Tag Archives: community

We’ve built the network: now where do we get the content?

Wireless Community Weekend 2010 at Berlin is a conference of different wireless networks around Europe. One of the sessions we held was on what kind of services people are running on their networks and what should be develop (as a community) next to enrich our infrastructure.

We’ve built the network: what now?

Services

Discovery

Splash screen:

  • They don’t really work in most experience. People don’t read them or respond to them.
  • Intercepts connections and makes a bad experience
  • Problems when being on dual stack
  • If you have it: don’t mention money as people will go away (even if just for donations).  Explain what will happen after they press the login button.
  • Use SSID as name that you want to announce (use WWW so people know it’s a website)

mDNS:


Kiberpipa.net is running:

  • Video streaming from Cyberpipe (lectures – http://video.kiberpipa.org)
  • VPN for end users
  • Local irc server with SSL suport (irc.sioff.net)
  • VPS to run and learn about Linux (all the servers are accessible inside network + ipv6 only connectivity from the outside world)
  • Multiple-storages (NAS) for sharing stuff/run your own FTP server
  • Peering connectivity to other Freifunk networks/hackerspaces

Other services that people are running

  • Used books
  • Weather report
  • Blog server
  • Radio streaming
  • DNS servers that do all the fancy remapping (service to all the users)

Wishlist:

  • WE NEED working SPLASH SCREENS 🙂
  • nodes running their own webserver
  • automatic name registration system (web site)
  • alternative domain names redirection (custom zones)
  • internet caching services (uncensored)
  • decentralized community radio station / shared radio schedule (gsoc project this year): http://radiomate.org and http://fusoradio.net
  • game servers (freeciv works!)
  • mesh-partys (like lan party)
  • local search engines
  • good service discovery service. What is the most common way to announce new service around the whole network: mDNS?

Want to share your experience in running services on your wireless networks? Share it in the comments.

A confession of newage virtual schizophrenic

dog graffiti

Hi, I’m Jure and one of the things I do is to help people talk and work with their communities so they can improve their products or services. Often they want to outsource at least part of the talking to me, so I’m given a new online identity. The name is still the same, but you get a new email (with IMAP and everything) and often business cards with this identity. If you’re lucky it’s also a Google Account (via Google Apps) that you need to share calendars, gtalk etc.

As you help different organizations, you keep accumulating these identities that you can’t shut off because you never know who will decide to email you on that address or which account you’ve got registered. On top of that, you almost never completely stop helping them unless the project gets shut down.

So now you have tons of email addresses, that each connect to different identity that you use to talk to bloggers. The only problem is that there is a limited number of meaningful connections that you can have. So you email people from all these identities with different questions, forwards, reply-alls and so on.

This does at the end of the day mean, that I’ll have to talk to myself via different identities, CC other email or info@ accounts (that I control anyway) so that we can make sense of our world. That everyone knows who belongs to who, depending on the email domain.

I have yet to write multiple (personal) Twitter accounts or Foursquare logs, even though I’m sure that this day isn’t far away.

So if you see my replying to myself from a different domain, it’s all normal, it’s just that I don’t want to break online balance of identities.

Our [insert project here] is many things to many people

arse09

For the last few weeks, I’ve tried to figure out how to tell a story of different communities around me. They’re all doing great things, but the general perception, within them, is that the public is not recognizing their efforts and that getting more recognition will help with other aspects of their work (getting funding, members, more feedback, etc.).

Very much inspired by Jono Bacon’s book – The Art of Community, I’ve started analyzing different public pitches, strategies and road-maps that they have. The answer that I hear often or at least is implied is that they’re open spaces and that people make of it, whatever they want.

In case of Kiberpipa, it’s very usual to hear: “Kiberpipa is something else to everyone” and as such it is a very complex idea, that’s hard to communicate clearly.

Which is perfectly fine, if you’re in there for last five years and are practically a founder. The problem is that this is not the story that we can go out and present to upcoming and promising teams. It’s too vague, if feels to big and it’s scary as an empty wiki.

So the big plan for the upcoming weeks is to talk to many people and artificially set constraints on their projects. Not in a way that would prevent them from doing whatever they’re e doing now, but it a way that would home their pitch at least in one direction, making it easier to attract new people and upgrade existing ideas.

In short: let’s decide on one thing that our project is to a few people and build a solid foundation around that, before moving to the next one.