How the Internet Connects Knowledge
Learn from the chair of HICK Tech how to roll out your own community event.
In the land of milk, honey, and the Internet, it is possible to become disengaged from the physical community that surrounds us. HICK Tech started in 2007 in a small Canadian town as a one-day community technology conference. Since then, the conference has grown into a community technology consulting service with international speaking engagements . In a region in which dial-up Internet connections are still common, HICK Tech has found some unexpected successes that might surprise urbanites and rural dwellers alike. The lessons learned from HICK Tech are applicable to communities of all shapes and sizes .
Know Your Strengths
My first year, I tried hard to make HICK Tech just like my favorite big-city conferences. We are not a Web 2.0 community. So in my second year, I bought cowboy boots and relaxed into the experience I was providing. HICK Tech now focuses on local: local speakers, local food, and the local hockey rink for the venue. All food served at the 2008 conference was grown, caught, or produced within 100 miles of the venue (with the exception of coffee). Food brought people together. You've probably never shared your experience of drinking a Diet Coke, but fresh maple syrup--sweetened cookies made from locally grown and milled flour creates a flavor that has to be shared, not to mention the local beer. Starting with a bag piper and ending with a jazz duo, music became a shared experience, as well. At your event, figure out what is unique and relevant to your region. Make it as important as the technology to help put a human face on the experience you are providing .
Attract Real People
For many conference organizers involved in a technical community, it is easy to create a dream list of speakers, but it is much harder to list people who will definitely attend an event on a specific date sometime in the future. I have come to realize a single client empowered to ask the right kinds of questions is as valuable – if not more so – than a developer who's learned a new time-saving trick. HICK Tech focuses on engaging and empowering the kinds of people that I want to work with. Look beyond the usual suspects. In my community, the early adopters of technology include grandmothers connecting with their grandkids via Facebook. These women are part of the local matriarchy – they are experts at networking and very good at convincing their friends (and husbands) to participate in events. Consider it viral marketing honed over 50 years to a very fine art.
Vendor D-Wave scores big with a sale to NASA's Quantum Intelligence Lab.
Many package updates and Steam integration highlight the latest from the Mandriva-based community Linux.
Richard Stallman calls for the W3C to remain independent of vendor interests.
The new release supports nine architectures, 73 human languages, and zero non-Free components.
Fedora developers release the first alpha version of Fedora 19, known as Schrödinger’s Cat, for general testing. The final release is expected in July 2013.
ack is a grep-like, command-line tool that has been optimized for programmers to search large trees of source code.
New features in SUSE Studio 1.3 include enhanced cloud integration, VM platform support, and lifecycle management.
The Linux Foundation recently announced that the Xen Project is becoming a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.
Open source version of LiveCode is now available for developing apps, games, and utilities for all major platforms.
OpenDaylight is an open source software-defined networking project committed to furthering adoption of SDN and accelerating innovation in a vendor-neutral and open environment.