and make them members is something that could have helped the survival of the group and that is something we would need to pay more attention to in the future.

Community, software and great ideas at FLISOL 2014

Yesterday was the Latin-american free software intallfest, nearly 300 locations experience a lot of installations on new distributions, desktops, applications and such. I had the task of taking care of my local event. I did received a lot of help from the other members of my tech group. This group really strive making everything looked professional enough and have enough activities.

The event took some partnership, including the venue, the people around, and other things like coffee break and cake.

The event got their target market when a family came to the event and was able to learn about open source software, how it works and how to interact with the online communities around it. In a very sci-fi fashion, a talk that mimic the popular “The hitchhicker’s guide to the galaxy”. The talk focus on loosing the fear of people of interacting with a global and technical communities that work around these open source software.

Conference about communities and open source
The hitchhicker’s guide to open source

It goes into making an analogy to traveling through space and visiting colonies in far away lands and how we need to be brave enough to make an effort into interacting with them. That said, I also point out the benefits such as – the applications will forever be available to you, and your workflow and productivity will increase by magnitudes.

The second talk was full of geekiness, teaching how open hardware works and what kind of things you can do with Arduino. One of the flagship projects of the open hardware movement. By making projects such as an alarm for embedded devices, Android is able to compete on what programming for embedded applications and portable devices.

Open hardware and Arduino
Hack around with Open hardware and Arduino

The third conference was about Blender, and what this college been working on several animation projects. They go from the basics of 3D modeling, to dividing projects into departments like lightning, coloring, modeling, animating and coming into a full motion production.

Blender
Blender animation group

The event was more than conferences, it was about socializing, and getting close to understanding open source. We installed portable applications, education applications, enterprise systems and of course games.

But more than that, it was about checking out how can you be part of the free software movement. How can you contribute to it, and why you should know is a good idea for your personal and professional development. How the world is changing and technology is innovating thanks to free software, and the impact in the personal life of its users is undeniable.

The best part was the non scheduled discussions that took place about education, politics, government and how technology could easily change that. How students should learn with technology as opposed to digitize their old ways of learning. In true TQVCancun fashion, we jump from topic to topic and enhancing the dialog on different parts of the event, from the auditorium to the workshop.

After the event, there was a lot of positive response from the people that attended the event as well as people that want to do more with this. Including launching programs on teaching free software, creating new project and expanding the vision of innovation.

Hopefully our little tech group will get the chance to grow and become more popular and drive more initiatives.

Installfest

FLISOL 2013 – The experience

This post is dedicated more toward the actual event, having a great location in La Gran Plaza was a great way to start. Adding the wittiness of Sandy was a great help to organize the decoration of the venue. With many high quality flyers and also great ammount of projectors we were able to make a very lively and hip place.

The event was very well animated
balloons and fun
Demo of technology
Awesome technology was exposed

Many people came to the event and was good to be able to chat with them and also see them gather around to learn about different areas of software and areas of discovery. The topics went from games to enterprise to educational involvements.

Some of the talks we had included:

  • How to make money as a programmer
  • Education in technology with free software

The installfest area,was the main area, which means that a lot of Free software was installed, from USB, to CDs. Many people was able to experience different distros and applications on education and such.

Finally we had some social media with tweets from across the globe, on different events across latin america.

I think the event acomplish it’s goal, we would have hope to see more students and such, but I think it was a great experience for everybody.

FLISOL 2013 – random notes for the future of events

Finally after 2 years of constant development, the event that I was hoping to carry across came to a reality. After a big push by some sponsors including Universidad del Sur and members of Tequila Valley we were able to gather the right spot, with enough tables, chairs, baloons and volunteers.

Organizing the event gave me a different perspectives and lessons learned from the previous ones. To start, I was able to focus more on the variety of the event. Different activities and also more focus on the amenities and decorations.

I also got some bad assumptions like trying to asume that the technique with the mic will work on the conferences and we wont be able to suffer from last minute delays.

Other issues were the way promotion was held, some schools are too bureacratic and are just not very easy to get a hold of the channels you need to go through many motions and most people don’t know how to handle your request.

Usually when u have 1 sponsor that cover most of th things, there is little to no problem, but trying to do this without any single big sponsor is a bit hectic.

Having documentation, does help, however there is alwaya a juggle between flyers, banners, digital promos and multimedia promos. The development is not as hard as the promotion but is definetly something you want to go about with enough time.

Money is probably the hardest thing to come by. Many people promise to give money but very few do, so is always good to plan for scarcity.

Besides all these lessons, we can also review some more specific goals. Things like, how much money you want to charge, and how much u think you will make back. If you charge is important to know who will handle it, and if this will be something you will be able to afford moving forward.

Events, specially free one, are sometimes hard to manage since resource are scarse, but having good footage of the event is something we want to consider for the future. If we want to get more and more partners we would need to have a better image and documentation of it.

A good blog, column, and gallery can be enough. Even better if ther is some video footage. In the end a sales pitch for next year and marketing kit should be gathered and developed.

 

 

 

Checkin El Futuro in VH

So my time in VH was well spent through diferent things including hanging out with a friend from Cancun that was visiting my hometown. So I was in charge of being his tour guide, and was able to check out the city and also realize how much it has changed throught he last year. I was well surprised seen some new things going on in the city but also a bit let down by the many issues that the many problems that the city has been a victim off, including the danger of being flooded once again by the river. 

An event was done during this week which included the tours of many developers from different parts of the country and the US. We were able to party and also chat with many developers about code and open source. Most of the guests were portraid around entrepreneurship for this event, but once we start talking many of the american guys were al about the code including ex-developers from Gnome and other FLOSS projects. 

Most guys were very well rounded Unix guys that knew about code, business developments and enterprising new events. However some clear gaps happened between the american and the Mexican ones, and like one of my rants was the lack of addressing some of the more structural things that need to happen to put startups afloat. 

at the stage during a talk on mobile apps

I didnt attend many of the meetings because I wasnt able to assist during the morning, but some I attended virtually through the livestream channel. With talks from people from Microsoft and some twitstars that were widely critisized. I was able to attend a panel which was extremiley boring and somewhat weak. 

panels at el futuro

Another lack of mention was the absense of code discussions, not just languages but also technologies and oportunities from these technologies for new markets. I would have like to see more code and howto discussion on how to create the apps and bring the ideas to a functional stance. 

Of course there was many good things as well, the community seems to be more efficient as they work together and also bring more people into this movement. There was a good coordination of multiple activities including the hackspedition, the super happy dev house, a project evaluation and idea workshops. 

Super happy dev house

Also hanging out with some old friends as well as new was very enjoyable and also be able to see them as an evolution from years before. Some new ones including Dennis and John from the US were great party buddies and help to add more adventurous spirit to the evenings. 

great parties

Software Freedom Day Cancun

Software Freedom Day Cancun

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the Software Freedom Day in Cancun, the first SFD in that city. The development of the event was quite nice since we were able to capture most of the moments of the event and include things that have become a signature of the events from Tequila Valley Cancun including the “Freedom Cake” and some gifts to give out after each talk.

The event was well promoted and included things like TV broadcast of the event, development of new web application and even some streaming. 

Talks included new bleeding edge topics like Bitcoins, Git, and some more traditional topics like Creative commons and recomended books on cyberculture and hacker culture.

The idea of this event is step away from the traditional Linux OS and their application environment and learning more about the ideals that make software free. The opportunities and empowerement behind open technology and also inspire atendees to innovate.

Storify from “SFDCancun”


This was my talk on BitCoin, Ripple and P2P Banking under the Digital Economy conference. You can get the slides here.

And yes we got cake…

Freedom Cake

The rise of the digital Government

During Campus party there was a great panel about the participation campaign with the government on topics such as governance, transparency, and the digital advocacy prepared with #InternetNecesario and #OpenACTA. As well as raising awareness with other important challenges which the community needs to work together to raise the issue to a national platform.

Things like the regulation of bandwith in the national telecomunication industry. With isssues such as why TELMEX, the telecomunication monopoly can’t really offer high bandwiths as opposed to other countries.

How part time ignorance and part time corruption from the regulatory parts have a very permisive ruling upon the regulation of information across the nation and trasparency still a far cry as well as huge ignorance around internet surveilance mechanisms.

In the upcoming #SoftwareFreedomDay also come as a great timing in which many issues are arising across the internet. Where talks such as the globalvoices unveils evidence of hard internet surveilance in Egypt during the revolution. Where France president Sarkozy made declarations about “Government being the only legitimate representative of the will of the people” during the #EG8 a few months back. Which put things in perspective after also thinking that government have a monopoly on violence since they hold the army.

Culturaly speaking the Mexican state of affairs has a very tamed society where they look up for the government to take care of them. A very contrarian culture compared to the liberal American society where they inheritely don’t trust the government. Besides that, is real that there are already movements like Wikileaks, LULSec and Anonymous which start doing digital protesting and whisle blowing.

The important point here is that the only REAL strangehold on government will come from an economic protest. So when digital protest and economic conspiracies match we would start seen a new level of forcing the government to act upon the will of the people.

But going back to the talk in Campus Party, @javierlivas took a somewhat extreme position on overthrow the current state of the government. Not just the president and legislators but current idea of how to handle democracy. An interesting point he mention a few times was that the organization for the current event was larger than the current effort to run the country. Which means that with the total ammount of people in the event would be more than enough to build this new government.

Unfortunately beside the ranting there wasn’t a clear proposal. But the idea of digital governments are nonetheless being worked upon. Digital governments are being structured at least by lasindias.coop which talk about this phyle societies that self govern and are economically sustainable to build a more participatory model of governing as opposed to the distributed model derived from old analog systems. Real proposals on how to build the new digital patriotism for a group that breath and live on the web is an idea that usually has been suggested with the Internet map and “if Facebook was a country” analogies.

But having a real Internet state,with means of earning a living through independent economic systems like BitCoins and embracing a new nationality that give you access to benefits such as education, professional advice as well as maybe other benefits could start becoming something that people might start considering. Unfortunately challenges such as the movement of non-digital assets such as servers, electricity and access might present issues to believe this offering.

I usually remember the talk that I got in high school when our teacher describe to us the system which the mormon religion works. Where the religious tax also give benefits to their followers and the church really acts as a more effcient cooperative system to expand economically.

The talk covered also the other view of participating with the government in this change on a gradual pace. But we still haven’t focus on enough social capital to make a movement at any level. Whenever is transformational or to enforce a gradual change, I think we got many things to work before we can make such changes.

As Software Freedom Day approaches things like own cloud and just ensuring our digital sovereignty will be at the center piece of the event. And topics like this one could become something important for thinking about and considering.