Marathon UnConferences

Last year I was the main organizer for an event called PodcasterCon. Without a doubt it was a success. But the planning and work to pull it off was intense. So much so I’m having second thoughts about doing it again.

Problem is I have a bunch of money left over from the last event. Plus I think some folks might be looking forward to another PodcasterCon.

This past month Fred Stutzman, PHD candidate and Claim ID co-founder, has organized a cool sounding event called BarCampRDU. Its a one day unconference event that’ll to be held on July 22. They’re holding it a Red Hat‘s headquarters in Raleigh. Sadly I won’t be able to attend. But I will be doing something else pretty important. 🙂

The speed with which Fred and crew have organized BarCampRDU has convinced me that you don’t need more than three months to make a cool one day event happen. Matter of fact I think you can do it in 45 days or less. That seems to be about the amount of time it takes to really get the word out and make plans.

To organize a longer event, say three days, that is worth traveling a long distance for might take longer. Because each day you add to it the more complicated it becomes. But in this day and age of quick internet info searches who has the stamina to really really appreciate a three day conference? Many people are tired as hell on day three.

For some amazing reason people came from all over the world to hang out at PodCon 2006. I think it was mostly to do with the fact the Podcasting was (is?) HOT. Timing is everything!

With the money that some conferences raise we could organize 12 cool one day events every month for an entire year of fun! Now that would be interesting. Could we sustain interest in such a crazy thing? Would people get bored of going to a regular event once a month? Could we raise enough money to pull it off?

Damn… I feel exhausted just thinking about the work of organizing another PocasterCon and here I am proposing a string of twelve! (well maybe … I’m about to get BUSY AS HELL.) It will have to involve a lot more people than me. Login and comment on this people.

NC Black Media Past and Present

With the release of Wilmington Race Riot Commission report we receive a way overdue official history of what happened on November 10, 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina. Did you know about this bloody coup d’etat? I hadn’t until I read “Blood Done Sign My Name”. Thanks Tim Tyson. Thank you Yolanda Carrington for telling me about this report.

Over one hundred years ago armed white men overthrew the LEGALLY elected government of Wilmington, North Carolina killing many people, driving out the local Republican leadership, and terrorizing the Black community. (Lest we forget the Republican party of those days was supportive of equal rights. It was the Dixie Democrats who were the racist segregationist.) You can read more about this untold historic event in the book “Democracy betrayed: the Wilmington race riot of 1898 and its legacy” and the website For The Record.

An interesting part of this story is the suppression of African American free speech. During the attack the Daily Record, reported to be the only black newspaper in the country at the time, was burnt to the ground. Some say this action was the spark that lit the massive violence of November 10. The Commission report writes of the involvement of North Carolina newspaper editors like Josephus Daniels – founder of the Raleigh paper The News and Observer.

Involved in the conspiracy were men prominent in the Democratic Party, former Confederate officers, former officeholders, and newspaper editors locally and statewide rallied by Josephus Daniels of the Raleigh News and Observer.

– Wilmington Race Riot Commission [PDF], Summary, pg. 5

Its important to note that the beginning of many coups and military actions begin with the destruction of communications. First a rally cry to those sympathetic to the cause via racist newspaper articles. Then outright physical destruction of the source of the oppositions communications. In this case it was the destruction of a black owned newspaper.

So when the modern conservatives try and dispel this report saying it doesn’t have anything to do with people in the present, tell them, “This violence was committed in your white name. To preserve white dominance over politics and power. Help restore the damage of the past now!”

I second the recommendation of the Commission that an endowment be created for young black journalists in North Carolina.

Newspapers (News and Observer, Charlotte Observer, Wilmington Star, Washington Post, etc.) should acknowledge the role of media in the events of 1898 and work with the North Carolina black press association to prepare a summary of the Commission report for distribution statewide. The Commission calls upon said papers to study the effects of 1898 and impact of Jim Crow on the state’s black press and to endow scholarships at the state’s public universities.

Hopefully these funds will be available to all types of media makers. Not just for young men and women entering corporate media outlets. Community journalists in small magazines, blogs, podccasts, public access tv, vloggs, etc. should be included too. Fund the salaries of several committed black activists to mentor and encourage young media makers.

Read what other bloggers have to say about the report from Wilmington.
Eric Muller
Sally Green
Y. Carrington

Linux Distro Ubuntu Dapper Drake is Out!

Yah! We’ve been waiting for so long! Its here! Its here! ok… nuf nerding out.

Why is the release of Ubuntu Dapper Drake important?
For years Linux operating systems have been the sole domain of geeks, nerds, and brave souls. Only people who had the knowledge and courage to jump feet first dared try it. In the past five years or so this has changed dramatically. The holy grail for super geeks and newbies alike has been a free – as in beer and freedom – easy to use DESKTOP operating system (OS). There have been many attempts. Red Hat, Fedora, Linspire, Gentoo, etc. [all of these OS work very well BTW] But it wasn’t until I tried Ubuntu (THANK YOU COREY!) that I realized we were VERY close to finding the holy grail.

The official release of the newest Ubuntu Linux 6.06 – code named Dapper Drake – may very well be THE easiest and most powerful desktop Linux OS yet. I feel confident that even your grandmother could use this OS. Now of course we all have to be willing to try new things. I suspect its habit and love for the first thing we learn that keeps us shackled to bad software. No longer can we say Linux is too hard to use!

There are powerful political and social reason to use Linux. I’ve been convinced of this for almost ten years now. Its taken me this long to just get ready to let go of my old habits and loves. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel when I use Ubuntu Linux full time as my main OS. [Because I’m a tech support guy I’ll probably always use windows and macintosh OS. 🙂 ]

Check out this long review of Ubuntu Dapper Drake. More to come as the official release gets used more.

Download Ubuntu Linux here. Get free Ubuntu Cds mailed to you here!

House pannel voted for a Net Neutrality bill

C|net news.com is reporting that a US House of Reps panel voted in favor of a Net Neutrality bill.

By a 20-13 vote Thursday that partially followed party lines, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would require broadband providers to abide by strict Net neutrality principles, meaning that their networks must be operated in a “nondiscriminatory” manner. All 14 Democrats on the committee–joined by 6 Republicans–supported the measure, while 13 Republicans opposed it.

I don’t think we’ve won this war yet, but this seems like a decisive victory.

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