At some point I'm going to have to stop and remind myself that I can't be involved in everything I'm passionate about...but for now, we have a couple of new projects and events that I'd like to announce.
Media Web Meetups
We started working with Songbird, the open source media browser, just about a month and a half ago. We've actually been trying to cut back on client work as much as possible so we can concentrate on more community projects, but this one sucked me in. First of all I love that it is an open source project, but most of all, I loved the idea that Rob Lord, the CEO, talks about: The Open Media Web. We have the open web, the stuff of Microformats, OpenID, Oauth, etc., but what does it mean for those developing media rich sites? Players? Etc.
Well, since we thought this was a topic that is of far wider importance than just Songbird, we suggested we start a series of meetups to discuss the various aspects of this. What are the formats? Protocols? Standards? Are they open enough? Taking a look at how the music industry is changing lately, we think this is going to be an important discussion.
Earlier this year, David Crow, Jay Goldman and Mark Kuznicki (amongst others) helped put together a BarCamp-style gathering to bring together members of the Toronto Transit Commission and riders to improve and figure out the future of the TTC. It was a huge hit. Funnily enough, since moving to San Francisco, I've done nothing but bellyache about the transit down here. What is considered world class by many of the locals is nothing compared with the ease of use I found in Toronto.
After a really great discussion led by Adina Levin at BarCampBlock, we decided that what we need to do is to stop bellyaching and start putting together a similar event to TransitCamp in Toronto...only, because we are dealing with several different commissions, it would extend far beyond MUNI or BART or Caltrain, that it would include all of the Bay Area systems we could gather and more. To me, transit is a core area of sustainability. We don't own a car, mostly by choice. We use Zipcar (who I should include, eh?), and all of the above systems. It's not easy and somedays I'm ready to cave, but it is really important for me to see what we can do as citizens to help bring it up to the type of standards that will make it a no-brainer for everyone to use transit instead of driving.
The event is being planned here on the wiki for February 23-24, 2008, but if you are interested in joining the organizers in making it happen or have any contacts you could share with us to get the right people down there, please join us in the Google Group.
The good folks at Google approached us after the success of BarCampBlock and asked us if we had a dream camp we would like to do, what could they help make happen. Both Chris and I enthusiastically replied GreenDevCamp! This is perfect as it fits right into Google's sustainable initiatives and it takes a bunch of organizing pressure off of us. Leslie Hawthorn has been working hard to secure space (even sleeping space), wifi and food for us to develop all sorts of Green Apps and APIs over the weekend of April 19-20 so everyone will be ready to launch just in time for Earth Day!
I think that's it so far. A couple more irons in the fire and, of course, still traveling around doing that Government 2.0 stuff as well as the Coworking, BarCamp, Spread Love, the book, etc. etc. There may also be a eGovDevCamp on December 7-9 in Washington, DC (stay tuned).